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Thread: Event Promoters: Getting Those Workshop Registrations Coming!




  1. #1
    Established BHUZzer Shaia's Avatar
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    Event Promoters: Getting Those Workshop Registrations Coming!

    It is always a challenge to get those first workshop registrations coming in. I am providing lots of incentives, including a 15% discount until April 1, but still, no registrants! I have a highly visible ad on bhuz, along with the other belly dance sites, and on two websites. I have several prominent local belly dance instructors helping promote the event with postcards and email announcements. Event promoters, how to you convince people to COME ON!


  2. #2
    Advanced BHUZzer desertroses's Avatar
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    Re: Event Promoters: Getting Those Workshop Registrations Coming!

    Notification that the event is even happening.

    Most often than not, I hear about things "after" the event and never even knew it was happening. :(

    I can't stress how much you should post the info in as many venues as you can and as many forums as you can find. Email dancers/teachers you've never talked to and get the word out there. :)

    That's normally people's biggest problem, just not knowing about it.


  3. #3
    Mega BHUZzer aazura's Avatar
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    Re: Event Promoters: Getting Those Workshop Registrations Coming!

    It's the most annoying and stressful thing about sponsoring an event--people don't want to preregister. They all wait until the last minute, giving the sponsor gray hair and a nervous tic.

    Incentives are good. And it sounds like you're doing a lot of promoting, which is all you can do. The only thing I can add is try to create urgency. Limited Space!! Hurry! Register before this event Sells Out!!


  4. #4
    Advanced BHUZzer desertroses's Avatar
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    Re: Event Promoters: Getting Those Workshop Registrations Coming!

    Oh as a note! Send me some info and I'll send it out to my Milwaukee contacts :) I know lots of people out that way and was just there in January! Lets see if I can get you some more people :)


  5. #5
    Established BHUZzer Shaia's Avatar
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    Re: Event Promoters: Getting Those Workshop Registrations Coming!

    You are both so right -- it's all that!

    I live in Milwaukee, and am doing pretty good at getting people to respond here, probably because they know me and my events. It's San Francisco that I'm having the issue with! That is where I'm offering the current discount. I suspect that it's mainly people not knowing about the event, and not knowing me. I will push, push, push the promotions! Thanks --


  6. #6
    Advanced BHUZzer maurazebra's Avatar
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    Re: Event Promoters: Getting Those Workshop Registrations Coming!

    Our studio holds workshops featuring regional luminaries. We came very close to breaking our own don't-cancel-events rule yesterday. Even students who have been rehearsing for the workshop dinner concert were not registering.

    Since the bulk of the attendees are our studio students, a bluntly-worded State of the Workshop email and announcement during rehearsal seems to have done the trick. Daughter announced that we had three registrations (two of them from folks we didn't even know) and that if she didn't have x number of people enrolled for each workshop by Tuesday she was cancelling the event. Checkbooks came out at that point... folks really WERE waiting for the last minute!

    One of our requirements for performing at the workshop dinner party is attendence at the workshop. Next time we will be asking the prospective performers from the studio for a deposit before they start attending rehearsals. If we cannot get the deposits, then we'll cancel the proposed event before bad feelings on either side can accrue.

    I perceive more reluctance this year to commit to spending money in the future than at any other time in the past five years. It may be that folks are getting more realistic about what they can afford; or maybe they are just worn-down pessimistic about the future of the economy.


  7. #7
    Ultimate BHUZzer artemisia_danst's Avatar
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    Re: Event Promoters: Getting Those Workshop Registrations Coming!

    i have somehow managed to get it into peoples heads that if they dont register right away they might -gulp- not get in. but that's only worked cause we have had several events that were completely sold out... (big name teachers)... and word seems to have spread that you need to enroll "fast". so i guess we were lucky.

    i've only ever done the early booking discount, i have bothered sinced, i prefer giving discounts to people who book more than one workshop.

    what i DO find hard is getting those first timers to enroll. new-ish students that have only been dancing for a year or so. i try to get them to come by offering a few shorter, open level, cheaper workshops.


  8. #8
    Ultimate BHUZzer laura 2's Avatar
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    Re: Event Promoters: Getting Those Workshop Registrations Coming!

    Just to give a workshop-ee persepctive, I generally don't sign up for workshops months and months in advance. Some of it is a cash flow issue - I don't like to tie up funds too far in advance for fear of not having that money available for regular business expenses. I don't have a regular weekly/bi-weekly income, because I get paid by my Park & Recs at the end of a session, and gigs are very spotty for me.

