Paul Harris, Client Services Manager
If you are looking to group together days, sessions or additional bookable items to offer one collective price during the registration process then the package prices functionality within Eventsforce is an easy to understand and simple to use option available to you. Historically, the popularity of package prices was due in no small part to the fact that they closely resembled a printed registration form, and worked because it prevented delegates from having to tick the correct options on the page, add up the relevant fees correctly and send the cheque for payment.
Package prices work well, and in the right context, there are many reasons why they could and should be used. However, with digital registration systems now common, the delegate no longer needs to add up the price of the parts (the checkout will simply do this for them) which means that the need to simplify the options no longer exists and delegates are able to quickly and accurately tailor their own custom packages. This gives the event planner more choices and the flexibility to choose whether they offer package prices or not.
Let’s illustrate this point with some real-life examples and show that whilst there will always be situations where the use of package prices is appropriate, in other situations, there are other options which can result in greater flexibility and better data quality.
Imagine this was your event…
…and you have a question entitled, ‘Conference Package Selection’, containing the following drop-down options:
1 – Monday only
2 – Monday- Wednesday
3 – Wednesday -Friday
4 – Monday – Friday
There doesn’t seem to be anything overtly wrong with this but let’s explore some of the possible drawbacks to setting the question out like this:
- Harder to count – How many people are coming on Wednesday? Adding 2+3+4 does not give a reliable total, so what do you tell your speaker and other relevant parties?
- Offering discounts – More complex discounts may be difficult to set up and administer
- Increasing your workload – Options not listed usually result in the delegate picking up the phone and calling to ask you if they can attend ‘Tuesday only’ for example. This barrier to completing a registration prompts a phone call, increases your workload and could even negatively impact cash flow, as registrations are not immediately realised
- Doesn’t promote value – The delegate is immediately presented with a price which prevents you from promoting the merits of each of the days individually, thereby offering greater perceived value. The charge should be a consequence of choice rather than the subject of the decision
- Less personalisation – It’s more difficult to personalise the automatic communications to delegates as the specifics of exactly what they are attending is harder to be sure of. Same applies for the session selection tool
What’s the alternative?
As an alternative to packaging days or sessions, why not promote their merits individually? For example a question like:
Which activities would you like to attend?
- An open workshop on… (Monday)
- A keynote presentation about… (Tuesday)
- Advanced marketing discussions focussing on sector… (Wednesday)
- Introductory seminar on the future of… (Thursday)
- Networking and social activities… (Friday)
The benefits of this to you could be:
- Knowing exactly who is in the building each day can help you follow basic fire regulations on one hand, and can also provide you with a true understanding of which parts of your event are the most effective, on another
- Having the ability to measure the success of your events and increase ROI by creating, saving and scheduling reports on detailed event data such as registrations, attendance, session selections and revenue.
- Being able to offer discounts to increase the effectiveness of your CTA (call-to-action)
- Having automated user messages if a particular combination is not possible, reducing additional calls and administration and removing another barrier to registration
- Providing delegates with a real understanding of the value of their purchase by presenting additional value in context rather than as just a price on a page
- Personalising automatic communications based upon what exactly has been booked, making your marketing messages and instructions clearer and less cluttered
- Allowing even greater personalisation through the broader range of booking options available
If you would like to discuss anything you have read in this article or would like more information on setting up ‘package prices’ or other methods of pricing in Eventsforce, please contact our technical support department on 0845 680 6826 or email firstname.lastname@example.org