Old event planning timelines and to-do lists still work—to some extent. New challenges have complicated event planning.
Registration numbers and trends are unpredictable. Exhibitor and sponsor interest are constantly changing. And the rising costs and staffing challenges at hotels and venues are beyond belief.
It’s time to review event planning and event marketing efforts to make sure they still work for the turbulent ‘20s.
Events provide a special experience: attendees get to be with “their people.” They have the chance to develop and deepen relationships with acquaintances, friends, mentors, prospects, and clients.
By hosting this experience, your association helps attendees expand their network and become part of a community of like-minded people.
Events provide emotional satisfaction. They also serve practical purposes as the place where attendees can fulfill career and business needs, such as:
It’s hard to capture attention these days. But if your association hosts events that improve and change lives, attendees will return the favor with their interest and loyalty.
The number of events competing for your attendees’ time and money keeps increasing. To rise above the competition, your event experience must fulfill attendees emotionally and intellectually.
Before the event, host online meetups where attendees enjoy structured networking and hot-topic discussions. Because they can get to know a few familiar faces, they’ll feel less isolated or anxious during the event.
Aiming for mere ADA compliance is a low bar. Accessibility is a DEI issue. Ensure physical and digital accessibility for all attendees. Seek the help of an accessibility consultant if you’re unsure how to proceed.
New information sticks when attendees recall and apply it. That’s why conference organizers are big on engagement activities, like table discussions and interactive exercises. As a bonus, attendees get to know their tablemates and are more likely to continue conversations after the session.
But in the spirit of something for everyone, reserve a few tables for attendees who prefer to take part in solo exercises instead of group activities. As long as the recall-and-apply principle is activated, introverts can also walk away with sticky learning.
We keep emphasizing structured networking because it’s essential for a satisfying event experience. During free-for-all networking, like meals and receptions, attendees often gravitate toward people they already know, which makes others feel awkward and lonesome.
Build structured networking sessions into the schedule. Provide questions to guide conversations at tables. Set aside dedicated networking spaces at virtual and in-person events, such as lounges and breakout rooms.
Everyone feels an emotional let-down at the end of an event, so continue the event experience virtually. Build on the community momentum by hosting post-event discussions related to major event themes. Attendees can nurture new relationships and hear about related content, both free and paid.
Make a plan to repurpose event content. A common approach is offering session recordings for free for 30 days, and then requiring a learning subscription or à la carte purchasing.
The AMS has come a long way. It’s changed since last you looked. A modern AMS helps you stay organized and minimize time spent on administrative tasks. Make sure the AMS you select has the following event management software functionality.
Join us for a new series of 3 interactive virtual events, all focused on member engagement. Together with other association professionals, we will identify new strategies, solve real problems, experiment, and share ideas. Plus, you’ll see engagement in action!
Come to one, two, or all three events to get the most out of the series. Register for our January, February and March sessions!
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It’s amazing how much you can do with an AMS today. The right one can help you simplify complex event planning and management tasks. Discover how Impexium can help you effortlessly manage your events.
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