From the Mouths of Participants: 6 Ways to Improve Meetings & Events
What Do Your Meeting and Event Participants Really Want?
If there’s any advice you’d want to listen to about improving your meetings and events, it’d probably come from the people that attend them, right? Post-program surveys are an excellent tool to capture feedback and make your next event better. If you’re using an event app, it’s even more useful to get feedback in real time. The participants will likely be more apt to provide feedback and they’ll be more specific with their responses since it’s still fresh in their mind.
Another way to improve your meetings and events is to heed the responses from the survey in the 2018 EventTrack report. Important themes and recommendations were recorded directly from consumers themselves on how to improve brand events. And even if you don’t plan brand events, the consumer mindset is ever-present and affects how people view events. From product launches to sales meetings and national conferences; participants are looking for the same things.
What Event Participants Want
Creative Group follows an approach to designing meetings and events based on six elements called i|xperience®. The approach recognizes that experiences are inherently personal, and that combining these elements will make for an unforgettable event. Along with responses such as “know the audience” and “make the experience welcoming,” the EventTrack survey responses relate directly to the i|xperience approach.
- Inspiration – Every great experience starts with inspiration. You should be creating an experience not because you want to, but because you need to. The brand or thematic must tell a story, and it should be integrated throughout the experience. The inspiration provides a guide for all resulting meeting components. Does it support or enhance the theme? If not, it shouldn’t be used. In the same way you would never start a business without a strategy, and you should never have a meeting without the inspiration. This will help you make an emotional tie that participants crave.
- Intrigue – Capture your audience’s attention with some sort of entertainment. Even when a topic isn’t exciting, a creative delivery and atmosphere will make it more enjoyable and engaging.
- Influence – Participants want to learn something new. Teach them skills, stretch their brains and help them draw connections. Learning—verbally, aurally or kinesthetically—changes behavior and motivates people to act.
- Impression – Touch all five senses to fully engage participants. Our sense of smell quickly connects subliminally to our brain’s memory center – remember that fond scent from your childhood that takes you back?
- Interruption – Escaping reality, if only for a short period of time, helps turn an ordinary day into a unique and memorable one. Exotic destinations, exclusive venues and virtual reality environments interrupt the status quo and provide the sense of discovery that participants seek.
- Immersion – Full immersion into an experience involves not just a state of mind, but also physical participation. Interactive games and competitions are one way to pull this off.
You can improve any meeting or event by putting some creative thinking around all six elements. Give participants what they want, and you’ll be rewarded with impressive event ROI.
Want to read more about creating an i|xperience? Download our white paper.
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