It's the experience that matters - this is something that most event organizers understand at least intuitively.
For everyone who attends your event, delegate satisfaction is crucial to event success, particularly in an era where we are moving away from traditional event formats and are trying to demonstrate make a business case for the importance of live event experiences.
Events create value for stakeholders by influencing the behavior of participants. Whether you want to sell more, connect with more of the right customers, amplify brand presence or drive activity from your employees and partners, your event needs to be extraordinary to achieve memorable results.
Strong research, an ambitious agenda, team work and innovation in branding, program formats and segmentation are what creates a successful event and a truly valuable experience for the delegates.
If an event doesn’t make participants do something they would otherwise not have done then there is no value, which is why delegate satisfaction is crucial as it affects the entire value of any meeting or event.
This article will help readers understand different ways to the value of an event can be proven, and also discusses how event tech can be used to boost the value of an event.
Proving The Value Of Meetings And Events
Different stakeholders will want to achieve different results, so it’s important to establish common goals and set objectives that can be measured through the event lifecycle. Here are a few tips to help with your event ROI and ROO:
The Impact of an event is represented by the how well the event contributes to the goals of event stakeholders. The impact is used in the profit and ROI calculations. For a customer focused event, the impact is usually sales. For an internal event it is typically organizational effectiveness.
Was the event successful at changing attendees behavior or understanding? All behavioral change is preempted by cognitive change. The cognitive change might be subconscious, but something always has to change in the mind before behavior changes.
Satisfaction and Learning Environment Objectives
How can you design a learning environment that will make cognitive change most effective? Learning is influenced by the state of mind of the learner as well as ambient factors (e.g. event setting), instructional design, speaker quality, etc.
Target Audience Objectives
Finally, how can you ensure that the right people are attending. Do event attendees have opportunities to apply what they learn to the benefit of the stakeholders? Are attendees learning something new, which will change their behavior?
Using Event Tech To Engage Your Audience
With “attendees” becoming “participants” and new event formats emerging, the events industry is trending towards more interaction and more active audiences. New technologies and event apps can be great tools to improve the delegate experience at events and get direct feedback on your audience’s expectations and satisfaction via live polls and surveys.
If you want to influence your attendees’ level of engagement with your event, here are two key concepts to consider:
Novel Event Formats And Event Tech
When investing time and money in an event, attendees seek to get the best possible ROI. The event format itself determines the level of interaction between presenters and attendees. The classic “speaker vs. audience” approach obviously has changed and gives room for innovative types of conferences. New event formats such as “unconferences” or “barcamps” really stress the interactive element of an event: they don’t draw a hard line between the speaker and the audience since everyone is seen as a participant of the event.
”Flipped classroom” conferences go as far as using the actual time at an event to interact, talk and discuss a presentation that has already been watched by the participants before the conference – as opposed to sitting in the audience and listening quietly.
Event technology can make these more collaborative event formats more do-able, thanks to features like 1 on 1 messaging, live polling, and interactive social walls that keep everyone up-to-date and always engaged.
When it comes to organizing event today, there are many more things to consider than there were five or ten years ago. Today event organizers are expected to understand the value the event creates, and as has been discussed, there are various ways that this can be done. From measuring the impact an event had on attendees, to analyizing event-audience fit, organizers can think about event success from many different angles.
When it comes to event technology, it’s import for organizers to think about how tech can help to take events in new directions. Planners should also be aware of the power that mobile event apps can have on engaging attendees and empowering event goers.
Sarah Hill is a professional blogger and creative content writer. She works as a Marketing Manager at Seven Events, a leading event management and corporate event production agency in London, delivering global meeting and free venue finding service.