    But there's also the issue of workshop fees being non-refundable. Usually a couple of months or so before the event I'm pretty sure I'll be able to make it, but my life is so crazy it's hard for me to know 100% that I'm going to be available on a specific day 6 - 8 months from now. I just can't afford to lose that money if it turns out that there might be an unavoidable and unforseeable conflict. I don't even book plane tickets more than a couple of months in advance for the same reason.

    I do feel bad that this can sometimes hold things up for the organizers, and I try very hard to make sure I'm signed up at least 60 day prior to an event. If the organizer sends up a flag before then that the event is in danger of being canceled, I will often step up to the plate and send in my money earlier than I planned.

    Back when I had a day job, I was much more likely to sign up for workshops as soon as they were announced. But now that my financial cushion has evaporated, I have to make sure I take care of today before I can worry about tomorrow.


  9. #9
    Ultimate BHUZzer steffib's Avatar
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    Re: Event Promoters: Getting Those Workshop Registrations Coming!

    Similar to what Laura said - workshop fees are typically non-refundable. I am taking a risk by registering early - and I expect to get something in return. If I am not absolutely certain that I will attend and if I do not have very convincing reason (probability of selling out or a significant discount), I will do walk-in.


  10. #10
    Advanced BHUZzer jocelyn's Avatar
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    Re: Event Promoters: Getting Those Workshop Registrations Coming!

    I like to book months and months in advance...so the biggest thing that helps me is having an idea of the cost early.


  11. #11
    Advanced BHUZzer donnadiva's Avatar
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    Re: Event Promoters: Getting Those Workshop Registrations Coming!

    Quote Originally Posted by laura 2 View Post
    But there's also the issue of workshop fees being non-refundable. Usually a couple of months or so before the event I'm pretty sure I'll be able to make it, but my life is so crazy it's hard for me to know 100% that I'm going to be available on a specific day 6 - 8 months from now. I just can't afford to lose that money if it turns out that there might be an unavoidable and unforseeable conflict. I don't even book plane tickets more than a couple of months in advance for the same reason.
    Re the non-refundable issue, event organizers have to put that out there. If we didn't, we would have a plethora of peeps signing up for the event knowing that they could cancel and get their money back for no good reason other than a hangnail. There is room for only so many participants in workshops, and these types take up a valuable spot. Canceling their registration deprives someone else of that spot, and a "paying customer" for the organizer. That being said, and speaking only for myself, if a paid registrant had a situation where they really couldn't attend, if that person came to me directly and explained the situation, I would do my best to work out a solution we both could feel good about. It's just not something we publicize.


  12. #12
    Mega BHUZzer indigostars's Avatar
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    Re: Event Promoters: Getting Those Workshop Registrations Coming!

    Minimum/maximum number of participants usually get me going to register early.

    Also, the name factors in heavily. If it's someone I think will sell out quickly, I register early.


  13. #13
    Ultimate BHUZzer jewelsdances's Avatar
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    Re: Event Promoters: Getting Those Workshop Registrations Coming!

    Hi Shaia, I just wanted to mention that not once have you mentioned the workshop you are sponsoring in this posting... If you want people to come you have to put it right in their face :)

    I have been thinking about the workshop in San Francisco but it would require a plane ticket and hotel. I noticed on the workshop website that you don't have any info about where to stay in SF. Also, the info is a little confusing, as it all seems to be about the one in your city.

    I think it's awesome that you are bringing them over. I would Love to see them in person! Hope I can come.
    Lara L likes this.


  14. #14
    Advanced BHUZzer MaryRaks's Avatar
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    Re: Event Promoters: Getting Those Workshop Registrations Coming!

    I'm definitely thinking of attending the SF workshop, but I can't make any plans or register for anything until our move orders are set and I have a job in our new location.


  15. #15
    Mega BHUZzer Samira_dncr's Avatar
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    Re: Event Promoters: Getting Those Workshop Registrations Coming!

    Quote Originally Posted by steffib View Post
    Similar to what Laura said - workshop fees are typically non-refundable. I am taking a risk by registering early - and I expect to get something in return. If I am not absolutely certain that I will attend and if I do not have very convincing reason (probability of selling out or a significant discount), I will do walk-in.
    This is one of the reasons that the Vegas Intensive has a refund policy...one which I generally think is fair for both the participant and for the organizer.

    We want early registrations, so we do a lot to make it worthwhile for those who commit. Our absolute lowest price is early, so it makes sense to save the money. But we realize that it's hard to commit a full year in advance, so we have a refund policy that is based on when they cancel in relationship to the event. We offer a full refund (less paypal fees) up to 90 days before the event. Between 90 and 30 days, we offer a refund of 75% (less paypal fees). Once we hit the 30 day mark, there are no refunds (unless there are extreme circumstance).


