Let me tell you, it can be a hard feat to overcome, when you’re considering travel (are you flying or can you drive?), hotel rooms, and food on top of the event’s ticket price.
As valuable as marketing conferences are, they come with a price tag and sometimes you can only afford to send one or two members of your team.
In these situations, it can be hard to turn down your employees when they’re providing you with all of those “convince my boss” PDFs -- and you yourself know how valuable an experience conferences can be.
If you've found a conference worth attending--one that will send you home with valuable knowledge, meaningful connections, and next steps that will truly make a difference--then there's a way to mitigate the upfront costs so that you can reap the value.
Here are 6 things you can do to make attending that next marketing event more affordable.
1. Act Early! Take Advantage of Early Bird Specials
While everyone procrastinates a little here and there, you’ll want to act as soon as possible whenever you’re purchasing tickets and planning travel for a marketing conference.
Many event organizers offer early bird pricing to help boost tickets sales early on, so if you’re on a tight budget (or if you just like the idea of saving money and making your boss happy), take advantage of them!
Most Early Bird rates are discounted from the sticker price enough to cover the costs of a hotel night, per diem, or even travel costs. Plus, by getting your ticket in advance, you'll be able to reserve the time you need away from the office.
If you wait, you'll end up paying the highest ticket prices right before the event and you'll have less time to coordinate for time off and to take advantage of travel deals.
2. Subscribe, Follow, & Look For Sales
Whether you’ve missed the early bird deadline or not, be on the lookout for additional discounts on your conference tickets.
A great way to learn about these discounts is to subscribe to the event organizer’s mailing list or community group and follow their social posts.
By following them, not only will you learn more about the speakers and the event overall, but you’re the first to know when a sale is going on and are more likely to receive special promo codes.
For example, in just a few days, we'll be reaching out to our subscribers about the Digital Sales and Marketing World agenda. Not only will this provide some key information about who's speaking and when, but it may just include a special discount on top of the Early Bird rates.
Another way you can find discounted tickets is purchasing them in bulk.
Most events offer this as it helps drive attendance, and it can be extremely helpful if you’re thinking about bringing multiple people from your company.
Yet others will offer added value and takeaways for larger groups. Digital Sales and Marketing World for Teams, for example, offers concierge-level treatment during the event and guided follow-up with an IMPACT expert after the conference wraps.
4. Stack Discounts
Also, see if you can apply more than one discount code. You might be surprised, how much you can save, by applying 2 or 3 discounts.
Just by purchasing your ticket before January 31, you’ll be able to get the Early Bird rate.
You can also get additional savings codes by subscribing to IMPACT's newsletter or following us on social.
And clients save even more, making the event impossibly easy to afford.
Most conferences are willing to offer a discount or will give you a hidden code. Just be sure to ask.
5. Keep Travel Costs Low
Of course, the ticket price isn't the only expense when it comes to keeping costs low when attending a conference. Depending on where you’re traveling from, getting to and from your marketing conference can get expensive.
When it comes to purchasing flights, shopping around is key, especially if you're trying to keep the cost within your Early Bird savings.
There's any number of sites that help you save dollars on transportation. (I usually turn to Google Flights or Priceline, though most of them offer similar pricing.)
Depending on distance or if flying isn’t your thing, driving might be an option you’ll want to consider. This would allow you more flexibility to run on your own schedule and gas/tolls can usually be a small fraction of the cost of airline ticket.
If you know colleagues or friends who are also attending, consider carpooling. You'll save on transport fees, get some serious team bonding underway, and you might even get some work done.
6. Take Advantage of the Block
Most conferences offer special hotel rates for booking in their block--you can usually find the hotel link on the conference website.
Booking within the group block generally offers considerable savings and usually means you'll get the most affordable price offered by the hotel, including what you'd find on discounted travel websites.
Aside from the financial saving you get from staying in the block, you'll benefit from getting to stay in a hotel that's conveniently located to the event.
Larger conferences that tend to take over entire cities often offer bus transportation to those who stay in the hotel block. Plus, you'll be able to more easily network after the planned events have ended for the day.
The tips mentioned above are just some of the ones we use to reduce the cost, while still being able to send team members to conferences.