I think we all agree that It’s easier to keep customers than it is to find new costumers and convert them or convert old customers back to us. Agreed?

No matter what we are selling retention is king of the castle. 

This is a struggle daily for the biggest brands: Google with Android vs Apple with iOS, Coca-Cola vs Pepsi, Walmart vs Target, Tesla vs New Jersey (ha!).

What does LOYALTY mean to us, in the EVENT and NON-PROFIT world?

Sure, you likely know your top sponsors, members, donors or exhibitors, because you interact with them weekly or maybe even daily in some cases.

But, do you know your most “loyal” attendees for your event? What about your longest individual members, long-time donors or sharers of your content online?

We recently went through an exercise with a client to look at the “loyalists” at the company level that attend their event (paid registrants) and what that made up in terms of revenue. The results were surprising…

Over the course of 5 years 10% of all companies were deemed event “loyalists”.  That group was responsible for over 60% of the registration revenue over that 5 year period.

That’s right 10% of the companies made up 60% of the registration revenue over 5 years and attended the event 5 consecutive years.


What’s the opportunity here? And how do we create a Loyalist Kingdom?

First, these companies represent the potential for the greatest continued growth and the lowest cost to “acquire”. Meaning you may not need to mail them a brochure or a “phone book” about advantages to becoming a donor or member. Perhaps, pick up the phone and thank them instead for being a loyalist”.

Secondly, how can you leverage your ”loyalists” to help promote your brand or initiatives?

Ask them why they are so loyal

Find out what they are talking about on social media

Ask them to contribute to a blog post or progressive committee function.

Finally, applaud and incentivize your loyalists”. Can you provide them some recognition for being so loyal in your marketing, online directories, etc? Is a loyalty program an option—reduced membership fees over time, reduced conference packages etc?

Embrace your loyalists”, because you aren’t the king of the castle…your customers….the LOYALISTS” are!



**Photo Credit Kakisky