Conferences are coming back, as more people are returning to their office and are itching to attend “real-life” events once more. But that doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels. Your conference still has to deliver real value. Let’s look at how to create value at your next Conference.
Ask The Audience
If your next conference is, or at least was before Covid struck, an annual event, did you get feedback from the delegates at your last event? What did they like? What didn’t they like? The more feedback you get, the better you can shape your next conference to be even better.
- What topics are important to your audience now?
- Is there anything changing in that sector that people will need information about?
- Who are the rising stars and the key names?
The more the audience expects to gain, the more likely they are to book and attend.
Don’t Sell, Guide
Anyone who has attended a few conferences will know the feeling. You sit down to listen to a speaker and within 5 minutes you know this is just one big sales pitch. Have you ever been to an exhibition seminar and seen the space empty after a few minutes? This is usually when someone starts selling. At conferences, this is less likely to happen, but delegates who sit through multiple sales pitches will not book again.
Put the event online as well
Hybrid event technology makes putting an event online, at the same time, easy. Some people may still be worried about Covid. Others may simply want to catch part of the event. Even more may be in a completely different part of the country/world. The lockdowns proved that online conferences can still make money, so people will pay (albeit less) to attend a conference online.
Increase Networking Potential
Trying to network at a conference can be tough. It can be uncomfortable walking up to someone and starting a conversation. Often there is no convenient place to talk that is both quiet and comfortable. Organisers can add value here by including a networking bar or other area. Check out our tips for creating social spaces here. This is a place where people go who are actively looking to network. The area has chairs, note taking materials and light refreshments. Plus, since everyone there is looking to network it makes introductions much more natural. Our River Room, with panoramic views of the Thames is a great place for networking.
Encourage Interaction And Participation
People learn more when they can ask questions and directly engage during an event. This could mean using instant polling technology during lectures or having a post lecture meet and greet where the speaker re-engages with the audience and speaks one on one or participates in a group discussion.
Create Breakout Spaces At The Event
Journalists need space to write. Attendees need space to eat. Sellers need a place to hold meetings. These are not the main goal of a conference but they are all valuable activities. Anticipating the needs of guests and exhibitors and going above and beyond can make the conference far more valuable and attendees are likely to remember your conference fondly. For conferences in our Banqueting Hall, the River Room, the Bridge Room and Thames Room are the most popular spaces for breakouts.
Become A B2B Matchmaker
If you provide a list of attendees before the conference, you can increase your events value by allowing people to schedule meetings with the attendees or businesses they are most interested in seeing. Of course, the registration process will need to gain permission for you to share personal identifiable information. This means there is no need to wander around a conference trying to connect with a supplier or potential buyer. Instead you can plan your day around your own schedule. This is likely to lead to more sales for attendees which makes your London conference even more valuable as businesses will see it as a business driver.
Make Materials Available After The Event
If you have speakers, their slides should be made available online once the event finishes. If you video the event, put individual talks up and circulate the access link. Both of these allow people who may have missed part of the event to re-engage and get more out of it. You can also publish the results of polls or other information to engage attendees post event. These are best presented in a single well organised location so that guests do not have to search to find what they are looking for.
Get Feedback After Every Conference
And to complete the loop… Once you have finished with your conference it is important to understand what added the most value and where you can improve. A poll of attendees or a questionnaire as they leave can easily indicate what worked well and what needs improvement. You can use what you learn to add even more value to your next conference.
If you are currently looking for the best conference venue in London, we can help you with that as well. Glaziers Hall offers a number of different options for large and small conferences in the heart of London. Call or email our experts today to learn more, on 020 7403 3300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.