Five Things Attendees REALLY Want From Your Event

Jun 14, 2016 7:00:00 AM Shannon DeSouza Insider

(And how to give it to them!)


Your prospective attendees are sophisticated, demanding and maybe even a little impatient sometimes. They expect a highly customized, unique experience that takes into account not only their professional goals but their health and wellness needs.  Here are five ways to give your guests what they want at your next event.

1.     A Personalized Experience

Attendees expect a customizable schedule--one that allows them to learn in unique ways  and achieve their specific goals with flexible timing (with adaptable event tech to support). They also crave active participation that’s inclusive without putting too much pressure on them (such as a welcome event to kick off the program).  And don’t forget to take your attendees’ health and wellness needs into account. Dietary options, exercise opt-ins and meditation rooms are all great additions to help everyone stay energized and ready to rock.

2.     Relevant Education

Do the work to understand your attendees’ wants and needs by gathering data during your program design phase. This will allow you to provide content that is intriguing and relevant without getting sidetracked by flashy celebrity or flavour-of-the-month speakers. Those tactics might bump registration but, without the right context, won’t boost satisfaction. Having the right research in your back pocket means you can create innovative educational activities that help boost retention and get attendees thinking outside of the box (with storytelling, case studies and experiments, as an example).

3.     Facilitated Networking

Build in networking with parameters that help promote inclusivity and fun. Networking opportunities are an important part of events, but can also be stressful for many. In educational sessions, you can do this by getting people to stand up and introduce themselves to the closest person they know the least. In the right environment, you can create a game around networking: give thought-provoking questions attached to name badges, or get attendees to go on a scavenger hunt to find certain types of people with a prize incentive.

4.     Seamless Logistics

Attendees expect to have a professional, smooth event experience. Make sure they don’t have to stress or worry about where or what they are doing next during their program. Your event website, app, signage and staff are your arsenal to make sure everyone is on the same page and understands what is expected of them. But just be sure  that your attendees do not get decision fatigue from too many options. Providing relevant content is key!

5.     Wow Factor

The ultimate way to create the wow factor is to give attendees something they can’t get anywhere else; a truly unique experience (worth sharing!) that stretches the story of your event past the scheduled programming.  Exceed your attendee’s expectations by under-promising and over-delivering with giveaways, added production value, or unique far-out venues.  Or use the surprise-and-delight method with fun, impromptu entertainment (like Improv Everywhere’s Beer the Musical), sponsorship activations, or surprise guest speakers.

When it comes right down to it, if you know your audience well enough you can give them a new and exciting experience that meets all of their expectations and keeps them coming back again and again. Think about all of the important components that make up your program (such as learning, networking, celebrating and more) during the design phase. Then imagine how each of them can be tweaked or elevated for an exciting, transformational experience for every person there.


What was something exceptional you did for your attendees to give them a truly unique experience? Tweet your story to us @attendease!
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About Attendease

Attendease is the event management platform trusted by teams running some of the world’s biggest, most exciting, design-forward and tech-advanced events. At Attendease, we believe that having the most effective events as part of an overall digital marketing strategy is all about giving organizations the right code, design and access to innovations. With ultimate flexibility in design and integrations, the Attendease powerful platform helps teams focus on developing amazing events that grow great companies. For more information, visit www.attendease.com.