Creating an unforgettable attendee experience is a key factor to having a successful event. The attendee experience is more than just if they enjoyed the keynote speaker or how much fun they had at the closing reception, it includes everything from the moment they find out about your event to even after the last session is over.
Here are some things to consider before, during, and after the event to be sure you are creating an attendee experience they won’t soon forget.
Before the event
Like we mentioned before, the attendee experience begins from the moment they find out about your event. It is important to consider how to make a good impression before they arrive and get them excited about what’s to come.
Did you know that 88% of consumers research a product or item online before deciding to make a purchase? This means that your potential attendees are looking to your event website for reasons why they should say yes and register. Your event website is the best tool you can use to demonstrate the value of attending to potential registrants and to current attendees.
Your event website can help educate your attendees not only about the basic event information, but also can help explain how your event will benefit them directly. Add customized content to each attendee and greet them by name when they log into your site. A personal greeting is not soon forgotten!
Testimonial videos from past attendees talking about the great experience they had can be shared on your website to help build excitement for what’s to come at this year’s event.
In addition to your event’s website, social media is another great tool that you can use to create a buzz about your event that your attendees will want to be a part of. You can use social media to tease fun activities that they won’t want to miss or shout out attendees by name on your social page to make a more personal connection with them.
During the event
Once your attendees arrive at your event, the race is on to create a memorable experience for each person. While this can be a challenge, it is not impossible to achieve.
It’s standard for your event to have a long list of sessions to educate attendees about different topics. Put a spin on the sessions at your event and make them more interactive and less like a lecture. Attendees want to get involved and feel more directly included in your event. By offering sessions that they can truly interact with, their experience is more meaningful and likely something they won’t forget.
Instead of the typical conference bag, wow your attendees with something unexpected and hand out gifts. Redirect the budget you would use for bags given to each attendee and purchase a few larger gift items to use as giveaways throughout your event. For example, surprise the 100th person to check-in with an Amazon Echo or hold a pop-up trivia contest on the exhibit floor. Attendees will remember these gifts as an exciting aspect of your event and will have fun participating.
Creating opportunities for attendees to have meaningful experiences at your event will help them to feel fulfilled. Try incorporating unique ideas like:
- A book signing with the keynote speaker
- a chance to “meet the experts”
- Or an unique reception experience (think sparklers, live music and more!)
These activities will give your attendees something they can look back on fondly and something to look forward to at future events.
After the event
The event is over and your attendees are (hopefully) sharing their unforgettable experience they had at your event. That doesn’t quite mean it’s time to sit back and relax as the event organizer. You want to be sure to continue to engage with your attendees and make them feel connected to your event. Help solidify the attendee’s positive experience by providing educational or session material after the event. Also send out a picture gallery to attendees with built in social sharing buttons. This way they can share the memory with others and always have a record of it on their personal social profiles. This could be a PDF of slides from a session they attended or an eBook with more resources on a topic they were interested in. You can help attendees feel included by sending a post-event survey to gain feedback from about their experience and what ideas they may have for next year.
Planning an event that leave attendees with an unforgettable experience can help improve future event growth and increase your credibility. Keep these ideas in mind to help provide an attendee experience that will blow everyone away.
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