Planning an event or conference is all about you and your company, right? Wrong! Making sure the attendee is happy and satisfied is your main goal, and you need to plan the whole event around that fact. If your guests aren’t enjoying the event, they won’t learn anything, and they surely won’t be loyal to your company. What’s the point of a conference if it doesn’t benefit your guests?
So, how do you plan for the attendee? Think about your favorite parts of past conferences you ran or attended. What made you feel like the planner really put the guests first while planning? Were there moments where you said, “Oh wow this was a great idea!”? Add those into your next event. If you can’t think of any, here are 4 to get you started.
- Make sure everyone involved is passionate and knowledgable. When choosing employees and volunteers to help with this conference, there should be a few deciding factors. First, are they truly passionate about the work being done? If not, they might still be great people, but not the right fit for this event. Second, make sure they are knowledgable about the whole event, company, speaker, venue, etc. Having passionate and knowledgable workers will help each attendee feel more welcome and much happier because it will be oh so easy for them, and they’ll respect you as a company knowing you hired qualified people as your staff and volunteers.
- Have discounts, a loyalty program, raffles, etc. Who doesn’t love a random gift of discount? Most conferences I’ve been do have some kind of raffle or free giveaway during breaks or at the end of the conference, and it’s just a silly way to get everyone excited! You can also have a loyalty program or discounts for repeat customers/attendees and give them 20% off their ticket, half price for a friend, a special name tag that shows they’re a repeat customer, or even a free meal if they attend. Get creative with how you can give back to your guests and they’ll feel extra appreciated.
- Have kids friendly activities. If this is a family conference, you must make sure the children have something to do. Are the speakers kid friendly? If not, hire a few volunteers to plan fun kids activities, or even hire a speaker specifically for the kids. If they are, make sure to hand out crayons and paper to these kids, and tell the parents in advance where to go if their children need a break.
- Make sure it’s easy for them. Give them all the information up front. Give them to the point emails about dates, times, and locations, and separate emails with venue amenities, suggested packing ideas, and even their food options. Your attendees will appreciate everything you do for them that seems “out of the way” or “extra.” Don’t email too often or give too much information, because then you’ll seem spammy or downright annoying. Give them as much information as you would want if you were attending as a guest. Remember, put yourself in their shoes, and you will do great!
Do you have any other suggestions for making attendees happy at an event?