Here are 5 creative ways to potentially price courses/programs:
1. The Radiohead model - "pay if you want." Popular band Radiohead offered a new album download option with customers deciding what to pay. Statistics show around 2/3 didn't pay, the rest did. And Radiohead made more profit than if they had gone a traditional route. Could we do that with courses? Give the real price for reference, and tell attendees they can pay what and if they want.
2. Free unless no show, then cost. Free courses often have problem of a much larger volume of no-shows than paid programs. An option, attendees agree to pay if they cancel the last day or don't show up (such as $25). Also puts idea of value in minds of students who could have that free means might not have the same value as paid.
3. The escalating fee - with first seats exceedingly cheap. If 200 seats available, could have first sign ups pay low price (say $1) and it increase up to the final amount ($200) before it sells out. Might encourage early sign-up and heighten interest. Isn't this why shoppers stand in line outside stores for the first 10 of something the day after Thanksgiving? (Thanks to Sue Pelletier for mentioning Seth Godin post with this idea.)
4. When membership meeting and course combined, course is free only if attend low-cost membership meeting too. If skip meeting, then course much more expensive than meeting/course combo (e.g., $10 lunch/course free, or course only is $25). If attending meeting only don't get additional discount.
5. Bring a friend free. Someone signs up and pays, they can bring a friend free. Like companion fares on airlines, or guest passes at gyms.
Early registration discounts, group discounts, member/non-member, one fee for any courses all year more familiar options. Anyone doing something else creative with pricing to drive course or meeting attendance?