How to Design a Conference Introverts will Love Guest Post by Lisa Petrilli

Design Conference Introverts will LoveOriginally posted on the Ultimate Conference Blog by Christine Hawks

I have a secret.  One that I’m about to share with you.  I am an introvert…working in a very extraverted industry.  Networking opportunities are often promoted by event organizers, like me, as a benefit of attending their event.  Likewise surveyed attendees often cite networking opportunities and the quality of the connections that they make as a top reason for attending or returning to an event.  Conferences seem to offer the ideal place and opportunity to meet people, especially if you are of the extraverted variety. 

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10 Ways to Enable Event Attendees to Learn From Each Other

attendeesOne of our clients recently polled their attendees to ask them why they attend their annual meeting.  95% named networking as either the #1 or #2 reasons for attending.  My guess is that your attendees would say the same thing.  Considering the importance attendees place on meeting new people and learning from their peers, this seems like a huge opportunity for show organizers to add value.

What are your attendees doing during “networking” breaks?  My guess is that they are using the restroom, checking emails on their phone, standing in line for coffee or walking to the next session.  Even if you plan breaks that are long enough for people to actually network, are you doing anything to help facilitate conversations and meaningful dialogue during those times?

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Grow Attendee Loyalty and Sponsorship Revenue with VIP Experiences

VIPLoungePic300wideYour conference, event or expo is likely full of relevant and inspiring content, engaging experiences, meaningful connections, and thought provoking insight for your attendees. It may also be an exhausting experience for attendees who spend a lot of time battling crowds - for parking or shuttlebuses, admittance to the event or to general sessions, buffet lines, concession stands, etc. The larger your event, the more likely your attendees are to have to wait around and fight crowds, and the risk is that they potentially give up on some element of your show. When that happens, you lose the chance to grow a loyal fan, and your exhibitors and partners lose a potential buyer.

Some of your attendees - Industry veterans, influential thought leaders, and affluent buyers - are likely willing to pay for a better experience. VIP Experiences can let attendees bypass lines, enjoy private lounges, network with other VIPs, and be the first to hear of industry news and special offers.

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