One of the goals of every event is to turn first-time attendees into repeat customers. However, the fact is: if attendees don’t feel welcome at your event, they are not very likely to return.
Here are 5 foolproof steps to making your attendees feel appreciated from start to finish.
First: The welcoming process starts not when your attendees arrive at the venue, but at event registration. An attendee will certainly not feel welcome if they are overwhelmed by an endless list of questions. Therefore, determine the bare minimum of information you must collect from an attendee at this point, and keep registration clear and concise.
Second: Pre-event communication. Today’s software enables you to customize communications to your attendees—so use this feature! Including a name feels personal, and if you categorize your attendees by their preferences or occupations, you can send them even more targeted messages about speakers and sessions unique to their interests. At the very least, be sure to send a last-minute email to remind them of the event details . . . and build anticipation.
Third: Registration is the first time your attendees will have a live interaction with your event, so make sure your staff are friendly, well informed about the details of the event, and easily identifiable. Also, if you plan on escorting VIPs from the registration area, make sure your staff can recognize those VIPs upon arrival and that you have enough staff to accommodate this service without detracting from other attendees’ experiences.
Fourth: If you’re handing out gift bags or swag, make sure everyone gets something, but don’t overwhelm them. After all, attendees may collect more swag or win a bigger giveaway from exhibitors. To avoid a traffic jam at registration, consider staffing a separate table to hand out bags and swag to attendees after they check in.
Fifth (and finally): Don’t forget signage! Even if you’ve offered attendees an information-filled app, they are more likely to look for—and respond to—immediate signage that they can read and follow quickly. Use posters, floor decals, and other indicators to guide them through the conference hall, and be sure to post the WiFi information and conference schedule prominently throughout the venue.