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Meet Attendees’ Expectations with these 4 Tips

August 7, 2019

As the adage goes, “you can’t please everyone”. This is especially true when catering to large groups, and, as meeting planners will tell you, nearly impossible. With the plethora of details that go into organizing an event, the line between too little and too much can be easily jaded. While the reality may be that you simply cannot please everyone, we’re determined to give it a try! We‘ve compiled 4 tips that are sure to meet attendees desires and have them walking away motivated and inspired.

Appealing to your attendees’ varied requests

What do attendees really want? What could have been done better? What would you like to see at next year’s event? These are the questions that most commonly get asked at the conclusion of an event, rather than prior to it. But, do the answers carry over to next year’s program? Unfortunately, they often don’t. Expand your scope of input preceding the conference by crowdsourcing ideas and surveying similar audience demographics. This will not only give you leverage while tailoring experiences to your guests, but also show that attendee’s desires are indeed being considered and at the forefront of planning in an effort to create lasting and meaningful impressions.

Today’s society functions on accessibility and the ease of attaining information. As with any field, trends in the event industry are rapidly changing. Don’t overcomplicate otherwise simple things, just harness and utilize them to your advantage. For example, streamline your registration, itinerary and networking opportunities by giving attendees one single platform that they can use throughout the conference. This one source of information will cut down confusion, create awareness and put the control back in your attendee’s hands, and let’s face it, who doesn’t like to feel in control!

Successful events are ones that captivate guests and keep them fully engaged throughout the program, including breakout sessions and keynote presentations. There are several ways to boost engagement among attendees to ensure they aren’t losing interest or simply zoning out from data overload.

A great speaker reads his or her audience and sparks a conversation, allowing for guest participation and reflection. Encourage your presenters to bring visuals and to work in time for breakout sessions. This will create a dynamic atmosphere that pushes attendees to retain and apply the information being presented, making for an effective, engaging keynote.

Another creative way to boost engagement is by utilizing the destination itself as the meeting room. Studies show we are more likely to maintain focus if we take breaks in between lectures or seminars. Venture beyond the ballroom walls and set up a string of activities that will boost productivity and push your guests over the midday slump, leave them feeling refreshed and excited to get back to the main event.

Turn to the destination to meet attendees’ expectations

Put your own twist on the usual networking sessions by incorporating the essence of the area. For example, invite local vendors to serve cuisine indicative of the destination or offer a cocktail hour dedicated to serving signature drinks named after the areas most famous attraction. In Newport Beach, CA you’d find drinks such as the gin-based “Mariner’s Cup”, the blackberry “Balboa Buzz”, or the signature Vodka and Mezcal based fruity “PCH Martini”. Or head on over to A’s restaurant for “True Grit”, a drink made to honor a former patron John Wayne.

Alternatively, avoid basic ballrooms and boardrooms altogether and host a series of activities that highlight the best of the destination. Not only will this spark conversation, but it will also give your guests a chance to connect beyond the walls of the event’s main venue, providing them with an experience exclusive to that program.

When you’re looking for an engaging destination that truly can please everyone, turn to the staff at Visit Newport Beach, the destination marketing organization for Newport Beach, CA. Visit Newport Beach opens the doors to this Pacific paradise with destination expertise, customized site visits, strong partnerships, and valuable resources.

Written by Visit Newport Beach Meetings

As a not-for-profit Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), Visit Newport Beach provides destination expertise, customized site visits, strong partnerships and resources tailored specifically to the needs of meeting planners and their clients.

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