For the first time in a year and a half, I’m attending a convention as a meeting planner. Mercifully the event has nothing to do with meeting planning, nor am I responsible for a blessed thing for three days! I’m simply here to get my education on: to learn and to share with others with like-minded interests.
While the session content has been outstanding thus far, I see some opportunities to make the overall experience even better for attendees. Following are some observations from this experience that I’m hoping will prove helpful to meeting planners, marketing types and anyone associated with executing a convention:
- After I’ve registered, please scrub your data so that I don’t continue to receive emails soliciting me to attend your event. Instead, drive us to your blog and social media outlets with event updates.
- Networking is a huge reward for event attendee. Seed Tweet-Ups (meet-ups using Twitter) to foster networking, especially during larger events.
- You don’t need to be on 17 different social media platforms: we attendees aren’t there and we’d rather you spent your time doing good works for our mutual benefit.
- During the live event, test and monitor your Wi-Fi on a regular basis. On day one of this event, the Wi-Fi network wasn’t working. That’s the blue screen of death for we bloggers and Tweeters. Help us help you!
- Your final program doesn’t include the event hashtag. Shall I guess what it is?
- Place Twitter boards featuring event-related posts in the convention area, ideally on the show floor to drive traffic. This is a great way to build community, networking opportunities and attendee engagement. Manage the risk of inappropriate posts by moderating activity.
- Get a sponsor for smartphone and laptop charging stations. Attendees (and their devices) can’t get enough of them as they day winds on.
- A peer indicated that her attendees don’t embrace social media. I’d hazard a guess that some don’t understand how to use it – but would like to learn in an open environment. Organize a social media basics seminar for those who need help. It’s a value-add for your attendees and will better engage them in your event community.
Help your attendees use social media effectively before, during and after your event. When properly executed, it can only enhance your event. Your attendees will thank you and hopefully reward you with repeat attendance in the future.