Referral programs are one of the rare win/wins in the world of events. When you can rely on your exhibitors, speakers, sponsors, and other partners to help grow your event while improving their event experience, everybody wins.
Simply put, referral programs offer event partners easy ways to promote their presence at your event to their audience. Let’s use an exhibitor as a common example.
Imagine the usual “visit our booth at ___ trade show!” social media post. That post communicates to the exhibitor’s followers where they’ll be and puts your event in the followers’ minds. But a referral program takes that partnership to the next level by adding incentives on both sides. What if that same social media post included a link to a custom landing page not only advertising the exhibitor’s presence at your event, but offering the exhibitor’s audience a discounted registration fee? That means more registrations for your event and more engaged prospects for the exhibitor. See? Win/win.
But how do you persuade event partners to participate in a referral program?
Make it easy for them. Like the golden rule says, treat them how you would want to be treated. In this example, that translates to making the referral program all about them. When you focus on the value a referral program provides your partners, you will receive value in return with high participation rates. Here are some ways to make sure you are offering your partners real value when proposing a referral program:
Event partners will be happy to share something that is beautiful and made just for them. Some examples of collateral that can be customized to encourage referral participation are:
HTML Email invitations
Custom landing pages
The more turnkey you make the collateral, the more likely your partners will participate, since you’ve done the heavy lifting.
Let’s Make a Deal
One way to ensure event partners participate in your referral program is to make them an offer they can’t refuse. Once again, make it about them.
Give them a discount on their booth fees
Offer a free sponsorship plan
Throw a few free tickets their way
The main takeaway here is to use what you know about your partners and offer them an incentive with real value to them. When combined with ready-to-wear promotional collateral as mentioned above, how can they resist?
If the above incentives aren’t enough to entice your partners to participate in a referral program, analytics can be your ace in the hole. Your partners are better able to measure their event performance and ROI when they have comprehensive reporting on their audience data, like:
Landing page traffic
Number of conversions
It may not surprise you to learn that Feathr’s platform offers all of the features mentioned in this article, and more, to facilitate referral campaigns for your event partners. You can create custom collateral at scale with Feathr’s drag-and-drop templates, and Feathr’s Partner Dashboard gives your referral partners all the reporting they need at their fingertips.
Referral programs are a novel way to extract untapped value from your event, with the added benefit of increasing partner engagement and boosting event attendance. And Feathr’s Referral Campaign features make it easy for you to get a killer referral program up and running.