The overall success of an event depends on many working parts. But perhaps the biggest indicator of a successful event can be measured by the attendees’ experience. While you can easily gauge how attendees feel about your event, the trouble lies in ensuring the experience is actually a positive one. The key to creating a good attendee experience is attendee management.
Below are 4 secrets to better attendee management:
1. Keep attendees informed at all stages
Events take a lot of time and preparation both for the planners and attendees. From mapping out which exhibitor booths they wish to visit to pre-registering for their desired sessions, attendees want to plan ahead for the event.
It’s important to keep attendees in the loop before, during and after the event. Before the event, send emails to all attendees letting them know what to expect at the event. Have an event app? Send login instructions to all attendees and let them know the app is where they can find everything relating to the event. During the event, periodically send reminders and updates through the app. This can be information about venue changes, schedule updates and more. After the event, promote your next one! You can also share funny photos or a video recap of the conference with attendees.
2. Understand your attendees’ needs
Attendee management is about addressing their needs. To better address attendees’ needs, you have to understand their needs. A big part of being able to do this is knowing who your attendees are.
For example, if you’re hosting a digital marketing conference for marketing professionals, your attendees are likely to be tech-savvy. Given this, offering the latest tech at your conference is a must. Incorporating mobile devices, live polling, like streaming and most importantly, a good Wi-Fi connection, is a good way to answer the needs of this audience. If your event is in a more remote location that many attendees need to travel to, arranging shuttles to and from the airports and hotels to your event venue is needed.
These unique attendee needs can only be addressed if you know and understand your audience.
3. Provide an inclusive food menu
It doesn’t matter how amazing the speakers and sessions were at your event, if the food sucked – that’s what people will remember. The reality is, food plays a huge role in attendee management. It isn’t enough to offer vegetarian options in addition to the normal spread. Other dietary needs and restrictions need to be taken into consideration to offer the most inclusive menu possible.
The best way to understand dietary needs is with a short survey sent via email or through your event app. This will allow you to plan the menu ahead and accordingly.
4. Keep attendees engaged from start to finish
An important part of attendee management is keeping your attendees engaged, not only during the event, but before and after as well.
Many attendees fly in from out of town to attend big events or conferences. This means that the majority of attendees aren’t familiar with the area. You can use this to your benefit by organizing activities for attendees during their free time. Having fun activities, meetups, pub crawls, site seeing groups and post-event parties is a great way to keep the attendees busy and engaged throughout the entire course of your event.
Tip: Using the ‘City Guide’ feature on your event app, you can share all information relating to any pre- or post-event activities in one central location so attendees can stay informed and engaged.
Better attendee management is all about knowing and understanding your attendees. From there, it’s easier to make informed decisions that will make the overall attendee experience a more positive one.
Are you an experience event prof? We want to hear your tips for better attendee management. Comment below or tweet us @QuickMobile!