Loyalty has been used in marketing for hundreds of years but it is perhaps in the past 40 years that we have really seen the growth of loyalty programmes such as airline frequent flyer programs, credit card points, coffee shop loyalty cards or hotel club memberships.
This type of marketing is all about repeat business and if you run regular or even annual events then you will know that repeat attendees are an incredibly important group of people; both in terms of direct bookings but also because they help you advertise the event to their peers.
When announcing a new event think about the ways that you could make previous attendees feel exclusive.
You could leverage principles from airline loyalty schemes such as priority boarding by telling these people that you have reserved them a seat in the front row as long as they confirm before a certain date.
Or perhaps you could offer them a free gift such as a shopping voucher or a free night in a nice local hotel if you know they are travelling from a distance.
Create Balanced Rewards for Early Bookings
With many events there are early bird booking options where attendees get a significant discount for booking early.
However, this practice needs some careful thought, as it is embarrassing when you see extensions to early bird prices.
Also, if a potential attendee misses out on the early bird price then they may feel like they are being done when they pay out the full ticket price.
There should be incentives to book early but they do not have to be financial. They could be things like:
• Access to an exclusive 30-minute discussion with an industry expert.
• Best seating at the event
• A free ticket to an after event dinner
A discount is easily forgotten but a value add such as an over dinner discussion with the speakers and experts from the event is remembered far more profoundly.
Here is a story about how Starbucks faltered with their rewards program through demoting Gold members who did not shop frequently enough.
Read more at Event Manager Blog