Should Association Reduce Registration Fee Because It’s A Virtual Conference?

We have recently completed the Paediatric Haematology and Oncology Scientific Conference, fully virtual. The result from the virtual conference:

  • Doubled the number of registrations compare to in-person
  • Maintained profit above 10% for the society
  • International participants registered
  • International speakers without having to travel

Some of the big questions that we ponder upon when we try to structure the registration pricing:

  • Who are the targeted participants for this conference, and are they mostly from private or public sector?
  • What is the main target or objective of this conference?
  • Will there be significant help to the participants’ career with the CPD points?

What we have learned?

  • Registration fee to the conference is not about the coffee breaks F&B but focus on the education and networking
  • Super promo price did not work or entice a lot of registrations. 90% of the registrations came in 3 – 4 weeks before the event.
  • Do not panic and start reducing price when registration does not pick up during super promo period
  • Instead of reducing the registration price, we created extra tier/category to cater to the medical officers and nurses from the public sector
  • We created promo codes for inter-associations collaboration
  • Hosted delegates through education grant from sponsors is still key
  • Offer certificate even after completion of On Demand

What can we add on for future conference?

  • Couple the registration fee with association membership fee (for non-members) – increase membership for the association/society.
  • Separate ticket for post conference access for participants who can’t join the live sessions. This new ticket or registration fee can be cheaper to target those doctors or nurses who are on-call.
  • Scholarship – an opportunity for application for scholarship to attend the conference.
  • Pay-It-Forward option can be interesting

Different ideas may work for different industries or fields of associations, and it really depends on the community.