  16. #16
    Mega BHUZzer Samira_dncr's Avatar
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    Re: Event Promoters: Getting Those Workshop Registrations Coming!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mahsima View Post
    I like to book months and months in advance...so the biggest thing that helps me is having an idea of the cost early.
    Come to Vegas...LOL. ..g.:


  17. #17
    Mega BHUZzer Samira_dncr's Avatar
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    Re: Event Promoters: Getting Those Workshop Registrations Coming!

    Quote Originally Posted by jewelsdances View Post
    Hi Shaia, I just wanted to mention that not once have you mentioned the workshop you are sponsoring in this posting... If you want people to come you have to put it right in their face :)
    Additionally, it's not in your signature line either. I haven't even gotten far enough to see if you have a website or anything.

    Are you hosting a workshop in a city that you aren't established in? Do you have local contacts that are established in their community? That may be part of the issue. I know we've had newbies try to sponsor stuff here in Vegas and not get much of a response because nobody knows them. It's helpful when there is someone that is active in the community that makes some announcements on their behalf.


  18. #18
    Ultimate BHUZzer laura 2's Avatar
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    Re: Event Promoters: Getting Those Workshop Registrations Coming!

    Quote Originally Posted by Samira_dncr View Post
    This is one of the reasons that the Vegas Intensive has a refund policy...one which I generally think is fair for both the participant and for the organizer.

    We want early registrations, so we do a lot to make it worthwhile for those who commit. Our absolute lowest price is early, so it makes sense to save the money. But we realize that it's hard to commit a full year in advance, so we have a refund policy that is based on when they cancel in relationship to the event. We offer a full refund (less paypal fees) up to 90 days before the event. Between 90 and 30 days, we offer a refund of 75% (less paypal fees). Once we hit the 30 day mark, there are no refunds (unless there are extreme circumstance).
    That is actually very cool, and something I didn't know about before!


  19. #19
    Advanced BHUZzer MaryRaks's Avatar
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    Re: Event Promoters: Getting Those Workshop Registrations Coming!

    Quote Originally Posted by laura 2 View Post
    That is actually very cool, and something I didn't know about before!
    Neither did I... that's an awesome policy!


  20. #20
    Mega BHUZzer Samira_dncr's Avatar
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    Re: Event Promoters: Getting Those Workshop Registrations Coming!

    Quote Originally Posted by laura 2 View Post
    That is actually very cool, and something I didn't know about before!
    Quote Originally Posted by MaryRaks View Post
    Neither did I... that's an awesome policy!
    Thanks ladies! I just think it's the best for customer service. I just didn't feel right asking folks to plan a year or more in advance when they don't know what may or may not come up. But as an organizer, I also need some checks and balances here. Truthfully, cancellations are pretty rare.

    I do my best to be generous with the policy when possible. I had an attendee that lost an immediate family member and wanted a refund so she could purchase an airplane ticket to a funeral. How do you refuse that?

    I also give folks the option of applying their balance towards a future event. I have an attendee this year who was going to attend in 2009, but got a new job that wouldn't let her have the time off of work. We just applied her payments towards 2010. It worked out great.


  21. #21
    Advanced BHUZzer maurazebra's Avatar
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    Re: Event Promoters: Getting Those Workshop Registrations Coming!

    The Bhuz ad for the Bellydance Intensive is mis-configured. Click on it and it directs you to http://http//bellydanceintensive.com/ (extra http). In Chrome, google does an automatic lookup and suggests a correct new URL. IE just sits there with a 'cannot display webpage.


  22. #22
    Mega BHUZzer Samira_dncr's Avatar
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    Re: Event Promoters: Getting Those Workshop Registrations Coming!

    Quote Originally Posted by maurazebra View Post
    The Bhuz ad for the Bellydance Intensive is mis-configured. Click on it and it directs you to http://http//bellydanceintensive.com/ (extra http). In Chrome, google does an automatic lookup and suggests a correct new URL. IE just sits there with a 'cannot display webpage.
    Thanks. I'll let Rosey know. :)

    We just sent her a new ad, so hopefully that will fix it.


  23. #23
    Established BHUZzer Shaia's Avatar
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    Re: Event Promoters: Getting Those Workshop Registrations Coming!

    Here are the facts for the Milwaukee Oriental Fantasy Event, only four days away on the date of this posting! Details are on www.milwaukeebellydance.com...there is still space open in all workshops, and show tickets available.

    Fri, Oct 22, 7:30 pm (doors open 6:30 pm) Oriental Fantasy & Friends starring Beata & Horacio Cifuentes of Berlin, Germany, Patricia and Tribe Perlatentia of Hanover, Germany. And, of course, Mimi Cifuentes! Tickets $27, or $20 each in advance for 5 or more tickets.

