29 Oct How to Design Purposeful Meetings
It’s easy to do the same event again and again, especially when planning something like an annual convention or conference. But using a “rinse and repeat” method won’t allow you to grow your event—and won’t hold your attendees’ interest for long (or have them signing up to return to your event next year).
The average human attention span is now only about eight seconds, and if you’re not designing attendee-driven experiences with your delegates in mind, your event and your company won’t remain in their minds, either. As events become more digital and incorporate greater technology, from artificial intelligence to chatbots to virtual reality, defining the objectives of your company and aligning them with your event is increasingly crucial.
Designing a “pretty” event is meaningless if it’s not aligned with your company’s overall brand. To create a lasting impression, you must design events that communicate the soul of your business—its culture, its personality and its mission. What’s your company’s “vibe”? It’s that feeing people get when they walk through the doors into the office, or when they walk into your event. Creating a connection to your brand by connecting all those dots at an event can inspire, generate loyalty and build confidence between your company, your employees and your clients.
Designing purposeful meetings requires creating unique experiences for your guests that drive engagement, and also support your broader goals. Before you begin the planning process, consider what elements of your event stand to make the greatest impact: Is it the location? The food and beverage? The format? The education? The speaker? With each experience you create, think about what will generate excitement among your guests before, during and after the event; you must also account for how each piece fits together into the larger puzzle of what your company is trying to achieve.
Taking another step back, understanding your audience is key. It can be helpful to develop delegate profiles, often described as audience personas, to discover how you can reach each type of person attending your event on a personal level. For example, where do your audience members live? What are their titles? What are their learning styles? What challenges are they facing? How technologically savvy are they? What solutions are they looking for to help them do their jobs better? Consider all of these things when building out audience personas and determining how to create touch points with them at your event (recognizing that you may have at least several different personas present).
When you create content and experiences at your event that are engaging, everyone wins. Attendees have concrete learnings they can take home and begin to apply in their own jobs and companies, and you, as the event organizer, are well positioned to garner valuable feedback that you can use to improve your event next time. Not to mention, you’ll be able to collect concrete data on how your meetings and events are serving a higher purpose for your company. Consider planning an event to be like storytelling: You must weave together a narrative for the attendee that feels like an experiential journey, not a script. Do you need help building out personas or understanding how you can align your event goals with your attendees’ needs and organization’s objectives? Vibe Agency can help—understanding your “vibe” and bringing that to life through events is our specialty, after all! Recognized as one of the top 50 event planning companies in the United States by Special Events magazine, our team are experts in developing purposeful meetings. Get in touch with us today to learn more!