You are in for more! In our first post of the series, we were looking at five aspects that have a big affect on how attendees experience your corporate event.
When working to fulfill the simple goal “Increase the event experience for your attendees!,” following these five rules is an excellent start:
1. Communicate Only Essentials
2. Be RSVP Friendly
3. Assure Accessibility
4. Speed Up On-Site Sign-In Procedures
5. Provide Refreshments
Now we are continuing with more tips on providing attendees with an outstanding event experience:
6. Have Ample Space
I hate tight spaces, period! And, so do many of your guests. Having to juggle a briefcase, or computer, and a beverage through a tightly packed crowd is anything but fun. So, assure there is enough space for everyone to mingle. The room layout should allow your guests to move around freely. Always remember that no one will stay in an uncomfortable space longer than they absolutely have to!
7. Cover Incidentals
You are inviting your guests to join you for an evening, and they should be able to do so without having to go into their pockets. Assure that the event organizer covers incidentals such as valet parking and coat check. And, steer away from the cash bar at a corporate event. Different rules apply to fundraisers. But in general, I believe in not having guests take time out of their busy schedules for your event, and then open their wallets on top of it.
8. Assure Visibility & Audibility
Nothing is worse than sitting in an audience and not being able to hear the speaker, or being able to see the statistics on the slides. To be quite frank, this faux pas is the one reason that would make me leave a presentation early, no matter how interesting the topic. This issue can easily be avoided. Plan well! Check with your technicians that the A/V set-up is flawless! Every word needs to be audible, and every image visible, no matter where your guests are seated. Being able to fully follow the presented content is key to keeping guests engaged, and an absolute must for any corporate event.
9. Encourage Networking
Networking is fundamental when attending discussions, presentations, and other corporate events. Assure that knowledgeable hosts are at hand to take on the role of introducing guests to each other. Be aware that guests not only want to network among peers, but look forward to meeting the speaker(s) one on one as well. Accommodate this need by briefing your speaker(s), and scheduling networking time for your expert(s) after the talk(s).
10. Bid Farewell
Send your guests off with the same attentiveness you welcomed them with. Show respect by having staff at the door at all times to see off departing attendees. Be prepared with telephone numbers of local taxi companies, ideally on little cards you can hand out. Not everyone who arrived by metro is ready to return the same way at a late hour! To bring your event to an end in style, have a giveaway ready that will leave your guests remembering you, and your event, for a long time.
Wondering how to select the perfect corporate giveaway? Browse “Creating A Win-Win Situation: How To Choose Corporate Event Giveaways” for suggestions!
11. Follow Up
Don’t leave loose ends untied. Follow up with your event’s attendees as soon as possible. Provide them with materials related to the event. This could be an abstract on the topic of the evening, a collection of presentation slides, a collage of event snapshots, a link to the YouTube video of the presentation, or a list of further reading on the topic. Encourage feedback, and find out how you can make future events even more appealing.
And don’t forget about those people who registered but had a change of plans. You have managed to get their attention already; so don’t waste the chance to make a lasting impression! Send some information on the event, maybe even the video and a selection of pictures to convey the event’s success. Entice them, and they will make an effort to join you the next time around!
Thanks to all corporate event organizers out there that have made me a happy guest many times when attending functions in my “corporate-meeting-capital,” Washington, DC!