How To Make Events More Personal In An Increasingly Digital World
If you want your corporate event or conference to be successful, you must get the right people to attend while successfully motivating them to act afterwards in ways that fulfil the objectives of your event. This year, the event industry’s hottest trend is to make the event experience more personal. An Eventsforce survey found that making the event experience more personal for attendees is a top priority for 82% of senior event planners in 2016.
A one-size-fits-all approach to event planning is a sure way to create a dud in my experience. It’s enormously difficult to satisfy everyone with this approach unless you are delivering for an audience that is highly niche such as commercial video production.
In order to deliver an experience that is targeted on an individual basis, use captured data collected before, during, and after the event. Most likely, the data collection will start simply. At first, you’ll just collect the person’s name and email address. By collecting more data in the weeks leading up to the event and while it is occurring, you can create an even more personalised experience.
If you are an event organiser, you should consider the following three factors:
1. The Process Of Registration
If you include too many fields in the registration form with too many intrusive requests for intrusive details that takes too much time to complete, you’ll run into the problem of potential attendees deciding to forgo attending. On the other hand, you can find out more about your potential attendees by segmenting your email lists and finding out more about them a little at a time.
You’ll get a higher rate of completion if your registration form is very short and asks for just a few additional details. Of course, you’ll need to get the basics: Attendee’s name, their Company name, and their email address. However, you can personalise future communications if you identify a few targeted questions and add them as well. Perhaps you could ask them about their business role at work, what size company they work for, or which sector of the economy their business operates within. Another way to further personalise the experience is to have the specific seminars, workshops and talks that the delegates can register for.
With just this small amount of additional information, future content to their email inbox can be more personalised. As an example, once you know which role they fulfil at their place of employment, you can make suggestions about which talks or activities they would be likely to enjoy. In addition, once you know their schedule, you can help them stay on track by sending out reminders about the sessions they are scheduled to attend.
2. Social Media For Events
You can make the entire event more personal by using social media tools to bring your attendees into the swing of things. Delegates will be more likely to engage with each other if you include a simple plugin showing other registered attendees social media contact information. In fact, by showing this in advance on your website, you can even boost attendance. Knowing in advance that a contact will be there can be quite convenient for people trying to set up a meeting.
Another option ripe for exploration is to use a social login. This login speeds the registration process which benefits both the event organiser and the delegate. Event organisers can more readily pull data such as a person’s interests, preferences, place of work, email and other permission-based data.
To help your attendees get the most they can from your event, consider including social event apps. Delegates can use them to reach out to potential business partners or speakers or just let other attendees know that they have arrived at the event.
3. Event Apps, lLanyards, NFC Wristbands
In order to provide even more personalised content to you attendees, it can be useful to track their interactions and movements. A simple version of this includes having a wristband swiped whenever the attendee enters a specific venue. Knowing that they arrived at your event is one thing. But, knowing in addition that they made it to a seminar and stayed for the entire things will help you be even more personal when you communicate with them later.
Gamification is another tactic. Prizes or privileges can be won when an attendee swipes their wristband at a speech or a particular stand.
Event apps can allow even more personalization and be tailor-made for a variety of audiences such as VIPs, sponsors, attendees, exhibitors, and speakers. The most relevant information will just be a tap away when these are properly set up. Throughout the entire event, the organiser can consistently deliver reliable and personalised content.
Once everyone heads home, the personalization doesn’t have to end. It’s possible to continue to engage with the delegates once you have collected this insightful information. The end result of having all of this data is that interactions and communications can all be more highly personalised which yields better outcomes down the line.
If your event calendar regular includes your conference, you’ll get better and better at tailoring the experience on an individual basis each year.