When an event is all said and done, how can you truly know if it was successful? It would be naïve to think a few kind words from attendees at the end of an event represented the thoughts of everyone.
The fact is that many best practices before and after the event can help ensure everyone leaves happy and fulfilled.
Pick the right location
This early legwork pays huge dividends. Securing a location often happens months, even years in advance, so make sure the one you pickcan handle all the twists and turns the event planning might take. A venue needs to accommodate sudden increases or decreases in attendees and still be able to deliver tech, catering, and an environment that fosters interaction between participants.
Plan the flow
So much tension at meetings comes from the little things – technology not working, meals served 10 minutes late,crowded flow from session to session – the list goes on. Be sure to triple check your attendee flow with your venue’s conference planning manager or the whole day could get out of whack. If possible, walk the same path they will walk beforehand to make sure the timing works.
Get speakers that resonate
When participants aren’t engaged by the content, their perception of the entire event will suffer.Inapplicable content is one of the most common pieces of negative feedback. Do your research to be 100 percent sure your speakers will fit the audience perfectly.
Ask for feedback
Unless you’re retiring, this event won’t be your last. So learn from your hits and misses. Prepare a post-event survey for attendees. If they’re busy people, try adding a small incentive like a raffle for a $20 gift card.
Try this trick: Use a 5-point scale for quantitative questions and comments for qualitative ones. Be sure to get a holistic understanding by using questions about the program objectives, content, and instructors, as well as the learning environment.
Hit the budget
This may seem like a wholly internal goal, but your attendees will appreciate it too even if they don’t immediately realize it.Making your event more extravagant than it should be could leave your attendees expecting the same pizazz the next time. It’ll be hard to deliver, especially when your supervisor may be keeping an even closer eye on your spending.
In truth, there is no magic bullet that will make your event a success. Diligent preparation, on-site excellence, and smart post conference follow-up will build the foundation for a well-rounded and successful event.
Did we miss any? We’d love to hear your insights. Comment below!