As event organisers, we all want to see large crowds of engaged people at our events. We thrive on the busyness and the buzz that they create.
However there is of course a balance between reaching a wide new audience and ensuring that the new audience being reached is relevant for your events’ goals.
However and whatever platform you choose to promote events on (even if this is simply on your own website) there is always a risk of some people showing up just for the “free stuff”. This, we refer to, as a ligger.
The good news is there are some easy ways to better manage and minimise this, so here we run through 5 ways to avoid liggers at your next event.
1. Charging for events
The number one way to avoid freeloaders is to charge for your events. This may not be appropriate for all events but even charging just £1-5 will be a big put-off for those looking simply for free stuff.
It also hugely reduces on-the day attendee drop out rates, so not only do you minimise the chances of liggers, but you increase the chances of genuinely interested attendees turning up.
Any revenue you make could then be donated to charity (or anything else you see fit) if you’d rather not be seen as making a profit from the events. Or, it could be used to help cover some of your costs too.
2. Not advertising free stuff
For events that need to be kept free to attend, the next best thing you can do to make it ligger-proof is not advertise that there will be free food / drinks on the event page (on Eventbrite).
Any time you put free give-aways front and centre of your promotional strategy as a way of enticing attendees, you stand a much greater chance of attracting a bunch of freeloaders too.
Attendees who are genuinely interested in attending your event will come anyway, and will see these free extras as a nice surprise. Those not genuinely interested in the event itself most likely won’t bother attending as they’ll go to another free event that is loudly advertising freebies.
3. Make use of Eventbrite’s privacy settings
With all events on Evenbrite there is the option to run them as either “public” or “private”.
Public events can be found through a simple search on the main Eventbrite site, and also on search engines like Google, making them more easily accessible.
Private events can only be found if the attendee has the URL (e.g. linked to from your own website) and they can even be set to be password protected and/or invitation only.
For many events, increasing privacy settings will help counteract the risk of freeloaders. So if you have a large guest list or database of prospective attendees, you might consider keeping your event private and only notifying your pre-selected guests.
4. Keeping track of your event’s guest list
Eventbrite also gives event organisers all the tools needed to be extremely secure and controlled about who is attending your events.
Checking in all attendees on arrival, blacklisting “repeat offenders” who are clearly an irrelevant audience, checking signups in the lead-up to events & exercising the right to cancel attendees – these are just a few methods of reducing the likelihood of freeloaders.
You should also keep a note of what emails people are using to sign up for your event. For example, if you’re running a professional networking evening with some free drinks and canapés on offer, you could make it mandatory for guests to use a work email address (i.e. no Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo addresses) when registering for a ticket. This will help ensure you get only genuine sign-ups.
You could then cancel any attendees who don’t follow your rules, and not allow them entry if they still turn up. Remember, it’s your event, so you can control the policy of who is and isn’t allowed to be there!
5. Implementing a pre-approval / pre-registration phase to events
Following on from the last tip, many organisers on Eventbrite create a pre-approval phase before attendees can register for the free event itself.
This way you would ask attendees to register their interest to attend an event and then only those selected would be invited to the actual event page to get their ticket.
This extra approval process is also a great way of putting off freeloaders who usually look for the easiest possible process.
Liggers can be a pain for event organisers, but it’s worth remembering they’re still only a tiny percentage of attendees.
The steps suggested above will all help deter freeloaders, while still keeping the sign-up process friendly, simple and inviting for genuine attendees.
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