Event planners and marketers know all the moving parts that go into putting on a successful event. From event design to content development to securing speakers and sponsors, it’s easy to lose sight of what will make a truly standout event: what the audience wants. When you put your focus on your attendees’ needs and wants, all other decisions and challenges become that much easier to address.
So how do you make sure you’re focusing on your audience? Keep reading for a few tips on how you can keep your audience coming back (and grow your events at the same time).
Know your audience
It takes time, research, and hard work to truly understand your target audience. But it’s worth it. When you know the pain points, likes, and needs of your prospective attendees, you can tailor everything about your event around that. Attendees will feel like your brand really understands them and get real value out of attending your event. That’s how you keep people coming back.
For example, in 2016 Millennials became the largest segment in the U.S. labor force, which means they’re also the largest pool of potential event attendees. So let’s find out what they want. The post-9/11 world has been challenging and jobs aren’t guaranteed, which has meant that events became a professional development pipeline for Millenials. This translates into an emphasis on experiences over things. Millennials are also more technologically savvy, more willing to travel, and value in-person meetings over virtual ones. Armed with this information you can create an in-person event with high-level industry players in a far-flung location to meet this audience’s needs.
There are many tools and resources out there to help you gather information on your desired audience including your business’s own website, apps, and other technology. With the InGo platform, you can empower your current audiences to help you find (and invite) like-minded individuals who will benefit from your events.
Build a customizable, flexible agenda
Gone are the days of a structured event agenda where attendees stay in one place and a parade of speakers comes onto the stage. Today, attendees expect fluid agendas with different options that appeal to different interests and preferences. After all, we’ve all become used to personalized choices in everyday life – from what we watch to what we eat – and that expectation carries over to events, too.
So what does this look like? Consider crowdsourcing the agenda – even in real time – to create a compelling and interesting agenda. This may not be possible for every event so also consider offering different rooms and locations for different speakers and offering a variety of breakout topics for attendees to choose from. When attendees are genuinely interested in the content, you create more energy and better engagement. And those are key elements to a growing, successful event.
Design a meaningful experience
The demands on people’s time are at an all-time high, which means people they’re more discerning than ever about what they say “yes” to. People are less willing to meet just for the sake of meeting. They want to spend their time on something meaningful. This means focusing more on creating experiences, not just putting on an event. Attendees are looking for fresh event concepts and meetings with meaning, innovation, and insight. They don’t want to sit in a ballroom and listen to a long lineup of speakers.
You can think of entertaining elements such as live music performances and unexpected networking spaces but also focus on providing transformative and meaningful content. Think of ways to connect your event to topical industry events or the world at large to give your event a more purposeful intent. This will leave your attendees thinking about your event long after it’s over, and telling their networks all about it.
Leverage the power of technology
We live in an incredible age of innovation and technology, the likes of which haven’t been seen before. So take advantage and let technology help you create outstanding events. Event technology is evolving as fast as the industry itself. In fact, studies show using event technology can decrease costs by up to 30%. These tools can help event planners manage attendees better, make connections among event-goers, track ROI, and more.
At InGo, we believe that your speakers, sponsors, and attendees can be your best marketers, which is why our technology enables them to easily invite attendees to your next event. Your current event attendees know dozens of other industry contacts who should be attending your event, and with one social media post (powered by InGo) they can influence them to attend your event. After all, 92% of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family more than advertising, and 74% of consumers identify word of mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decisions. Leveraging a platform like InGo allows you to take advantage of the power of word-of-mouth to grow your events.
By now you’ve figured out that the key to growing your events is focusing on your audience. From creating custom agendas, to leveraging technology like InGo, to designing meaningful experiences, you can create an event that will connect with and engage your audience (and keep them coming back).
If you’re looking for the right technology to help you skyrocket your attendance, reach out to InGo. We’re the #1 tool for community referral marketing and can help you connect current attendees and acquire new ones.