3 Incentives for Webinar Participants

The truth is that when people get what they pay for, they are more likely to come back and pay again. So what do you do when you’re offering a conference call with a signup fee? How do you promote the conference to make people feel that their twenty or so dollars, as well as their time, is a worthwhile expenditure?

Offering incentives for signing up and ultimately attending the conference are great ways to get the word out about your event.

Why Do Incentives Work?

Incentives work because I am going to do something that benefits me. Rewards teach us to get positive outcomes for certain actions and the more someone benefits from an action, they more likely they are to repeat it.

Incentives have to be tailored depending on the audience but studies on the impact of rewards show they are still effective.

Provide Webinar and Conference Call Recordings for Download

As the presenter you want participants to create a buzz on blogs and on social media networks. We recommend that once the conference is over you provide the recording to participants so they can review what they might have missed.

  • Send them a copy of the full conference and prevent unauthorized sharing by password protecting or encrypting the file.
  • Our favorite tip is to set up the conference to have a dial in playback option. This will allow people with the registered conference code to call in and listen to the recording as often as they like.
  • You can also send them small portions of the recording and encourage them to share those through social networks. (Take a look at SEER Interactive and how they use their YouTube channel to share portions of large events to get people talking about their tips.)

Host a Contest During the Conference

I went a conference last year that awarded a huge travel package for the person who used Twitter in the most effective way to engage with the speakers and other conference attendees. It was a sweet package (airfare, hotel, limo services) and everyone wanted to win it. The great thing about the contest wasn’t just to “tweet the most” but to “tweet the best”. Contests like that boost your engagement you’re your participants and gives them a reason to talk. If you don’t have the money to provide a travel package – give away something like an iPod Touch, an iPad, or the latest Kindle.

Hook Up With a Sponsor

Find a company that sells a complimentary item to yours and provide a purchase incentive. Basically, it’s a “attend this hot dog webinar and get a free packet of ketchup!” kind of deal. Since hot dog webinars aren’t exactly at the height of popularity, here’s a more practical example.

SEOMoz is a leader in the field of SEO tools and they consistently partner with companies that provide complimentary services to theirs. For example, SEOMoz will sponsor a webinar where the presenter is someone for an SEO consulting service (like SEER) and the presenter will talk about SEOMoz tools on the webinar. It works for both companies as they get exposure and to use a powerful voice.

It’s a partnership that works for the sponsor and the presenters. Participants are signing up for the webinar so that they can see your presentation and to get a little something extra.

Bonus points if you get your partner to promote the webinar on their site.

Incentives are a great way to get people to sign up for your conference call as well as getting them to share and engage in conversation. Once you can get people on your conference call you have an opportunity to convert them all into regular, happy customers.

How do you entice people to join your webinars?