Attendee-Centric Meetings

Meeting Attendees GraphicYears ago, a company could schedule a meeting and the attendees would show up to hear whatever the company wanted to tell them.There was much less scrutiny of corporate expenses and everyone was happy to take a few days out of the office on the chance they might meet someone, see something or learn something that would help their business.

Today, the “if you hold it, they will come” idea is no longer valid.Attendees are much more discriminating for several reasons:

Cost vs. Value

Corporate travel and expenses are under intense scrutiny and expenditures are being measured against the value received.Decision-makers want to know the value of attending and the expected return on investment.Those events with clearly defined agendas and detailed content outlines are much more likely to be approved than less-defined events that promise “a unique experience.”

Relevance

Today’s attendees want to gain knowledge and tools that they can immediately use to increase revenue.They don’t have the time or resources to hear about company vision, the latest vaporware or technology that won’t be available for months or years.They demand functional tools, real solutions and differentiated products.If you don’t offer them, they’ll look for another event that does.

Inspiration

Attendees want to be inspired and energized by an event.They want to be engaged.Networking and being a part of something greater than themselves is much more important than theme décor, free drinks or an imaginative menu.

Ownership

Today’s attendees want a two-way conversation.They don’t want to be lectured or talked down to.They want to feel ownership of their experience and to know that their ideas and suggestions were heard by the meeting’s organizers.

The days of passive attendance are over.Attendees have increased expectations for meetings and reduced budgets.They want to know there will be a payoff for their time, expense and the inconvenience of travelling.If your event doesn’t offer what they looking for, a complete listing of competitive events is just a click away.

When planning your next meeting or event, make sure it is attendee-centric and provides your target audience with clear value for attending.If you don’t, you may not get a second chance.

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