As we spring into the warmer months (here in the Northern Hemisphere at least) it’s time to start thinking about ways we can improve the event experience for attendees.
Here’s five ways you can create a great first impression with new attendees, deepen the relationship with returning ones, and leave them all with a positive experience:
1. Share the Past
Give new attendees an idea of what they can expect from event sessions through blog posts or videos that highlight past keynotes and other well-received presentations. This is also a terrific tool for promoting returning speakers. New speakers may also have video content from presentations they’ve given elsewhere they can share with you to post online. If this is your first event and don’t have any previous content, see if your speakers can put together a quick vlog post about the topics they’re presenting at your event to build anticipation and get conversations started. Speaking of conversations…
2. Help Make Connections
Event hashtags are important, so make sure you’ve got at least one or a couple of different official ones for your event listed in any marketing materials, both printed and electronic, and don’t forget to incorporate them into the badge design! When it comes to an event app, look for functionality that allows for messaging and posting on discussion boards, so that conversations can begin prior to the event, carry on over its duration and continue afterwards.
3. Fitness and Wellbeing
Here’s another way to help your attendees connect offline at your event. Consider scheduling optional morning workout or yoga sessions before the actual start time of your event each day. Alternatively, schedule a different exercise activity each day to give a bit of variety to your guests – followed by a breakfast with healthy food options.
4. Make it Relatable
Continuing the topic of networking, look to group attendees based on geography, job title and so forth either through an integration that allows your event app to make networking recommendations based on areas of commonality – such as job title, home city, etc. or look to have networking drinks for various local chapters, industry roles, etc. at various hotel bars/venues near your main event site.
5. Leave an Impression
Cap your event on with a fun closing activity, formal gala, inspiring speech or even just a casual lunch, making sure to thank your attendees for coming (and give a shout out to those who helped organize and make your event a successful one). Now, here’s the kicker – for those attendees staying at your event hotels, slip a thank-you note under their doors with the dates of next year’s event along with a promo code incentivizing early registration.