Recent surveys underscore the need for conference planners to raise their game with content and experiences to replace audiences lost to pandemic-driven behavior changes and economic headwinds.
In this post we’ll review the 7 kinds of content most attendees will travel to get.
#1) Workshops and hands-on training
Skills are easier to learn in person, with expert instruction and individualized feedback. Practicing with other aspirants improves outcomes. Offering rich tutelage and in depth instruction the day before the full conference starts, or as a track during the full conference often makes the difference between attendance in person or not.
#2) Industry deliberating bodies and congresses
Delegates have a responsibility to represent their region, stay abreast of pivotal issues, and obtain favorable policy outcomes. These elevated stakes mean they’re more likely to come in person, to fulfill their role.
#3) Speed dating with VIP’s
Whether to advance commerce, knowledge, or influence, attendees want access to the most informed and influential people in their area of interest. VIP’s for their part are seeking authentic insights from practitioners in the field. Brief, structured face-to-face conversations give both parties an opportunity to make connections, explore areas for further follow up, and spin the wheel of fortune a few times.
#4) Unique experiences
If someone is finagling budget, getting on a plane, staying in a hotel and disrupting their routine, it helps to offer them novelty they can’t usually get. Whether it’s a danceathon with clever theme, a private tour of a local landmark, a maze and celebrity guest at a welcome gala, or one surprise after another for the closing keynote, make it distinct and memorable. It will give you good word of mouth all year, and more repeat attendees anticipating your next unique experience creation.
#5) Multiple vendor meetings
People who want to make a big decision often value being able to meet with their short list of options in quick succession. It makes for better comparing and contrasting. It combines trips, facilitates bidding wars, and accelerates the decision process. If your event attracts the leading vendors in a space, that is a meaningful draw for some earnest business people.
#6) Career development and networking
People attend events to expand the professional possibilities in their lives. Whether they hope the skills and wisdom of more experienced professionals will rub off, or to get to know someone who knows a lot of someones, events can be a great place to do that. If you design your event to support many opportunities and formats to let attendees meet relevant professionals, you’re supporting what is often a crucial, if unsaid, objective they are traveling to obtain.
#7) Exclusive insider info
Some attendees place a premium on learning what’s really going on. They may want to be among the first to recognize a new development or bend in the road. They’re after insight into the winning formula that’s not widely shared. They hope that by going to the source, a concentration of the leading practitioners and thinkers, they will get an earlier, deeper understanding of matters they care about. If you assemble the right ingredients and promote your event as a gathering of insiders, you may appeal to these types of prospective attendees.
One of the ways to increase the odds of exposing your attendees to emerging trends and practices is to cast a global net for the best experts. Of course, that only works if your audience can understand your speakers. Wordly can help remove the language barriers that otherwise make silos out of different regions.