I have two questions for you:
1) If you could list the top 3 trade shows you ever attended, what makes them stand out?
2) As an event manager, is YOUR event likely to be on the top 3 list for your attendees? Why or why not?
Planning an event for thousands of people is not easy, and making it exciting and memorable is even harder. But there are a few things you can do to make sure you get positive reviews from raving fans, instead of negative feedback that haunts you for years.
A) Make your event EXCITING!
- Build an exciting HOME page with exciting pictures and your elevator pitch of why this is the best event of the year to be at! Explain the what, where, why, and how with sharing buttons so people can spread the word.
- Post widgets of your live Twitter feed, Facebook page, LinkedIn group or blog.
- Build a testimonial page promoting how wonderful the event was last year.
- Attendees love to try anything NEW! Be sure to promote what is new clearly and easily.
- Invite a special guest to speak, perform, appear or be a part of your event in some way that is memorable.
B) Make your website EASY to navigate and ENGAGING! Attendees want everything they need to be available at their fingertips. Your website should behave as your “Attendee Concierge” making everything they need accessible, user friendly, and engaging.
- Build a SOCIAL page on your website showing attendees where to connect on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. etc.
- Build a GALLERY with images of past events, attendees, fun videos, etc.
- Build a PLANNING page on your website with a checklist showing attendees where they can locate exhibitors or sessions that interest them, how to create or print their own personal planner.
- Build a MOBILE page showing attendees how to download and use your mobile apps.
- Build a TRAVEL page helping attendees with airline, transportation, and hotel reservations.
- Build an ENTERTAINMENT section that highlights your special events, local restaurants, bars, etc.
C) Make the event PERSONAL! Once the attendee arrives at the event, make it all about them!
- Leave them a gift in their hotel room.
- Give them the “red carpet treatment” when they pick up their badge at registration.
- Set up a Photo Booth and post attendee’s pictures on Facebook and Twitter for people to share.
- Plan networking events with interactive activities to help people mingle in a fun atmosphere.
OVERALL – Successful events are focused on building an amazing attendee experience. If you take care of your attendees, they will come back again and again, and bring friends!