Industry Content & Media

Should Event Organizers Make Registration Discounts More Mysterious and Fun?

Author: David McMillin       

More travelers are uncovering exclusive, personalized savings opportunities at hotels. Could a similar model work for registration fees?

Most discount offers arrive with loud, in-your-face messages. From email subject lines that highlight one-day-only savings of 25 percent off the regular price to social-media promotions that advertise 15-percent coupon codes, the marketing world has historically offered pricing schemes designed to compel potential customers to make a purchase.

HotelTonight, a mobile app that lets guests book last-minute rooms at low prices, is taking a new spin on saving with a feature called Today’s Daily Drop. When users open the app, the geo-targeted daily savings opportunity comes with a ??? description. To unlock the actual price — which is supposed to be at least 30-percent lower than other online travel agent websites — users must swipe in the app. When the price is revealed, a 15-minute timer begins a countdown. If you don’t book before it hits zero, the deal disappears.

Booking a room with cash isn’t the only process that is starting to feel more fun. Hyatt recently launched a mysterious promotion for members of the World of Hyatt program to buy loyalty points at a discount. Savings opportunities are personalized, and members must log into see their “mystery offer.”

As more travel brands experiment with alternative pricing structures, is it time for conferences to adjust the typical approach to pricing registration fees? Consider a prospective conference attendee who reviews the standard early-bird versus standard price-tag structure. Sure, there is an incentive to book early, but what about the post-deadline period? While plenty of organizations experiment with one-day-only flash sales that apply to all non-registered participants, what if those discounts covered a wider range of seemingly personalized price points designed to make individuals more curious to uncover their own mystery registration fee? And to accelerate the decision-making process, how about a HotelTonight-esque timer to nudge them closer to inputting their credit card information?

Could it work with your audience? Go to Catalyst to share your thoughts on ways to reinvent the standard approach to registration pricing.

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