The goal of an event planner used to be simple—get the most number of attendees. Sometimes, it didn’t even matter if the audience didn’t fit the event content or brand, as long as the numbers were there. And usually, only one overarching marketing message was used to promote the event.
However, the economy is changing with shrinking event budgets and easy access to online resources. So, it makes sense that attendees are much more particular about the events they choose to attend.
Remember, attendees are consumers, too. The process for deciding whether to register for your event is the same as deciding to buy any other product. You’re always going to have competitors, so how do you differentiate your event?
The best way to be successful is to provide the greatest amount of value for attendees’ financial and time investment.
How to Increase Value to Your Attendees
IAEE, PCMA, and the Experience Institute conducted a study to determine why people attend events. In the “Decision to Attend Study,” results show that networking is one of the top-three drivers for event attendance.
Across all generations surveyed, 76% of respondents said it’s important that events provide them with opportunities to network and make connections. And amongst millennials, 84% reported networking as a driving factor. They look at attending events as a way to grow their network and look for job opportunities. In response to this trend, the majority of planners has turned to leveraging event technology as a way to enable attendee networking.
3 Ways Event Apps Can Increase Attendee Networking
Games are more prevalent than ever before. An event app makes it easier to ensure game rules and challenges are available to all event participants. Planners can also save time and effort by not requiring manual tallying of participant game points. Additionally, through an event app, players are able to view their progress in real time on a leaderboard.
- Appointment Booking
This tool places autonomy in the hands of attendees. They have the ability to network with specific attendees at any point according to their own schedule. An event app also provides a more convenient way to connect without awkward icebreakers. There is also more efficiency in determining meeting details with quick responses through in-app chat.
- Group Discussions
An event app enables you to create and curate custom channels that attendees can utilize in a forum-like format to share their insights and opinions and connect with other attendees. Group discussions are an easy way to encourage attendees to trade travel tips and arrange to meet up and connect like-minded or like-interested attendees.
The event industry continues to focus attention and efforts on attendee networking as a key driver for providing value to attendees. If attendees see the value in your event over your competitors’, they’ll be more likely to not only attend but continue to attend for years to come.