You’re planning a conference, and it’s a pretty big deal. Whether it’s a single day of talks or a whole weekend full of activities, you need to make it good for your guests and for anyone who is providing their services and expertise. People are spending money to be there, so you need to make sure they get their money’s worth. It’s particularly important to impress if you want to hold the event again. Of course, the program of talks and events is an extremely important part of the whole thing. However, it’s easy to let some of the smaller details get lost when it comes to your guest experience. So many small things can make or break their enjoyment, so you need to pay attention to everything that could cause frustrations or make their time with you more pleasant.
Provide Essential Information
Ensuring that everyone coming to the event, whether they’re speaking, running a workshop, or just coming to learn, has all the information they need is vital. Before they even arrive, it’s wise to make sure they know all the information about getting there, finding their way around, and even choosing a place to stay. You can provide a welcome pack to people when they arrive, but you also might want to provide them with essential information ahead of time. Let them know where they need to go with a map, suggest hotels for them to stay in, and tell them what they need to do when they arrive.
Let People Know Where to Charge Their Devices
If you’re gathering a lot of business people in one place, you can guarantee they’re going to have devices they want to charge. They’ll want to stay in touch with their office or get some work done, and perhaps need their devices for taking notes or giving presentations too. Don’t leave them wandering around looking for a spare socket.
Don’t make getting in and out of your event more difficult than it needs to be. While security is important, it’s frustrating for people if they have to wait in line or be scrutinized every time they want to come back into the building. Some of the security measures could be down to the venue, but you might have some control over it too. For example, maybe you’re issuing wristbands or lanyards for attendees. It’s easy to use a company to print custom lanyards so you can tell at a glance who can come into the event. You could go a step further and make people ID cards if you feel it’s necessary. However, most of the time, it’s unlikely to be.
Check for Cell Reception and Internet Connection
In addition to ensuring everyone can charge their devices, don’t forget to check for both cell reception and a strong internet connection at your venue. It might seem obvious, but if you don’t check, you could find out too late that the venue is full of blackout spots. People will need to be able to contact the outside world, as well as each other. They’ll want to be able to post on social media during the event, make calls to their office, and do other tasks to stay in touch with their business. You want them to be able to post on social media too, to get people talking about your event.
Make Your Gift Bags Useful
Giving out bags with various items in them is common for conferences. They usually contain some brochures and maybe promotional pens. If you’re going to give out something like this, you might as well make it useful. What’s the use of a promotional pen if it doesn’t have a notebook to go with it? Think about what might help your delegates during the conference. Try including something like a phone charger or power bank so they can keep their devices going. Don’t just hand them a bag of stuff they’re going to throw away.
Provide Somewhere to Relax
Attending a conference can be pretty exhausting. Even if you’re a people person, you can need a break occasionally. Make sure that your venue has somewhere people can go if they want to relax, take a breather, or just sit down and check their emails. There might be a lounge area, or you could set one up. In some venues, it could be a bar or cafe. Make sure you don’t let any sponsors or anyone who’s going to badger people into this area. When people go to relax, they want to be left alone.
Make It Easy to Get Around
If your venue is pretty big, it could be easy to get lost. Even if it’s not, no one wants to waste time trying to figure out where to go or stand around looking lost. Clearly signposting everything makes it easy to get around. Have signs for key areas like bathrooms, dining areas and your relaxation space. Put your signs in visible places that can be seen from far away. You can even provide a map if you think it would be useful.
Ensure Your Venue Is Accessible
This can go beyond more than an annoyance if you don’t get it right. Welcoming people of all abilities to your conference opens it up to everyone, so make sure your event is as accessible as possible. Firstly, let people know they can make any requests for adjustments or accommodations before the event. This gives you time to arrange anything and reassures them that things will be ready for them. People have their own individual requirements, but there are still some things you can do that can help everyone. For example, ensure easy step-free access into your venue.
You don’t want various annoyances to ruin your attendees’ conference experience. If you want it to be a good time for everyone, think of all the details that will help to make them happy.
What do you enjoy the most when attending a conference?