Does your next event always sell out within a week of the current one ending?
Are your attendees always chomping at the bit to come back for more?
Finding ways to make them feel valued and appreciated is the key to creating an unforgettable (and unmissable) event, and we've come up with some ideas to help you do just that!
Step up your social media activity
The magic of social media happens when you generate great content that evokes a reaction and makes people want to respond and share. Don't wait until "the big day" to step up your social, keep it going all year round and increase the frequency as you get closer.
For some inspiration on what to post, see our blog Social Media Ideas On The Run Up To Your Event.
But today we're talking about making your individual attendees feel special, so here are some tips on how you can do it:
Invite attendees to join a Facebook Group dedicated to your event - it's a great way of making them feel part of an exclusive community.
There are three types of group - Public (anyone can see the group, members, and posts), Closed (anyone can see it and it's members but only members can see posts), and Secret (only members can find the group and see posts).
If you usually create a Facebook Event Page, you can also do this from the Group too, you don't have to do it through your Facebook Business Page. The benefit to creating a Group rather than just an Event Page is that it will still be around after your event finishes, so you can continue the conversation, get feedback and promote your next event!
Create a LinkedIn Group - similar to Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups can be really effective in helping you communicate with members and keep their excitement about the event bubbling. One feature LinkedIn offers that others don't is sending announcements to group members - not only are they posted as a featured discussion in the group, but they are also emailed to each member. (Note that members can opt out of receiving announcements).
Add them to a Twitter List - ask for their Twitter handle (@username) when they register, then follow them and add them to a public list of attendees. Being added to a Twitter List is considered a compliment and it won't get unnoticed as they will receive a notification. Don't forget to tell them to subscribe to the list too, so they can follow the conversation.
Use a Social Wall
People love seeing themselves on the big screen, so give them a reason to talk about your event on social media! Included in the many features of our ProTool, you can run Contests, or drive competition between attendees with Leaderboards that announce the Top ReTweets and Most Active Users. Or how about showing your sponsors a little love with Promotion and Sponsorship features.
Offer a reward
Give attendees a reason to sign up for the next event immediately. If it's not practical to offer a discount, or a gift, invite them to an exclusive pre-sale that lets them register 48 hours before it's released to the public.
Make check-in run smoothly by having attendees complete information before they arrive, and use a barcode or QR code to collect their badges. There are many event management/check-in apps and software out there, but a couple that come to mind are MobiCheckin and Eventbrite.
Audio and visual
Make sure you work with your AV technicians well in advance of your event and check that speakers will be easily seen and heard during their keynotes. Also test any other areas that may be used for announcements too.
Put together a list of common questions asked by attendees, then share it (and the answers) with everyone on your team - and don't forget to include anyone who will be monitoring your social media accounts so they can answer swiftly. Although you can't anticipate every question that may arise, it will give your team more confidence and be more efficient.
Break out/networking areas
Help your guests feel less stressed by providing comfortable networking areas where they can make phone calls or catch up with work. Being able to take yourself out of a busy environment to be able to deal with something pressing that can't wait until later is priceless.
Games, prizes, challenges, treasure hunts, photo/selfie booths, free pic'n'mix stands, chocolate fountains or hosting a Happy Hour at the end of the day are all ways of injecting a little fun and giving your guests an unexpected boost!
Consider what guests will expect
There's nothing worse than arriving at an event to discover issues with parking, or finding that there's nowhere to leave your coat or luggage. Free wifi will also be expected in your expo hall and throughout the venue as well as in hotel rooms. So this tip is purely about making sure those essentials are in place and taken care of, so they don't become an issue and ruin the experience for your attendees.
Do you have any tips for making an event memorable for all the right reasons? We would love to hear from you if you do.
See you again next time!