Ensuring registrants show up to FREE event

Hi all. I am planning a free event and can accept a limited # of attendees. What are your best tips to ensure registrants actually show up?


Announce that everyone gets a free goodie bag on entry. It’s a great opportunity for businesses to provide free promotional gifts like pens to be put into the bag.
A small local crisp manufacturer that I know is always being asked to provide crisps for goodie bags, in return he gets listed as a partner or sponsor.


Hey Dewi, local as in Wales? By any chance ‘healthier’ snacks too?

Sadly only potato crisps but with a Welsh name

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If you only have free tickets, you might want to consider only charging attendees who do not turn up at the event.

Some planners add to the terms & conditions that the ticket will be free only for those who attend. If they don’t attend they will incur a payment. The main objective here is to get no-showers to update their RSVP so you can take action and allocate the free seats.

Though, it really depends on your audience as you don’t want to piss them off.

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That’s really interesting, Carsten. I’ve actually never come across that before, but sounds like it would be a really effective tactic. As you say though, probably not suitable for all events, but certainly if you are offering the attendee something of value i.e. learning or the opportunity to hear a speaker, then I think it would be accepted.

I’ve worked with a lot of clients who have all included a fee for no-shows… its incredibly tricky to implement in practice unless you capture payment details on registration. In addition, the resource to pursue non payment can be time consuming and often with low yield. However it can often trigger a more responsible approach from conscientious delegates :slight_smile:

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