If you’ve run a free-to-attend event before, you’ll probably understand the disappointment that comes when half of the people who said they’d come simply don’t turn up.

Without the financial commitment, it’s far easier for attendees to give your event a miss than if they’d forked out some cash. Fear not, however: there are some great techniques to help boost attendance at free events that can reduce no-shows considerably.

Offering a service or giveaway that’s relevant to the audience is a good way of enticing people in. That might be as simple as tea, coffee or a breakfast bap, but it can be more sophisticated, like the promise of CPD (Continuous Professional Development) points to all attendees. Think about adding value that might motivate people to change their routine and attend your event.

You could also improve attendance by asking for a deposit at registration to secure a place. The money gets refunded at the event, helping ensure the person turns up. This adds some admin work, but if you can manage it, this approach should significantly reduce no-shows, allowing you to plan better.

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Adam Parry
Author: Adam Parry

Adam is the co-founder and editor of www.eventindustrynews.com Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.