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Satisfying Event Delegates in 2020: What Your Attendees Want

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Are you holding a business event this year? You’re in good company – and a lot of it. Millions of business events happen every year, and that number is only increasing.

A bit of healthy competition is never a bad thing; it ensures we develop the best experiences for business event guests. But, with so many events to choose from, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd and develop a business event that is going to satisfy delegates.

So how do you create a successful business event in 2020?

Draw the Eye: What Do Attendees Come For?

Give the people what they want, and they will come. But what do they want? According to the International Association for Exhibitions and Events, three very distinct factors influence satisfaction at business events:

  • Education – 92% of attendees consider the information available at an event as critical to gaining their interest. If you want to satisfy delegates, you need to demonstrate the value your event has for industry learning.
  • Destination – 78% of people state destination is significant when it comes to the decision-making process of whether or not to attend an event. Investing time, money and resources into finding the best location for your event is essential when it comes to generating results.
  • Networking – 76% of delegates surveyed were drawn to events by networking opportunities. It’s not just what you offer at your event, but the chances attendees have to mingle with others in their industry. Make sure networking activities are a core part of your business event structure.

How to Drive Up Numbers

You’ve captured an audience by addressing their three biggest key areas of interest. But, not every single delegate who claims to have an interest in your event will actually attend. By acting on further initiatives to increase attendance rates, you can encourage higher footfall, presenting you with an opportunity to satisfy even more delegates.

  • Remove Travel Barriers – Getting attendees to your event shouldn’t be a problem. You want to make sure it’s easy for them to be a part of your event. Depending on the event type, there are many different opportunities available to secure reliable transportation. Arrange your event in a city with good transport links if possible. If not, you can manage private transportation options, such as chartered buses or planes. There may be other conditions that impact travel, including holidays or seasonality. Make sure you stage your event at a suitable time for your industry.
  • Guarantee Security – Security remains a concern for event attendees, especially at large public gatherings. Commitment to security, and advertisement of measures taken, is a surprisingly powerful way to ensure you capture a wide audience.
  • Market Recreation and Leisure – It’s not uncommon for delegates to mix business and pleasure when it comes to business events. They’ll often travel for the event and then stay for a holiday or leisure time. This is when you can really use the destination to your advantage. Market the appealing factors of the local area and suggest how delegates can enjoy themselves during downtime. Promoting opportunities for recreation and leisure can be a great way to gain sponsorships and partners for your event as well.

Winning Your Audience: What Do You Do Now You’ve Got Them? 

You’ve hit the trifecta of attendee desires. You’ve worked hard to win over those who weren’t swayed by the raw benefits of your business event. But is there anything else you can do to really make sure your delegates leave satisfied?

  • Make It Simple – Stress and pain-free events are the kinds that people like. Make things easy for attendees and they’ll be in a better mindset to enjoy the experience and take in the information on offer. Craft a clear schedule for them to follow and make moving around your venue simple. The last thing you want is people getting lost or not knowing what to do. Keep things tight, keep them clean, and you’ll reap the rewards.
  • Offer Personalisation – Attendees are keen to have a say in how events are run, as it allows them to experience something unique and suited to them. If you work with confirmed attendees before the date of the event to personalise their time, you can provide something that captivates and engages. The mistake with personalisation is waiting until the day to see what people want. If you can’t draw good ideas from the crowd, you may end up with nothing worthwhile to offer. All successful business events need structure – even if it centres around what the delegates want.
  • Introduce Technology – Technology is an important factor in event engagement. It can support direct hands-on involvement in event activities and disseminate information in new and interesting ways to intrigue guests. Options for using technology include creating eye-catching displays or exhibits though lighting and visual displays, presenting ideas and products using VR or AR technology, and developing a custom event app that can support goals for networking and scheduling.
  • Use Clever Event Production – Event production involves everything from business event styling and aesthetic to message and branding. It can cover every aspect of your business event, right through from the chairs used to the people on stage. Careful consideration of event production can help you develop your event, and elevate it from a standard corporate conference to a thrilling and exciting experience that impresses guests and leaves a lasting impression. High event production values and low event product values are similar in comparison to a budget indie-film and a real blockbuster. A small movie project may have a message to offer, but it can’t be argued that it will pack the same punch as a Hollywood hit.

Crafting and developing a successful business event requires a lot of moving pieces. If you’ve got the budget for it, it’s recommended you work with experts in event management. Tailored support can ensure you get the results you are looking for.

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