If you’ve spent any time perusing hot event trends of 2018, you know personalization is near the top of every industry list. But you might still be wondering how to do this.
Times change. Attendees are getting savvier. It’s not enough anymore to deliver a one-size-fits-all affair. The conferences and meetings attendees remember are those that leave a highly individualized impression.
With as easy as it is today to find out what individual attendees desire ... not to mention options for every budget ... there’s simply no excuse not to design an experience that is tailored to humans as individuals. And we can prove it!
Here are fifteen of our favorite, cost-variable ways to deliver a truly dynamic experience:
1) Register new & returning attendees differently.
Even if your budget is small, separate registration lines are a quick, cost-effective win. First-timers have different needs and questions than repeat attendees. Registration is your first impression, and when it’s smartly tailored—you’ll send a strong message.
2) Segment attendees by persona and design unique touches for each.
Another simple way to personalize: leverage marketing automation tools, plus any event management software you have (and don’t forget your meeting app!). With these, you can identify your top attendee personas and create personalized journeys for each.
3) Respect how attendees want to be contacted.
Nothing says “I care about you as an individual” like asking an attendee how they prefer to be contacted—then respecting that response. Ask for communication preference on your lead capture or event registration form. And insist your staff follow it.
4) Incorporate attendee-sourced programming.
What if your best presenters were the people in the registration line? Technology offers so many ways for attendees to take the stage: meeting app chat rooms, attendee-led panels, or hashtag-based conversations on social media. Give attendees a chance to speak up, and you’ll give them an experience they’ll never forget.
5) For hired presenters, insist that talks engage attendees.
Goodbye, boring PowerPoints. Today’s speakers have a spectrum of tools available to solicit attendee feedback and participation during the session. Prioritize presenters who have a track record of getting crowds talking, moving and responding.
6) Rethink your meeting room design.
Psssst ... academy style seating is out. (It promotes an “I talk, you listen” atmosphere that is so last-century.) At the very least, place attendees at round tables to facilitate interaction—or forego tables altogether in favor of workstations, boards, or high-tops where attendees can mingle during presentations and activities.
7) Infuse your event flavor from local sources.
Sometimes, personalizing your event might mean taking inspiration from this year’s unique location. What might your event locale contribute to your decoration, catering and experience? Look to city-based or regional culture to help differentiate your event experience year by year.
8) Leverage social media to crowdsource attendee preferences.
Not sure what your attendees want? Just ask them. Crowdsourcing through questions, polls and surveys is a simple, cost effective way to figure out exactly how your unique human beings want to experience your event. No doubt you’ll get fabulous ideas!
9) Opt for experiences that allow attends to pick, mix and design.
Yes, it can be fun for attendees to be served by your event staff ... but sometimes the most fun experience involves create-your-own elements. Nothing says “personalized” like letting attendees design something within the experience—whether it’s their educational track or their opening night gala dessert.
10) Use polls and quizzes that deliver “surprise” results.
In your registration information, you might try including a few personality or preference questions (ie: the “favorite flavor of ice cream” variety) ... but don’t specify exactly why. Later, you can wow attendees with a pop-up experience or treat delivery that is tailored to their (now) long-forgotten response.
11) Let meeting apps make customized recommendations.
Today’s meeting apps offer endless personalization options that simultaneously gather data for you about attendees’ preferences. From recommending customized education tracks to identifying other attendees within the same room whom an individual might want to connect with, possibilities are endless if you let your app do heavy lifting.
12) Customize your follow-up based on attendee behavior.
Don’t miss chances to personalize this easily-overlooked part of the event journey. With data and analytics from your meeting app, you can easily customize follow-up to speak to attendees’ educational interests, content preferences or even personal connections.
13) Integrate social media heavily.
Digital experience is par for the course at events, but it doesn’t have to be predictable. Offering customizable event Snapchat filters, using a Twitterfall and displaying attendee reactions—pulled from your hashtag—are easy ways to say “your voice matters.”
14) Offer a chatbot as your attendee’s own personal concierge.
Nothing says “high class” like white-glove service! These human-like chat functions, powered by your event app, can give attendees directions to a breakout session or exhibitor’s booth, answer basic event-related questions and even order services.
15) Maximize relevant influencers to spread your event content far and wide.
For a more human event, it’s time to lean more on ... more humans. A few choice social media posts from top influencers in your field can completely change the conversation about your event—by putting the influencer’s unique personal spin on it.
Did we whet your appetite for an amazing new approach to this year’s event? The team at LSAV can help you deliver a dynamic, engaging experience that ensures every attendee feels like a VIP. Check out our portfolio of customized events and then reach out for a conversation.