Your entire year has been leading up to this one day. The sun is shining. The tables are set. People are flowing through the doors. The key to any great conference is not only a smooth event, but, ultimately, the end experience of the attendees. Did everyone enjoy themselves? Will they return next year? At Bizzabo, we’ve seen many ways event organizers give attendees more bang for their buck. Your guests are putting their time, money and energy into attending your event, so follow these five tips to maximize the ROI.
1. Tech out your event.
Technology should be a focal point for any event organizer. Using networking platforms or event apps and implementing a hashtag are easy ways to create a community that communicates with you, as well as each other—before, during and after the event.
2. Keep your ear to the ground.
Engage directly with your crowd. Create a portal for direct communication with your attendees. Opening the door to conversations with attendees means more audience participation, more valuable feedback and more value from session content.
3. Don’t be shy; be social.
There is a reason Buzzfeed’s quizzes are so popular. Who doesn’t want to know which pizza topping best represents their personality? The truth is, we like to have fun and discover new things about ourselves and each other. Surveys or polling features built into your conferences add a layer of interaction that attendees are used to having in their daily lives. These tools also allow you to gather trends from the crowd, helping you to better understand what your attendees want and how you can meet their needs.
4. Make sure you’re mobile.
A handshake and eye contact will never be replaced. They are at the crux of human interaction, even in our digital world. However, without an added layer of mobile enabling participants to network through technology, event organizers are ultimately losing out, as the participants will be less engaged with each other and with the event as a whole.
5. Keep the conversation going.
Post-event communication is essential for return attendance. The event is finished, but you shouldn’t be—it is never too early to be thinking about next year. A participant may have returned to the office and thought of a great recommendation to make your event even a little bit better, so make sure to give him a way to tell you.
This guest post is by Alon Alroy, CMO and co-founder of Bizzabo, an event-based social networking platform that helps event organizers, sponsors and exhibitors connect directly with guests.