The FLOAT Blog
Entry #1: FLOAT Friday - The Results - May 19, 2019
Well, our first ever registration-focused "FLOAT Friday" is officially in the history books. For the past several conventions, starting at the end of FLOAT 2013, we didn't really have an official registration launch like this. In most cases, we always took deposits from people at the end of the last convention to secure their low returning FLOAT price, then we'd start allowing people to sign up, then we'd add the classes in, THEN we'd add bonus classes in as they came around, etc, etc. So it was never a focused effort like this one was to get as much information as possible up online and in place before people started to sign up. Plus it was the first time since 2013 that we didn't allow the previous FLOATers to put deposits down, so this really was a significant move for us in quite some time.
So how did we do? Well when the dust settled, over the course of the "FLOAT Friday Weekend" we took in 154 registrations for the 2020 FLOAT Convention.
Now how does this compare to previous conventions? Well, it's tough to say. While it is true in the past we normally had a higher rate of sign-ups (for example, in 2015 we had almost 200 people signed up for the next convention) we rated them on a different scale.
You see, it USED to be that when FLOAT accepted deposits and partial payments, it would actually take place at the end of the previous convention in St. Louis. So we had a captive audience AND the energy and excitement of the event to increase the opportunity. So this year was the first time in a very long time we made our returning delegates actually wait to secure their spots, which would absolutely affect the numbers.
When it came to previous counts, we would include all of those people who had signed up at that time as "registered" for FLOAT. And since it only took between $50 and $100 to secure a spot (it varied from year to year), most people would eagerly throw their money down to guarantee themselves a discounted spot for the next convention.
The challenge came though when it was time to collect. In many cases, over half of the people who had put down deposits (which were 100% refundable at the time) would cancel and then request their money back. What made this even worse for us was that some of these folks would wait to cancel a few weeks before the convention, after we were already "sold out". This often meant a huge drop in attendance right before the convention, leaving us scrambling to fill the spaces at the last minute. This is just one of the reasons why we stopped accepting partial payments for FLOAT; even though it's easier on us from a paperwork standpoint, it does make it harder for people to sign up for FLOAT...adding to the challenge.
With the FLOAT 2019 convention, we stopped counting individuals with incomplete registration payments when it came down to enrollment, and as such we got a much better, more honest count on just who was coming to St. Louis. We have continued that practice here as we get ready for FLOAT 2020, so now instead of having 200 people "signed up" with mostly deposits only paid, we now have 154 people fully registered for the convention with their payments made in full.
So when you think about it that way, I think we're doing REALLY good so far.
I did get some feedback from people, however, who were a bit confused. Some of them messaged, afraid they would miss out on FLOAT as if it were going to sell out in a single day because they couldn't sign up on Friday. When I explained to them that there was no concern over that happening and they would still easily be able to register the following week, some people accused us of false advertising.
Allow me to clear up any confusion there. What we said in our advertisements was that "FLOAT will sell out" (as it has done now for three consecutive conventions). We did NOT say it was going to sell out on the first day. We just encouraged people to register sooner than later so they don't miss out on the opportunity to come....because if and when we sell out, we will NOT be allowing extra people to come. There's simply just not enough room at our hotel.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to register during our big "FLOAT Friday Weekend!" We appreciate your excitement and love and cannot wait for January to get here!