Meetings

Daily Buzz: What Attendees Want From Meetings

By / Aug 6, 2019 (Alife/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Want to boost attendance numbers at your next conference? Cater the experience to your audience. Also: what to do when someone says membership costs are too high.

Just as every meeting has its own set of priorities and expectations, so does every attendee. Claire Hoffman from BizBash outlines the elements that rise to the top of guests’ wish lists:

Instagrammable moments. Attendees want to show off their event experience, which means planners need to design interactive, decorative setups worth capturing. “All photo ops should clearly display the official hashtag and company handles,” Hoffman says. “Attendees want to use these because it also increases ‘likes’ for them, but don’t want to go searching for the right information to include.”

Thoughtful decor. Pretty meeting design will please the eyes, but effective event decor should stimulate all of the senses, even evoking an emotional connection to guests’ surroundings. Get creative, and work with your tech partners as well. “When people can interact with their environment and the event design, that activates their five senses—which makes for a memorable moment and, of course, a desire to share photos and videos,” Hoffman says.

New, unexpected experiences. Offering the same, or very similar, agenda year to year will set a conference up for failure before it even starts. Guests want variety. For annual meetings in particular, the focus should be on “What can we do differently this year?” rather than “This is the way we’ve always done it.” Look to attendee feedback from last year’s event for inspiration on where to improve.

Say No to Membership Discounts

“I can’t afford your membership.” It’s a common phrase for any membership organization, and one that can be hard to find an alternative for. But don’t give in and offer a discount, say The Membership Guys.

“You’re running a business, not a Groupon mill. Avoid the temptation to change your prices or offer an exclusive deal just so you can convince one person to join your site,” they say. “A better alternative to offering a discount is to offer a week or 14-day free trial for people who genuinely want to know if your membership is something that they’ll get true value from.”

Other Links of Note

When it comes to data, social media managers are the most valuable team members, says the Buffer blog.

Consider yourself a control freak? Inc. explains how to reframe control into processes that keep your team moving in the right direction.

Influencers do more than market your organization—they can improve change management initiatives as well, says CMSWire.

Sophia Conforti

Sophia Conforti is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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