In an age where so much communication is done from a distance, there are still plenty of reasons to get together with clients, customers, vendors, and associates in person.
The most popular way to do that is by hosting a conference, and while these venerable events are still very similar to editions from the 1990’s and 2000’s, there is also a lot that has changed.
This evolution of the conference can help you make your event more productive and give you more bang for your buck.
Anyone who has ever worked a booth or given a presentation at a conference knows that it’s all about getting participants engaged. As hundreds or thousands stroll by you or listen to you each day, you need to figure out how to pull in and make connections with as many as possible, making sure that they’re the kind of people who could have a meaningful interaction with you. From there, the goal is to maintain that connection and keep them in touch with you after you pack up and go home.
Successful engagement used to require signup sheets and mountains of business cards, followed by costly mailings and unpopular email bursts. But now your participants just need a mobile event app to stay in touch with you–and for you to stay in touch with them. DoubleDutch can get instant feedback and involvement from your participants, assimilating all the data and giving you immediate reactions.
Syncing Venue and Event
Sometimes the most overlooked component of a conference is the location. The evolving nature of such events calls for evolving facilities, but many planners don’t see the importance of choosing the right place.
With so many different places to host events, even smaller cities can prove very flexible for planners. Events can include indoor and outdoor elements, specialized menu requests, accommodations for unusually large or complex displays, and integrated lodging and travel. Plenty of wifi bandwidth is essential for any event, so be sure the facility is capable of handling a massive load of messaging, shopping, and blogging on the go.
Making choices about which of those options fits your event can be challenging, but when it’s done successfully, it can make for a conference that fits both presenters and participants and gives them the opportunity to develop leadership and network effectively for maximum success–which is what will bring them back next year.
Speaking of next year, a great conference should never terminate on its final date. It should send participants home motivated, excited, and equipped to succeed, using the things they’ve learned or bought to reach their goals. During the ensuing months after a conference, they should feel so positive about the event that it remains fresh in their minds and creates enthusiasm for next year.
Of course, a great way to capture that immediately is to establish pre-registration for next year, so that they’ll strike while the iron is hot. At a minimum, there should be informed about the date and location of the next session so that they can start looking at their calendars and their budgets.
This is where the conference app comes in again. The more thoroughly they’re immersed in your conference, the greater the impression that will remain with them…and spark their desire to come back.
Conferences should never be viewed as a necessary evil or as something that’s carried out and then put away. They should be the in-person manifestation of networking and learning that goes on year-round. The more your conference does toward this goal, the better it will be.