If you believe that old adage, it takes 20% effort to keep an attendee and 80% to gain a new one, it is in your best interest to keep existing participants coming back. While most planners know this intuitively, many struggle to fill the room and keep attendees returning year-after-year. If you are wondering why attendees are not returning, ask yourself the following question:

"Are my attendees challenged, engaged and valued?" 

If they are, they will continue to come to your meetings. And if they are not, you will receive many excuses as to why they are not coming back.

Here are three of the biggest failings of events and what you can do to avoid them.

1. You Failed to Challenge Their Intellect and Develop New Skills

If attendees think your meeting is boring and they are not learning anything new, what good is your meeting? The whole purpose of a conference is to return to the workplace with more knowledge. Growth and development are the name of the game. Yes, networking is nice, but attendees want to be blown away with new ideas, concepts and plans they can implement in their daily lives. 

Help attendees with this process by integrating interactive technology tool rentals that will stimulate their senses. Videos, photographs, music and messages conveyed through computer kiosks, large touch screens, video wall rentals and iPads will assist greatly in the learning process. Test what they know and what they are interested in learning more about through mobile polling apps or wireless Audience Response Systems

2. You Failed to Engage Their Creativity. 

Attendees want to learn through innovative and value-based means. They no longer want to sit in a dark auditorium and be lectured to by a less-than-engaging speaker. Putting fun and games into the equation can boost their engagement opportunity. All attendees have something unique to share with others; it is just a matter of getting their creative juices started. 

Gamification apps, icebreakers and entertaining speakers garnered through crowdsourcing are ways to get attendees more involved in the meeting make it fun!

3. You Failed to Give Them a Voice. 

Attendees want to interact with your speakers and tell you their thoughts about the meeting — including the good, the bad and the ugly. But often times, they are not given this opportunity or it is reserved for a 5-minute Q & A or a paper survey at the end of the conference. 

Give them a voice by encouraging them to interact with the speaker through social media channels and by placing microphones in strategic places throughout the room. Make certain your presenters answer all the attendees questions either on the spot or by following up with them in a timely basis. Audience Response rentals are another easy way to gain a pulse on what attendees are feeling and what changes they want implemented in the meeting. . 

AV Event Solutions, now part of the SmartSource Rentals family, is ready and willing to help you make your meeting fun, creative and interactive with their breadth and depth of state-of-the-art technology tools. Give them a call today at 888.249.4903 to get the process started!