The Experience Institute recently surveyed close to 9,000 meeting professionals to garner an in-depth analysis of the factors that drive individuals to meetings. In their Maximizing Attendance toolkit, they found four guiding principles that bring people to meetings: Education, Overcoming Barriers, Networking and the Destination.
Today, I will explore the details behind each of these guidelines, how you can ensure you are delivering the best of the best to your attendees and the role technology plays in each initiative.
4 Key Areas to Drawing in Event Attendees
92% of respondents said education is the key reason they attend a meeting.
67% stated keeping up with the latest developments in their industry is very important.
It is vital to spend time on developing an agenda that is chocked full of great education options that highlight the latest and greatest improvements in your industry. If technological innovations are part and parcel of your developments, be sure to have event rentals on hand to show attendees first hand how these developments will work in their environment.
90% found they would attend more meetings and conferences if barriers such as:
- The overall cost was in line with their budget
- Scheduling the time away from the office was not a problem
- The destination was attractive and/or
- Management would approve the expense and time away
Make sure your conference isn’t priced too high. Consider the registration, hotel and transportation fees. Look at your balance sheet and see if there are areas you can cut or if more sponsorships can be sold. Most importantly, listen to the attendees. If they tell you the conference fee is too high, adjust it accordingly.
Tighten up the number of days and/or hours of the event. Perhaps you can move your convention from three days to two. Or make the last day just a morning session. Be sure to give attendees free time to make phone calls or answer emails back at the office.
Is your event in a city attendees’ love? Does the hotel provide something for everyone? If the destination and hotel are “so-so”, you will have some difficulty getting attendees there.
Management might need to be sold on the conference before you register. Ask the meeting planner to provide you with a justification letter and as many details as possible regarding the speakers, topics, exhibitors and other attendees.
76% reported that making connections was a reason to attend a meeting.
Provide ample opportunities for networking throughout the event and encourage attendees to continue networking through social media after the event is over. Attendees want to learn from each other as well as from content-rich presenters.
Keep the schedule open for organized (i.e. gamification, icebreakers) and casual networking opportunities.
75% of respondents reported that destination was a factor in their decision.
Other destination factors included:
- Number of flights to and from location
- Drivable distance from home or office
- Overall cost of getting to destination
- Attendees desire to experience something new
When choosing a destination, be sure to factor in whether the attendee will fly or drive. If there are limited flights and/or the airlift costs are high, this can be a factor in whether they attend.
If they drive, determine if most individuals will be staying overnight. If they are staying over, make the destination more than 90 miles away.
In either case, choose a city, conference center and/or hotel that offers something new to the attendee.
Hartford Technology Rental Has Event Rentals
Before your next meeting or event, call us at 888-520-5667 or fill out our online form. Let us show you how we help keep your attendees engaged, well within your budget range for computers and AV equipment.