Your event is not about you.
It may seem it is because somehow, you make the last call. You collaborate with stakeholders and your own team to put up the entire ensemble. You have a huge contribution in the decision making process with regards to venue, catering, budget, marketing and other resources.
But at the end of the day, your event belongs to your participants and your stakeholders.
Without them there will be no value and purpose to your business event.
Without the corporate goal and mission that springs out from your participants and your stakeholders, your event will be at lost and with no direction.
Without them, your event is nothing but just a cocktail party thrown on a Saturday night so that everyone gets to have some fun and booze but with no significant meaning and purpose.
It is important then for you to understand your attendees’ expectations to reach your event goals. Since your event is not about you and is about them, you need to consider their preferences and review the things that matters to them.
What's in it for them?
Sure they would enjoy a live band or some delicious wine and appetizers but there are more to business events than pure entertainment.
Attendees pay for your stubs for a more profound reason.
Your job as event professional therefore, is:
1. To know the reasons why they’re attending
2. To create more reasons for them to come
3 major reasons why people attend events
Most participants are either business owners themselves or employees who want to market their products and services. Events, as we all know, is the best place to showcase your brand.
They obviously want to learn something new and apply these learning to their own career or business. They want to be well informed with the new innovations and current trends.
They want to have fun. Who doesn’t?
There are also tiny motivations that you should look at in understanding your attendees. Reasons that may seem insignificant to you but important to them.
Here are 5 of the things you need to know about your attendees:
It’s sad bat true. Most people in our generation are the loneliest people on earth compared to the older generation when things were simpler.
We have been so distracted with technology and other innovation that we have lost the ability to connect physically with others.
Although communication has improved drastically by means of the Internet connection, we have completely lost human connection. All our other senses have been silenced and we lost the natural stimulus to communicate.
Events are a great means of finding the right people with the same interest and background. It gives your attendees a chance to mingle with like-minded individuals in a safe and decent environment. You can easily interact with others in a more personal way.
Not only can it combat loneliness but it can also empower you by getting out of your comfort zone. Events can boost your attendees' confidence and self-esteem.
This is something you should be mentally taking note of next time you organize an event. Perhaps you can help your attendees mingle with each other easily and help them break the barriers.
#2 Free Food and Drinks / Entrance
Free food and drinks are everyone’s favorite part of the event.
This is obviously one of the reasons why you have more attendees to free events compared to paid ones.
Getting something out of nothing is a powerful thought that compels people to line up to any free taste or free samples in the market. Same thing with events.
Anything free is better than nothing. Although sometimes it isn’t true but the psychology of free things proves to be as one of the most effective tools that attracts attendees.
The word “free’ adds up a great value to anything associated to it.
Knowing this, you can create free events to get a preview of what the future "paid" events would be like. If they like the experience, they will most probably sign up for the next one for a decent cost.
#3 Broke & Breakthrough
Some people attend conferences and trade shows because they are broke and want to get out of the rut.
Some goes out of the way out of desperation to find prospects.
Some believes that attending events can channel their inner entrepreneur and can help them get back on track.
Learn how you can better help your attendees improve their networking experience. You can help them introduce to influencial people who can help them market their products or services.
Find ways to encourage them and boost their morale.
Some companies require their employees to attend seminars and conferences.
Attendees are then forced to sit for hours and listen to a topic they don’t even like. The best thing to do here is to help them out and make the topics more lively and interactive.
Given them more reasons to be engaged and let them know the importance of attending: the things they will learn and how they can benefit from it in different ways.
Offer group discounts since it’s already a drag to attend out of obligation. Offering add-ons and freebies can also boost their interest. Incorporate some games and activities in between sessions.
According to studies, 82% of respondents reported that destination affect their decision to attend an event.
If it’s a beautiful destination and they can also find time to unwind, then they will most likely to attend without a second-thought.
Some attendees use business events as a way to travel and explore in a different country.
As event planners, you can make their event experience more enjoyable if they can have extra hours to explore the city and take a break within their duration stay.
You can also arrange affordable hotels or cheap flights to make their travel event experience memorable. Make them feel they are well taken care of.
About Stride Plus Events
Stride Plus is an events organizing and management company based in the UAE, focused on business, networking and community events.
Learn more about our services here.