A new report from the event software firm Cvent finds that, with the wide array of options at a given meeting, attendees would benefit from a personalized lay of the land.
Are your attendees just guessing what they might want to do at a given meeting—or are they getting a little higher-level help from your association?
Well, according to Cvent, which collaborated with Edelman on a recent study, attendees would love assistance in making the most of the event. With that in mind, the key word in the latest edition of the “Inside the Mind of Event Attendees” report is “recommendation.”
The report [PDF], which surveyed eventgoers in the U.S., U.K., and Germany, found that American eventgoers in particular were looking for recommendations of different types:
- 64 percent wanted session recommendations based on interests and past events
- 62 percent wanted networking recommendations from the event
- 59 percent wanted detailed schedules for the event created ahead of time
- 59 percent wanted recommendations for other events to attend
- 47 percent wanted a professional concierge service to help lead them through the event from start to finish
The preferences among American respondents far outpaced those for respondents in the two other focus countries.
Currently, the decision-making process for choosing a session, according to the report, tends to lean primarily on the description of the session (77 percent among U.S. attendees) and who the speaker is (56 percent). Recommendations only drive attendance to a specific session 41 percent of the time.
The report notes that millennials are looking to increase the number of events they attend next year but say the paralysis of choice remains a challenge.
“That said, they do find the overall event experience significantly more stressful, especially having to network with people they don’t know,” the report states. “They are leaning on events to provide more recommendations that are personalized to their needs, from which sessions to attend to who they should connect with.”
Millennials generally rely on recommendations from the event (48 percent) at a higher rate than Generation Xers (41 percent) and baby boomers (35 percent), and they are most interested in the benefits of personalization on the whole.
Other topics that the report focuses on include attendee stressors (with millennials generally more stressed out than other age groups) and the perks of event apps.
“Our results show that technology is shaping the future of events, with mobile event apps and onsite technology having an extremely positive impact on the attendee experience,” Cvent Chief Marketing Officer Patrick Smith said in a news release.