CDS Insights


Your First-timers Are Waiting Until the Last Second

First time attendees are crucial to growing your event, but why do they wait until the last moment to register?

The following chart shows first time registrations for four 2018 exhibit focused events. Registrations during the last week are almost double the next most popular week, which is week two. More than 50% of first-timers registered within four weeks of the event.

Contrast that with your reliable alumni. Many of them register more than 25 weeks out, often when they receive notification that registration is open. One week out is still the biggest registration week, but there is a much more even distribution with numbers beginning to pick up steam in week nine.

What to do?
The biggest reason new-comers are waiting until the last minute is that there is not an incentive for early registration. Let’s run the same analysis but for medical conferences that typically have three specific price tiers: early, late, and onsite.

Once again, one week out is the biggest week, but the second and third highest weeks are seven and eight. This corresponds with the initial price increase at the early bird deadline. The key takeaway is that if you want people to register earlier, make the early deadline six weeks or more out from the event.

Not able to move your Early Deadline?
Many of you are likely thinking that this would not be possible. Here are some ideas that can help:

  1. Advertise your exhibitor customer invitation program early and get the codes into their hands as soon as possible.
  2. Give people an incentive to register early. For instance, the first 100 people who register get entered in a drawing for a $100 gift card.
  3. Follow up with your early registrants and encourage them to bring more people from their company.

Are you doing something awesome to get people to register early? We want to hear about it!