When planners put on a successful event, the attendees network, stay up to date on important topics, and have some fun—and the host organization generates more revenue. The challenge is that what makes for a successful event is constantly evolving.
Planners who are aware of emerging trends can make better sense of the shifting landscape and put themselves at an advantage to boost attendance, ultimately helping organizations achieve revenue goals. Here are four ways to do that.
Attach Leisure Opportunities to the Event
Attendees might be budget-conscious right now, but they’re still splurging on leisure travel. Business travel, on the other hand, has been slower to return to pre-pandemic levels. To encourage association members to travel to an event, play up the leisure angles. Consider booking an appealing destination and negotiating flexible room packages to allow longer stays.
The American Farm Bureau Federation makes this a regular practice, scheduling its annual convention in warmer climates in early January, when most farmers and ranchers are not working in their fields.
“Our attendees turn it into a vacation,” said John Hawkins, managing director of conventions and operations at the Farm Bureau. “We’ve had some destinations where our first room will check in before the new year, and our last room sometimes won’t check out till February.”
Find out what makes a destination special and promote that to attendees. For example, Puerto Rico has beautiful beaches, but so do many spots in the U.S. “Puerto Rico has additional things to put on the table, like our culture. That’s something that makes the destination unique. The gastronomy. The hospitality,” said Mariela Vallines, executive director of the Puerto Rico Convention District Authority. “You need to put those values on the table and complement the main need of a business trip with things they might not find anywhere else.”