Open Forum

Expand all | Collapse all

How will you entice your in-person audience to return to events?

  • 1.  How will you entice your in-person audience to return to events?

    Cvent Staff
    Posted 03-22-2021 11:18

    Hello, Community members! We hope you are ready to kick off a productive new week and a new Huddle of the Week discussion. 

    With March near its end already, we are hopeful for the future and a strong (and safe) return of in-person events to come. With that said, a lot's changed, and there are different expectations.

    You are the masters of the industry when it comes to delivering a great in-person event, but how will you approach this new age? We'd like to discuss how you will get back to what you already know and what you are good at: delivering great in-person events.

    • Will you keep your event structure, entertainment, and overall goals the same?
    • How will you entice your audience to return?

    If you're eager to learn more, we're hosting a webinar on this important topic this Thursday at 2pm ET, so be sure to check it out and share any additional insights here.

    Let us know your thoughts, ideas, or questions for your hotelier partners below! #HuddleoftheWeek #VoiceIt


    #Miscellaneous
    #ManagingOn-site
    #SourcingaVenue

    ------------------------------
    Danni Czark
    Senior Associate, Online Community Marketing
    Cvent
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: How will you entice your in-person audience to return to events?

    Community MVP
    Posted 03-23-2021 11:45
    We should be communicating with our past and potential future attendees on a regular basis.

    We should be asking them quick poll questions about how safe they feel, when they might feel comfortable coming to a live onsite event, and what strategies in their opinion are required for their in person onsite attendance.

    As you track this data over time, it will change for individuals. You can define a point at which you'll start executing a live onsite event and with enough pre-work, you can make a pretty accurate attendance forecast.

    A few of the strategies for live onsite events to encourage higher attendance are:
    • Push the "Bleisure" aspect (business + leisure). Send out Know Before You Go (KBYG) emails highlighting why attendees should come early and/or stay late (local attractions, foodie resources, local history, special hotel amenities, etc.)
    • Change the location - people get tired of going to the same old hotel in the same old city year after year
    • Include great logistics in your KBYG emails: options and costs from transport from airport to hotel, hotel parking, any pre-charge the hotel will assess upon check-in. options for touchless check-in, etc.
    • Offer content that is available ONLY to live onsite attendees (even if the event is hybrid)
    • A picture is worth a thousand years. Contact the local Vistor's and Convention's Bureau and get a planner kit and/or press kit to use photos, videos, and pre-written "copy" for your KBYG emails.

    Those are my first few thoughts.

    ------------------------------
    Brenda Ainsburg
    Channel Program Manager
    brenda.ainsburg@siemens.com
    Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    United States
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: How will you entice your in-person audience to return to events?

    Posted 03-23-2021 12:37
    You have to make people want to come to your in-person so give them additional reasons other than business that may interest them. Up the entertainment game. Big name entertainment and speakers to get people to want to come and see them in person. Have your event in a interesting destination that may entioce attendees to have a small vacation in line with the business meeting. Keep the event affordable so you can reach a wide range of attendees.

    ------------------------------
    Scott Sward
    Global Travel and Events Manager
    Viewpoint, Inc.
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: How will you entice your in-person audience to return to events?

    Posted 03-23-2021 13:12
    I think that when you are able/start hosting in person events again you will have a group just waiting to signup. So many folks have been so event deprived that I don't think it will be an issue right away. Given that we are not planning to open events to the same capacity that we once did I don't initially foresee any issues. 

    We are still 100% virtual at this time and hoping to start planning for some in person/hybrid events in late Q42021/Q12022. When we do start planning to transition from 100% virtual I think our new modified event structure is something folks have been enjoying with shorter sessions, not hosting an all day (8am-5pm) event, and offering a variety of breakouts, networking sessions and breaks. Having this new variety has received great feedback so far from attendees as flexibility is key.

    ------------------------------
    Megan Ridgway
    Sr. Specialist, Event Operations
    S&P Global Market Intelligence(PreviouslySNL Financial LC)
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: How will you entice your in-person audience to return to events?

    Posted 03-25-2021 08:16
    Marketing the event to what is going on in-person is a good start and align events with happenings within the area at that time, so that not only the event is being marketed, but the events within the city would be a draw for attendees.

    ------------------------------
    Mary Ann Hall
    Event Planner
    Federal Reserve System
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: How will you entice your in-person audience to return to events?

    Community MVP
    Posted 03-25-2021 08:39
    We have decided to simply stick with virtual events this year, with one or two possible exceptions that I would like to try a hybrid approach to - so that we can ensure that nobody feels uncomfortable in-person if they would prefer to attend virtually. We will re-evaluate in late summer; I'm hoping we'll bring back more in-person events, but I don't know that it will ever be to the level it was pre-COVID because we've seen that it doesn't NEED to be in-person. In fact, we've had people attend our virtual events who never would have been able to attend an in-person event simply because of geography. 

    Somewhere in there is the "sweet spot", and we're looking forward to finding it in 2022 (hopefully)!

    ------------------------------
    Lori Wildman
    Senior Marketing Manager
    DuCharme, McMillen & Associates, Inc.
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: How will you entice your in-person audience to return to events?

    Posted 03-25-2021 13:11
    We have a unique challenge as a large university.  I've found we have not only our governor's mandates to follow, but our own which are more strict.

    • Will you keep your event structure, entertainment, and overall goals the same?
      • I doubt it.  I think we are going to find many of our in person events will continue to be virtual or hybrid until some time in 2022...maybe longer.  We do have events (fairs, graduation etc.) that we are already looking at how to morph them into in person but "safe" experiences. This will mean more events (aka more ceremonies), less entertainment, and more time.  Our goals I think will be the same but we are going to have to be creative.  Our Arts Centers have already been extremely creative in live streaming, special tickets for students for Live recordings etc.  On the entertainment front - we have to reconsider anything we used to do due to restrictions and our space limitations.
    • How will you entice your audience to return?
      • I think by proving we are a safe campus and with all of the current testing and procedures Mason has put in place, people for the most part consider our campus safe. I think our strict guidelines for events (for people wanting to use our space) may end up driving business away - but from a University standpoint this may also provide us unique opportunities to use our space. 


    ------------------------------
    Lesley Irminger
    University Events and Office of Communication Events Coordinator
    George Mason - Office Of University Events
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: How will you entice your in-person audience to return to events?

    Community MVP
    Posted 03-25-2021 13:40
    Hi Danielle, 

    For us, and because we are likely to still offer fully virtual events too, we will have to work on differentiating the experience between the virtual and in-person events. 
    I agree with Brenda that the destination will become more important in motivating people to actually travel. And then of course, content, as always, rules the game: focusing on small, peer-to-peer and interactive sessions, with the presenters being available for direct feedback, will make the in-person workshop experience one that can't be offered online to larger, more passive groups of attendees. 
    The networking aspect of the in-person events will also become more important, so I can see integrating more of those types of sessions/times in the schedule of our in-person events. 

    Best,

    ------------------------------
    Béline FALZON
    Conference Program Specialist II
    California Teachers Association
    ------------------------------