9 Biggest Attendee Behavior Problems You Need to Fix (and How)

December 5, 2019

Amy Kelley

Amy Kelley is the Global Digital Content Marketing Editor at GES. With a strong background in content marketing, social media and communications, she is a passionate writer and self-confessed word geek. Amy is also the founder of a non-profit and a health and wellness online community.

Managing an event can feel like a cat rodeo, with huge groups of people headed every which way and different things on their minds. It’s easy to become frustrated when attendees do not do what we want them to do. Event planners predict behaviors based on activity history, then use those projections for forecasting and budgeting. When the target audience does not “behave” as projected, it can impact the success of the event.

Don’t sit by and watch. Here are nine actions you can take to achieve desired behaviors. 

9. Master Segmentation to Help Your Audience Hear You

Audience segmentation categorizes people by type and personalization can be added to drive specific behaviors. Make sure your audiences know you are talking specifically to them. 

8. Use Real Scarcity to Drive Action

Scarcity and fear of missing out (FOMO) are two key ways to influence behavior. Tactics including early bird pricing are limited seating can be effective. But be transparent when deploying these tools to ensure believability. 

7. Craft Your Event Story to Drive Emotional Decisions

Include your attendees in your event story. The event story can be woven around an organizational mission, or simply attendee fun.  Your storytelling goal is to get potential attendees to see themselves at your event in order to drive ticket purchases or influence their buying behavior. 

6. Remove Friction to Get More Action

If you want your attendees to take action, make actions extremely easy. By removing the friction from the desired action, attendees will complete that action more often. For instance, if you want them to share their event experience on social media, provide photo ops and make sure your hashtag is posted everywhere. 

5. Use Co-creation to Drive Support

People tend to support what they help create. Not only do audience/attendee co-creation and crowdsourcing make your event more unique, but it also influences those who engaged to feel a certain level of obligation to see the event become successful. 

4. Be the Only Show in Town to Increase Scarcity and Drive Up Price

If you can provide your attendees with something they can’t get elsewhere, they will not only support you in a loyal way, they will also pay top dollar for the privilege to do so. This tactic requires a unique selling proposition. Differentiate by selecting a unique venue, host city or time of year to drive more action. 

3. Give the Audience the Desired Incentive to Kill Buying Paralysis

Influence potential attendees to take action.  The “desired” incentive has to be something they want in order for them to act upon it. 

2. Introduce Gamification to Drive Vendor Interaction

Gamification lets event planners create scenarios using public recognition and rewards to drive desired behavior. It is less about gameplay and more about incorporating motivational theory.

1. Stay in Touch to Improve Influence

Take the time to help attendees know, like, and trust you by building a relationship all year, not just at event time. Attendees will be more likely to take the desired behavior. 

If there’s something you want your attendees to do, don’t just wish it would happen. Make it happen.


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