Event planners are tasked with developing new strategies to engage audiences in a post-pandemic age. Tried and true methods aren’t as impactful, as the boom of millennials in the workplace combined with the widespread adoption of cloud-based tools means you need to meet your (potential) customers where they are, with their favorite apps. Today’s younger generations aren’t as familiar with traditional events, and therefore, expect short-form, digestible content and digital networking tools for connections.
Increasing in-person attendance also requires more intentional planning, with the event profs offering these suggestions:
- “Solutions that provide high-quality, personalized experiences are key for events to get to the next level of participation and engagement.” - Merijn van Buuren, Event Mender
- “We need more networking and the ability to meet quality contacts in person. More unique in-person experiences that will draw participants, rather than standard keynote talks and workshops.” - Mike Taubleb, Promenade Speakers
- “What happens with COVID will significantly affect the mix. And no one knows (yet) what that’s going to look like.” - Adrian Segar, Conferences That Work
One of the biggest benefits of a remote event with online content is the ability to access data and measure far more than booth scans or attendee registrations. But this process still needs refining and is top of mind for event planners:
- “We need an easier way to evaluate/document perceived value from virtual participants.” - Mike Taubleb, Promenade Speakers
- “Data is one of the most powerful tools and can support arguments of keeping online elements in events to engage and keep new audiences built during the pandemic.” - Ksenija Polla, CMP - ICCA
Perhaps one of the biggest takeaways from the discussion was the importance of empathy. In a new age where we’re still recovering from the devastating effects of COVID-19, empathy goes a long way in understanding the needs of your audience(s) and staff and balancing the two.