We have all heard the news that 2011 is going to be a great year for meetings and events. The economy is rebounding, the stock market it is up, and people are getting back to work. Now is the time to make certain that we, as event meeting services professionals, are doing all we can to enhance and improve the meeting experience for our attendees.
Here are 6 simple steps to make your meeting a home run, every time.
- Ask your attendees what they want. This seems like a "duh" moment, but you would be surprised how many conference services organizations do not do this. They are concerned about what the president, board of directors, or committee wants; not what the audience members are looking to receive. Use tools such as SurveyMonkey, Zoomerang, direct mail, or email to find out their preferences and interests.
- Theme your event and carry it through on everything. Theming is back! Brainstorm with your team what theme makes sense for the event and then make that part of everything that is conveyed to your attendees, including the invitations, decorations, and even, dress for the event. Theming is fun, creative, and most of all, memorable!
- Use all ways to get people to your event. In today’s digital and fast-paced world, many planners are making the mistake of using one or two ways to invite attendees. Don’t fall into that trap! Remember, some of your audience, barely uses email. So, if your budget allows, still send out old fashioned, snail mail postcards (6 months before the event) and invitations (45 to 90 days before event). In addition, consider the free (or low cost) ways to promote the event (ideas listed below). I recommend you use all the methods, snail mail, digital, and calling, to maximize attendance.
- Spend your money on great production. Get your event audio visual rental firm engaged in your creative process early. Ask them, given your theme, how can you use sound, light, projector and screen rentals to enhance the attendees experience?
- Content is King. Make certain your meeting or event is filled with top-notch speakers and presenters that are content experts about the topic. Today’s audience is so smart and have smartphones or laptop PCs at their disposal to find out about the surface information on the topic. They are looking to dive deep and will accept nothing less.
- Look for lots of ways to engage your audience with interactive technology tool rentals. In 2011 and beyond, attendees are going to demand to be a part of the discussion. Many ways this can happen include:
- Utilizing smartphone applications (check the meeting apps website)
- Rent iPads or Tablet PCs
- Utilize Wireless Audience Response Systems
- Make the PowerPoint Presentations short and sweet
- Rent wireless mics and have them scattered throughout the room
- Allow for many, many questions
Event planning in California? Call AV Event Solutions, is available to help make your next meeting, event, conference, or trade show more creative and interactive.