Meaningful events are those that deliver valuable information and keep your attendees coming back year after year. And having the right attendees is what brings your exhibitors and sponsors back. As an event organizer, you can reach out before, during and after your events, delivering targeted content and meaningful information that will make their lives easier, help them professionally, or inspire them in new ways.
#1 Remember Key Details
Have you ever met someone multiple times only to have them introduce themself to you as if it were the first time – over and over and over again? Chances are you didn’t feel important. That’s how your attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors feel when they have to repeat basic information every time they call your organization. A system that seamlessly connects customer relationship management, exhibitor records, event management, and registration through a single database allows anyone who answers a call to speak intelligently to your customers. Imagine how easily you can put your customer’s mind at ease if you can recite their last instructions to you – even if you weren’t the person who got the original instructions? It builds incredible trust in your organization and allows you to elevate your role to that of a trusted advisor.
#2 Don’t Always Talk About Yourself
If you’re always talking about your organization’s products or services – you’ll turn off your audiences. Use your knowledge of their interests to forward useful, interesting articles from third party sources, infographics, tips from experts, and so on. Let your audiences know that you understand what they’re interested in, so when you do have an appropriate opportunity to talk about your offerings, they’ll trust you.
#3 Help Them Answer The “Why?”
Asking someone to attend an event is asking them to invest time and resources – and if it’s business related, they’re going to have to justify the expense with their boss. Make sure your materials, event website, and communications give them compelling reasons to attend. Will they have opportunities to network with industry pros? Are you offering access to exclusive content that they won’t find anywhere else? Will there be hands-on learning opportunities? Help your audience make a compelling case about why they want to attend. Better yet, write a “Justification Letter” that explains the value of your event, so they just have to add their bosses name and sign it.
#4 Format Matters
Today, your audiences are on their PCs at work, on their tablets on the road, and on their phones – well just about everywhere. Your content needs to be readable on all those devices. Responsive event websites allow you to deliver important event information. In addition, creating an interactive show guide that can be used on any device allows your attendees to set their schedule, view favorites, and interact with your event no matter how or where they access it.
#5 Show Them the Money
Let’s face it exhibitors and sponsors participate in your events to make connections with potential customers. For professional events, attendees come to learn how to do their jobs better, and hopefully make more money. For recreational shows, attendees are there to learn what they can so they can get the biggest bang for their buck. Look at your event through the lens of your various audience members and make sure you’re helping them meet those objectives. Then, share that knowledge in all your messaging touch points and make participating in your event a no-brainer.