    Sat, Oct 23: 10am-Noon, Dark Tribal with Patricia, $30

    12:30-6, Bad Girl Beladi with Beata and Horacio, $50

    6pm, Horacio's Book Signing

    8pm, Workshop Student Hafla, $10

    Sun, Oct 24: 9am-11am, Balkan Fusion with Patricia, $30

    11:30-5, Raqs Sharqi with Horacio and Beata, $50

    All events at the Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center, 790 N Van Buren St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

    Paypal registration and ticket fees to shaia@milwaukeebellydance.com. Tickets ordered after Oct. 18 will be held at Will Call.


  24. #24
    Ultimate BHUZzer dunyah's Avatar
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    Re: Event Promoters: Getting Those Workshop Registrations Coming!

    Quote Originally Posted by shaia View Post
    Here are the facts for the Milwaukee Oriental Fantasy Event, only four days away on the date of this posting! Details are on www.milwaukeebellydance.com...there is still space open in all workshops, and show tickets available.

    Fri, Oct 22, 7:30 pm (doors open 6:30 pm) Oriental Fantasy & Friends starring Beata & Horacio Cifuentes of Berlin, Germany, Patricia and Tribe Perlatentia of Hanover, Germany. And, of course, Mimi Cifuentes! Tickets $27, or $20 each in advance for 5 or more tickets.

    Sat, Oct 23: 10am-Noon, Dark Tribal with Patricia, $30

    12:30-6, Bad Girl Beladi with Beata and Horacio, $50

    6pm, Horacio's Book Signing

    8pm, Workshop Student Hafla, $10

    Sun, Oct 24: 9am-11am, Balkan Fusion with Patricia, $30

    11:30-5, Raqs Sharqi with Horacio and Beata, $50

    All events at the Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center, 790 N Van Buren St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

    Paypal registration and ticket fees to shaia@milwaukeebellydance.com. Tickets ordered after Oct. 18 will be held at Will Call.
    Link should be www.milwaukeebellydance.com

    OMG the Bad Girl Baladi and Raqs Sharqi with Beata and Horacio - 6 hours of instruction with them for only $50, what an amazing deal!
    caasious likes this.


  25. #25
    Official BHUZzer Michaela's Avatar
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    Re: Event Promoters: Getting Those Workshop Registrations Coming!

    My first teacher in Tokyo has a policy that corresponds with a size of her school (close to 500 students), and that is: no walk-ins! She strictly applies it to all workshops, nobody will get it unless making prior reservation of their place at least by phone. Workshops with big Egyptian names have attendancy as well as 70 p.


  26. #26
    Mega BHUZzer Lara L's Avatar
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    Re: Event Promoters: Getting Those Workshop Registrations Coming!

    I'll second the 'put it in you signature line' suggestion too. Shameless self promotion is the only way to survive! I have literally had students find me because their grandmother in another state heard about me from my husband's relative. A business connection of my web guy saw what he was working on, he referred her to me and from there I talked her into taking classes in her home town (not directly profitable to me, but it grows the community and shows how those connections can work!) Never assume the person you are talking to does not have a connection that might benefit you. Put it as a signature line in your email too.

    The scarcity concept helps too. Is this a first event, or do you have past years results to draw on? Can you legitimately say 'sold out the last 3 years running' or 'x number of vendors attending' or 'we sold out 2 months before the event? if not, 'only 20 spaces left' still works, but the more information you have about the success of prior events, the more people are willing to trust you on it. It can also take a few events/years to build up a reputation.


  27. #27
    Advanced BHUZzer caasious's Avatar
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    Re: Event Promoters: Getting Those Workshop Registrations Coming!

    Quote Originally Posted by donnadiva View Post
    Re the non-refundable issue, event organizers have to put that out there. If we didn't, we would have a plethora of peeps signing up for the event knowing that they could cancel and get their money back for no good reason other than a hangnail. There is room for only so many participants in workshops, and these types take up a valuable spot.
    I've attended workshops where you could put down a non-refundable deposit early on to hold your spot. If you cancelled, you'd lose that money but on the positive side, you don't have to pre-pay for the whole thing. Best for both sides
    --------------------------------------------
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  28. #28
    Advanced BHUZzer maurazebra's Avatar
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    Re: Event Promoters: Getting Those Workshop Registrations Coming!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lara L View Post
    Can you legitimately say 'sold out the last 3 years running' or 'x number of vendors attending' or 'we sold out 2 months before the event?
    One of our one-time competitors used their sold-out workshops as a publicity hook... however, I heard from one of the attendees that said sold-out workshops were held in the teacher's living room....


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