Tradeshows, conferences, meetings, Gala’s, appreciation events, social, and incentive events all depend and rely on attendees. No matter what type of events you produce, we can all agree that your attendees and guests are the most important factor to the success of staging an event. Reflecting on the importance of your attendees, it is essential to show love and appreciation to them through all aspects of your event. Doing so contributes to sustainable practices that keep your events in business for years to come. Here are some points of guidance to influence the ways you can go about do that.
The very first thing a planner should think about and decided on is a key event objective. What is your objective with having this event? Reflect on your objective and link it back to the importance of your attendees; what are the key things you want an attendee to walk away with? Based on your outline, shape the activities and content to achieve your attendee objective. For example, if you want your attendees to learn new skills, include workshops and opportunities to interact with experts. When your delegates are able to achieve their objective in attending, it solidifies their investment into returning the following year and provides a great reputation for your brand.
Keeping your event objectives in mind, build your event to consider the wellness of your attendees. Doing this can support your audience satisfaction levels; keeping them energized, and set them up for a healthy and rejuvenating experience. If your event is a multi-day function be sure to include breaks, refreshments, and moments for reflection. A recent FMAV webinar featuring Tahira Endean noted the importance of incorporating wellness into tradeshows. “When attendees get tired and just have to walk past dozens of booths, they won’t want to stop and interact. Then, exhibitors will have fewer good conversations, leading to weak lead generation.” – Tahira Endean, Event producer, and industry speaker. Making sure delegates are provided opportunities to rest and absorb during the course of your event is a great way to show you care and appreciate your guests as humans and as clients.
Gifts are a great way to show affection and extract gratitude.
Select a gift that is appropriate for the audience. For example, incentive gifts should be higher in value as they are reward accomplishment, while a conference gift may be more practical such as a notebook or reusable water bottle. An event giveaway is an opportunity to give your attendees a memento to build on attendee loyalty. If you are having a seminar, a welcome bag or ‘conference survival kit’ may be a great benefit; it provides you the opportunity to include a gift of appreciation, conference materials, and a prop to extract excitement about a particular itinerary activity. Studies of gift-giving have proliferated in anthropology, social psychology, and sociology that suggest benefits of gift giving include relationship reinforcement, and increase motivation in satisfaction, obligation, and desire to reciprocate. As long as you are accurately suiting the gift to the theme of your event it is sure to elicit a positive reaction from your guests.
Events are produced in honour of attendees, without them, planners would not be able to create amazing experiences that allow people to connect. Showing love to your attendees should always be the top factor in the process. The greatest gift you can give your event attendees is value. Value can be delivered in various techniques that together build return on investment. If your attendees are able to walk away with exceeded expectations, then you have truly succeeded in showing love to your clients.