Events today come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from breakfast feasts to international multi-day conferences. We’ve all been to events but why do we attend? Is it the lure of free vol-au-vents and booze? Possibly – especially with the flood of festive events which will be coming thick and fast over the next few weeks.
A recent report (Decision to Attend – Phase One) examined the various reasons which factor into an individual’s decision to attend or not attend events. They found, with an overwhelming 91% of respondents, the main reason for individuals attending events was the possibility for education.
So what can we do with this information? Attendees don’t need a certificate after every event but you should keep in mind your content, everything from session topics to speakers to ensure that attendees feel the benefits of your event. Attendees want to learn and ensure they are abreast of the latest trends and industry news. So think about what your attendees want to hear. Keep content relevant and timely so attendees can leave your event with something of value and wanting more. Your firm can benefit greatly from being known as thought leaders in your industry and events provide the perfect chance to show of your knowledge.
The same study also found that 75% of respondents reported that the opportunity to network and expand their sphere was an important factor to them. This may be realised in the ability to connect with key influencers in your industry or target market, find suppliers and solutions to their problems, start relationships for strategic alliances or simply looking for referrals. So how can you take this into account when looking at invite lists? Make sure that you are inviting the right people to your events. Go for quality over quantity and go for those who will want to be in a room together. Look at one event as an advert for all other events you may hold in the future. You want attendees to have the best experience possible so they are keen to return for the next one. An excellent way to do this is to ensure they meet the people they want to meet at the event.
Cost and location were two other factors which influenced people’s decisions. By putting your event in an easy-to-access location and keeping costs down, you automatically make it more enticing.
Take all of these points into account when you are planning your event. By truly considering the needs of your attendees, you can ensure that they will keep coming back.