Tips for Creating The Best Attendee Experience

February 8, 2019 Erica Maurer

So, what makes for a great attendee experience?

A great attendee experience begins prior to the start of the event. It’s all about delivering a seamless, tailored event experience. Moreover, it’s about collecting information about attendees that can be used later on to customize their experience and gain better insight. You can determine the level of engagement by convenience, appointment scheduling, attendee data capture, networking, and personalization. We’ll start off with diving into convenience.

Make the Event as Convenient as Possible

You want to structure an event experience to be seamless and engaging for all of your attendees. Events can be stressful. Attendees must travel, take time away from the office, and visit an unfamiliar area to go to your event. Make it simple. In an ideal world, you’ll tailor it to where the attendee won’t have to worry about anything when they arrive. When the experience is seamless, they’ll focus more on the event itself. When you deliver a seamless experience onsite, you’re helping your organization construct a successful, lucrative meeting and event program. Ultimately, this fruitful program will justify the cost of the event in their budget.

How to Succeed

  • Technology enhances and supports the entire attendee experience from the time they check-in, to the time they depart.
  • Use on-demand badge printing.
  • Use event apps to boost engagement and communication.

Appointment Scheduling

Considering the level of investment most event programs are, once your staff is onsite, each appointment will count. Amazingly, many organizations still leave the appointment setting to luck, hoping that the right contacts will be made amid the chaos that is the show floor. Progressively, event professionals are positioning appointment setting tools that will provide your team with visibility into who’s attending, see everyone’s availability, and book meetings. In many cases, these tools will extend across all of the meetings you go to.

How to Succeed

  • Communication and scheduling tools are combined with onsite lead capturing tools.
  • Have an easy-to-use appointment setting tool.
  • Incentivize attendees to book appointments.

Attendee Data Capture

Your attendees are voicing their interests in the information they leave behind. Are you actually listening? From data provided throughout the registration process to the workshops attended and the booths they visit there is endless information obtainable to you. When you capture this information, you’re accomplishing many crucial points. First, your facilitating your sales and marketing team with more applicable, targeted opportunities for the follow-up phase. Secondly, it will help you expand your future events. Your ability to capture an attendees’ “physical footprint,” or their onsite actions, has become vital to the success of events.

How to Succeed

  • Capture the attendee’s journey in digital form and analyze data and buying indicators. This data should include:
    • Booth visits
    • Sessions attended
    • Ratings
    • And more!

Networking

Events are mainly about the networking practice. What other way is there for attendees to make crucial connections? Structure networking opportunities into your attendee experience. Provide attendees the opportunity to network with key people. You can utilize mobile event apps to schedule meetings that matter. Square away time for them to make crucial connections. Finally, give them tools they’ll need to identify key individuals they should connect with. Networking with industry pros and like-minded individuals is the main reason people attend your events. You must schedule time for them to create new connections. Additionally, you should deliver the tools that’ll let them identify the right people to make a connection with.

How to Succeed

  • Use a recommendation engine to enable extremely relevant introductions.
  • Use a mobile event app to store attendee profiles and offer chat functionality.
  • Construct specific networking sessions based on their interests.

Personalization

Attendees are gradually demanding more tailored event experiences. No one wants the same cookie cutter experience. These days, there’s a plethora of event options to pick from. More notably, their budgets are still restricted. The expectancy for personal relevance has increased drastically. You have to merge the opportunity to connect people to content that is relevant to them professionally. Also, the event should offer growth opportunities and incomparable moments. Through personalization, you’re positioning your event to be the “must-attend” event of the year.

How to Succeed

  • Have active, real-time agenda recommendations for attendees based on their interests.
  • Personalize your email marketing campaigns by using their first and/or last names.

Conclusion

Attendee experience is one of but not the only component that develops a successful event program, however, it is a crucial component. Attendees are the ones who make the event. Provide them with the attention they merit. Finally, use effective tools. Event technology can make personalization and engagement quite easy. Think about the event from the attendee’s viewpoint because it will allow you to design an excellent attendee experience and take your event to the next level.

Want to know how to create an excellent events program? Come listen to some advice from our keynote speakers at the 2019 Event Planner Expo. Or, read up on How to Measure Engagement at Corporate Events.

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