Conference Registration Pricing


Conferences deliver educational and professional value, but generating ROI is another key objective. To do that, it is important to ensure that pricing is high enough to generate revenue without becoming a barrier to registration.

Strategic pricing can be complex, so at Congrex we have created a white paper where we explain the best approaches and strategies to conference pricing. In this post we will briefly outline the contents of that paper, which you can download here.


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Setting the prices of conference registration can be a difficult task. Too high and participants won’t be willing to pay. Too low and your conference might lose money. Having the correct pricing strategy for registration is one of the most critical factors for ensuring the success of a conference.


The following factors can help organisers calculate conference registration fees:

  1. The audience.
  2. Event costs.
  3. Event format.
  4. Previous years’ pricing.
  5. Price of similar events.
  6. Location, in the case of in-person events.
  7. Income from sponsors or exhibitors.
  8. The event’s perceived value.


Retail approach

This comes in handy when participant numbers are known, predictable, or guaranteed. Fees are calculated as follows:

Fixed costs + Variable costs

Lowest attendance estimate + Profit margin

Value-based approach

This requires knowing the perceived value of an event, usually by gathering feedback from previous years’ attendees. Perceived value serves as a guideline to set the actual price, which should be somewhere between that figure and the event’s actual costs.

Competitive pricing approach

This entails finding the average event registration fee for events of a similar nature, size, and duration, and weighing it against your organising costs.

RELATED: The Role of the Professional Conference Organiser (Core PCO) [2021 updated version]


The goal of strategic pricing is to incentivize registrations as early in the process as possible. This can guarantee substantial income from registrations early on and remove uncertainty as the event date gets closer.

Variable pricing along a time continuum

This strategy involves offering early bird pricing at a discounted rate months before the event and for a limited period of time.

Limited number of discounted tickets

This strategy banks on the “fear of missing out” factor, which can act as a driving force to click on the registration button. Where possible, it is useful to add a visible countdown display or to show how many tickets are left.

Flash sales

This is a well-know retail sales technique that can work for conferences too. Offering a special price on a specific date can help get the bulk of registrations early in the process.

RELATED: 10 Actionable Steps for Organising a Science Conference


The remainder of the white paper discusses the importance of creating tiered pricing by relying of registration categories. Price tiers vary depending on whether the attendee is a student, member of the organising or sponsoring association, a professional from a low-income country, or for groups.

We also examine how to create different pricing tiers by increasing the perceived value of the event. Among other things, we look at bundled pricing, add-ons, on-demand rates, and pay-per-view strategies.

Lastly, the white paper highlights the benefits of monitoring registration sales so that strategies can be adapted and reach your desired ROI.

To find out more about strategic conference pricing, we encourage you to download our white paper “How To Price Registration


Congrex Switzerland is an internationally operating agency delivering customised solutions. This encompasses the overall organisation of conferences and meetings, including the management of hotel rooms and strategic consultancy. Annually Congrex Switzerland organises approximately 45 events with over 73’000 delegates. Amongst our clients are international associations, governmental organisations and corporations.

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