How to Personalize the Attendee Experience on Events
There’s no shortage of articles about designing and delivering engaging event experiences. Experts all around the world will tell you how important the attendee experience is for the success of your event.
Reports and forecasts highlight the increased value of event experiences. For example, the 2018 Global Meetings and Events Forecast, published by American Express Meetings and Events, indicates that "When respondents consider where to cut and where to add as budgets shift, they are doing so with the attendee experience top of mind." So even when we try to save money, we can’t touch the budget designated for the event experience.
Being a key factor in determining the engagement and emotional level of the attendees, event experience refers to the wow factor you can provide. As entrepreneur Kevin Van der Straeten notes, "To create a really strong event, which can satisfy even the most complex and demanding objectives, you will need to show a little more daring and imagination. A well-filled program with an original theme is not always enough. In order to really get through to your audience, you need to provide them with a genuine experience, an experience that will linger long in their memory."
However, not all the experiences you prepare for the audience are suitable for all the attendees. That's when 'mass personalization' comes into play. According to Travel Wire Asia, "Mass personalization may sound like a contradiction, but it is actually entirely possible to offer personalization at scale.” The article author explains, “Often this involves identifying patterns in behavior as to target consumers with relevant choices based on either their previous activity or match to similar profiles."
The same way giants such as Amazon, Youtube, iTunes, and others tailor product recommendations for you; event professionals can generate personalized dynamics for their attendees. Are you interested in trying it by crafting mass personalized experiences for your event audience? Give a try by following these steps:
Step #1. Create different attendee types
To achieve mass personalization, you must classify your event guests into multiple categories. From VIP attendees and hosted buyers to entrepreneurs and exhibitors, you have a wide range of options. For example, by creating different attendee types, you can provide personalized activities. Apart from that, you can design personalized experiences, aligned with your guests’ needs and expectations.
Step #2. Build multiple mailing lists
The same way your event must follow the path of mass personalization, your email marketing must be well-targeted. Now that you’ve decided to create different attendee types, don’t hesitate to use the same information to build multiple mailing lists. This way, you can personalize the communication accordingly and send highly targeted messages.
Step #3. Profile the networking experience
When attending events, attendees may feel uncomfortable and uncertain about the professionals they’ll be meeting. Everyone has his or her own networking agenda, and it’s always difficult to find people within a crowd who can add real value. That’s why, instead of a coffee-break networking session, think about personalizing the experience through a B2B matchmaking dynamic. This will help you to profile the attendees and match the offer with the demand, as well as ensure your attendees will have access to those people of interest.
Step #4. Design a flexible program for your guests
By separating your attendees into categories, you can also offer them singular experiences. For example, say your goal is to run a medical congress for different types of cardiology professionals. When planning the event, you can decide to organize a series of workshops just for nurses. You can also set up a guided visit to a medical university for the cardiology professors. As for the doctors, you can plan an intense knowledge marathon with high-level experts. Considering this, you can easily have one big event for different types of attendees, which responds perfectly to the mass personalization requirement.
As event professionals, we always strive to add as much value as possible to our attendees. We want to deliver unique and highly targeted experiences that are aligned with our guests’ profiles and expectations. That’s why mass personalization techniques are of great help when designing our next event.11-02-2018