Lessons learned from hosting over 10,000 eventsPaul McMahon
Over 10,000 events have been organized on Doorkeeper. This has given us a lot of data about what kind of events tend to be successful. This article will explore what we've learned from all the events hosted on our platform.
Many factors go into determining what makes an event successful, but Doorkeeper's data puts us in the best position to answer the following:
- How do I get more people to register for my event?
- How can I get the people who registered to show up for my event?
With that in mind, let's take a look at what we've learned.
Provide a detailed description of your event to increase registrations
Give potential participants detailed information about your event to get more sign ups.
We correlated the length of event descriptions with the percentage of spots filled for an event (so if an event had capacity for 100 people, and 50 registered, this number would be 50%). From this, we found the longer the event description, the greater the number of registrations.
Having a longer description for your event will give potential participants a better idea of what the event is about and shows them you're serious about organizing a great event.
To maximize registrations, hold your event on Monday
Mid-week events have more no-shows
Looking at our data on checked-in participants, we found that events held in the middle of the week have the lowest percentage of registered participants actually show up to the event. During the middle of the week, participants are most likely to be busy with work, and thus might skip out on your event.
For Saturday events, despite having the lowest registrations, they have the highest turnout. People can usually plan their weekends, so it is less likely something unexpected will come up.
Smaller events have fewer no-shows
The smaller an event, the better the chance people will actually show up for it.
With small events, people who register for your event feel an obligation to show up, or at least cancel their registration to let the event organizer know they aren’t coming. But as the event gets bigger, a participant will think, "I’m just one person, it won’t make a difference if I don’t show up", which leads to an overall lower rate of attendance.
Charge for events to increase attendance
If you want to make sure people who register for your event actually show up, charge money for your event. Obviously if people prepay for your event, they are more likely to show up then if it is a free or at the door event. But we've found even events that just collect money at the door have a higher attendance rate than free events.
When someone registers to a paid event, they tend to be more serious about attending than a free event as they are demonstrating they value your event enough to pay for it.
Prepaid events have the best turnout
We've found that prepaid events have the highest actual attendance rate, with 52% of the events total capacity being filled on the day of the event. Despite prepaid events tend have a lower registration rate than free or at the door events, the people who do register actually tend to show up. This means if you want to maximize the amount of people who actually attend your event (as opposed to register for it), you should hold a prepaid event.
With Doorkeeper, you can also do an event that has a prepaid and at the door price, so if you've been collecting money at the door before, this can be a risk-free way of testing out if prepayment matches your event.