Your organization offers online registration. It’s convenient for your customers and saves you tons of time, but not enough people are using it. So you still have some long lines on registration day and you’re scrambling for ways to get people online. Introducing…early bird registration. With early bird, you can give early access to registration to a certain group. That way, people will be enticed to go online to register before classes open up to everybody else.
If you’re considering offering early bird registration, here is game plan:
Decide Who Gets to Register Early
Some organizations offer early online registration a week before in-person registration, and some do it a few days before. Once you’ve decided your registration dates, it’s time to think about who gets to register early. Here are some options:
- Allow only residents to register early. The nice thing about providing an earlier registration date for residents is showing you cater to your own town or city.
- Provide early registration access to members only. This is a great add-on to the benefits of purchasing a membership with your organization.
- Open early online registration to all of your customers, regardless of residency or membership. This is a nice way to minimize your lines during registration periods.
Stress the Benefits
A case can be made that registering early and reserving a spot in your favorite activity is a benefit in itself. This is true. However, some organizations are providing additional benefits as well.
Discounts are commonly used as a benefit for registering online, or during an early bird registration period. Several organizations will create an “early bird registration rate” which is cheaper than the normal registration rate for an activity. Once the early bird registration period has passed, the regular registration rate kicks in. It doesn’t have to be a pricey benefit. Even $5 – $10 off a registration will show a significant impact on minimizing long lines. Other options include providing a coupon code for a discount towards future registrations, or providing a free promotional item, like a t-shirt.
Get the Word Out
Most importantly, you have to make sure people know about early bird registration. That’s how you build the demand. Include it in your brochure, on your website, through social media, and build your emails around it.