By: Brittany, MTA, Event Coordinator, Worldwide Speakers Group, LLC
Conference attendees can be mysterious, perplexing, and downright frustrating. What are their goals and objectives? What do they want? What will they do with the knowledge they gain? These are a few questions that should be top of mind for an event planner.
Of the several “clients” that a meeting planner must answer to, the attendees are by far the most important. Attendees are the lifeline of a conference, and without their participation, there really is no conference at all. Making sure attendees are completely satisfied begins with truly knowing them.
How can you know hundreds, sometimes thousands, of different people well enough to fulfill their needs? This question can be answered by following a few simple tips.
- Figure out the demographics of your attendees.
- Gender: are they men, women, or both?
- Age: what is their age range?
- Life Stage: do they have families, or are they single?
- Geography: where are they from?
- Delve into the professional lives of your attendees.
- What is their profession?
- What is their level (e.g. C-suite, middle management, etc.)?
- What type of education and/or training was required for their professional level?
- Who do they answer to?
- What are some of the challenges their industry is facing?
- Determine your attendees’ objectives for visiting your conference.
- Are they volunteering to attend, or is it mandatory?
- Do they have a lot of opportunity for growth?
- Is networking important to them?
- How do they plan on using the knowledge they gain from the conference?
- Investigate the learning styles of your attendees.
- Is the majority creative or regimented?
- Do they need several breaks or would they rather work until their done?
- Are they likely to be distracted while at the conference, or completely focused?
- Is the information they’re receiving abstract or concrete?
By answering the questions above, you will be able to tailor the event to your attendees’ needs. Good resources you should consult to help answer these questions about your attendees include researching the event history or the history of similar events in addition to reviewing surveys of previous years’ events (if it’s a reoccurring event). Putting in the extra effort upfront to understand the most important client—event attendees—is sure to pay off.
For additional information on speaker logistics, please download "The Meeting Planner's Checklist For Keynote Speakers." The checklist has some of the top questions you need to consider and answer to ensure that your keynote speaker will be a powerful draw to your meeting, and will resonate well with the audience. With this checklist, you can be sure that your keynote speaker will be an attractive and effective addition to your event!