From trade shows to conferences, we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to stepping away from our desks and heading out for some event time. As an attendee, it’s great to have so many options, but as a event organiser you’re constantly challenged to make your event stand head and shoulders above the rest.
So what motivates people to attend events? There are reasons that go beyond great food and a killer afterparty (although both of these things are obviously great). If you can figure out how you can tap into these desires to help promote your event, you’re golden.
People attend events to meet key contacts
Networking is the number one reason people attend events. We’re social creatures, and events are a great chance to get some face time with established connections, and to forge some new ones. Events are a way of creating and building bonds – and a strong network is essential for business success. From finding potential customers and generating leads to chinwagging with industry experts about best practice, the possibilities for connecting are endless. Make sure your attendees know that your event attracts the best type of people and is set up for a great networking experience.
A report by Conventions 2020 into the future of meetings, events, exhibitions and conferences looked the incentives for attending events and expectations for the development of events.
76% of respondents cited the quality of networking as the single biggest factor that would encourage them to attend events. The networking factor beat out content, interaction and use of technology to take the number one motivating spot.
Pro Tip: Use social media to introduce attendees to each other by including them in your conversations – don’t forget to use your event hashtag!
People attend events to stay at the cutting edge
A key reason people attend events is to stay at the cutting edge of their industry. Hearing case studies from major players, watching tip-filled talks and getting a glimpse into how their competitors operate are all reasons people attend events. Talks and keynote presentations offer valuable learning opportunities – and seeing someone share their story in person can drive a message home in a way that’s different to reading an article or watching a video.
Pro Tip: Most people will pick and choose their speaker sessions based on which sound most inspiring/interesting/useful and will only attend a small portion of these. Make sure that you have loads of great information about your speakers with some really compelling copy.
People attend events to source the best suppliers
Trade shows are a great opportunity to connect with suppliers and see what tools are out there. It’s a chance for people to evaluate their operations and see what new technologies or ideas are launching or becoming more affordable. If you’re connecting business owners with suppliers, your event has real value because of the potential you offer for long-term business savings. Make sure people know who is going to be at your event and how those people can save them money. If you can positively impact their bottom line, you can guarantee you’ll be a permanent fixture in their calendar from now on.
Pro Tip: Attract great vendors by having a solid system in place for promoting their offering to your attendees – you can even help them create great marketing collateral.
People attend events to get inspired
An event is more than just a learning experience. By changing your physical surroundings and exposing yourself to a large group of people, all of whom are in the same mindset, you can feel recharged, energised and inspired. Events are about the people that attend and the content, but the change of pace is something that attendees really relish too. This can seem intangible, but it’s actually crucial to figuring out why people attend events. If your event seems like an inspirational way to spend a day or two, you can guarantee people will see the value in attending. . For some people (freelancers who work from home, for example) events are a critical part of their calendar as it allows them to interact and share their perspective – events stop them from feeling professionally isolated.
Pro Tip: Provide inspiring content to all of your attendees via your event app and social media channels before, during and after the event. Use the best content to help push sign-ups for next year!
Need some further reading? We love this blog post: 10 Secret Reasons Why We Attend Events
About Noodle Live
Noodle Live brings a seamless social experience to events, conferences and exhibitions using a combination of mobile applications and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) swipe cards to streamline information sharing.
For more information check out our video or visit www.noodlelive.com
This post was written by Clemi Hardie, founder and MD of Noodle Live.