Monica Wolyniec is the Director of Marketing at Boomset, a suite of event management apps that allows for exhibitors and attendees to experience a confident on-site registration process.
Tradeshow + Conference Registration: 7 Ways to Meet Attendees' Needs
A great event management team will do their absolute best in covering all the bases for their event(s), especially when it comes to fulfilling needs and satisfying both clients and end users. As 2015 is the Year of the Attendee, these needs are something important to consider prior to, during, and even after an event has ended. Below are a few ways to help meet attendee needs.
1: CONNECT WITH THE COMMUNITY: ENGAGEMENT
The pre-event chatter is essential in getting to know the type of attendee, what attracts them to the event, and how they plan on taking their acquired knowledge with them afterwards. This generates buzz about the event and also provides insight via a more relaxed way of background research: better and more informational content can be designed for the event in accordance with the most popular questions, concerns, and topics discussed.
Be sure not to overload attendees with content and information, rather allow for interaction on the attendees behalf. Bombarding them with information, no matter how relevant and useful, could result in disinterest or attention failure on their behalf.
2: ... AND STAY CONNECTED!
Besides having a useful check-in app, allowing attendees to stay connected with each other during the event is also important. Printable name tags and conference badges printed onsite will not only impress guests but allow for a smooth registration process while fostering connectivity among all participants during the event. Scannable codes can be linked to the compatible event management and/or QR app, which can provide tracking information for lead retrieval or other important data relevant to networking for vendors and attendees.
Surveys, live polls, and other real-time interaction will help boost connectivity levels across the board, too.
3: DESIGN ESSENTIALS
One of the first things that attendees see is the check-in area, so it should be:
· visually pleasing, perhaps with an added pop of color
· in line with the theme/color scheme of the event
· bear a logo or image representing the event
Face-to-face interaction is trending more than ever this year, and this personnel will be able to:
· resolve doubts
· answer any questions raised
· provide any additional information or assistance
Whether you want to implement iPad kiosk self check-in, have a computerized hologram awaiting guests at the door, or a full team of registration staff, it's always a good idea to have a knowledgeable party available nearby, even if it's just one person.
Charging stations for mobile devices, WiFi areas, even a big comfy chair is useful in helping attendees recharge devices and themselves, especially when an event offers many exhibits and/or consists of multiple sessions.
Though most guests will most likely be bringing along their own technology, providing an outlet--literally and figuratively speaking--for those less technologically-inclined (think an interactive/social station) allows to include them more.
Everyone loves a freebie now and then. Whether it's the extra staff, a coupon code displayed--or better yet-- PRINTED on each name tag, a hydration station, or something sweet to munch on, a little extra incentive can go a long way prior to entering the event.
7: ANALYZE AND REPEAT
It's already known in the event industry that attendees are looking for an experience...now more than ever. The more they feel part of the event, the more apt they are to take what they have learned along with them. People are no longer signing up to have information thrown at them, and they will continue to transition towards a more active role participating rather than simply "absorbing" informational content.
Bluetooth, beacons, and other RFID technology will collaborate with event apps to create the ultimate connectivity during the event, which will provide event professionals will more detailed reports and analyses about their events. The follow-up and processing of said information will also help gather attendee feedback, something key to fortify future events.
THE WRAP UP
To keep it short and sweet:
· Keep the event social, allowing attendees to connect:
1) With each other
2) With vendors/event staff
· Arrange for an aesthetically pleasing registration area
· Make rest areas available for recharging devices, as attendees look forward to these
· Ensure that the event is simply interactive and interactively simple: Use innovative and user-friendly technology
· Don’t forget the extras!
· Finally, review data from the event using event technology and attendee feedback in order to make future events that much more of a success