With nearly 70 percentof marketing leaders stating that events play a significant role in accelerating sales, meetings and events continue to be key business drivers for organizations around the world. New research taps into the most effective ways to engage attendees and maximize event ROI.
According to a new report by event software firm Cvent and Edelman Intelligence, event professionals can deliver more impactful and profitable events through enhanced technology, tailored communication, and networking opportunities.
The report, Inside the Mind of Event Attendees, identifies attendee’s attitudes and preferences regarding the overall event experience; including before, during, and after an event takes place. The results highlight the types of experiences that attendees want as well as areas of improvement that attendees are looking for.
“With so many professional development options available today via online platforms and internal trainings, our report illustrates how live events continue to be an unparalleled way for attendees to grow both personally and professionally due to the power of meeting face to face,” said Patrick Smith, chief marketing officer at Cvent, in a news release. “Our results show that technology is shaping the future of events, with mobile event apps and onsite technology having an extremely positive impact on the attendee experience.”
To maximize event success and attendee engagement, event professionals should consider the implications of these survey highlights:
When asked how event organizers can better personalize their events, the majority of respondents (59 percent) globally said they would like to receive recommendations on sessions to attend based on their interests and past attendance. Moreover, having to choose between two sessions being held at the same time was the third most stressful aspect globally for event attendees. Since most attendees rely heavily on the limited and general information provided by session descriptions when deciding which sessions to attend, there is a significant opportunity for event organizers to provide more personalized recommendations.
Mobile event apps
Three in four attendees report downloading the event app when they were informed one was available, illustrating the keen interest attendees have in embracing a mobile experience at a live event. It’s clear also that event app adoption can lead to more educational and engaging experiences, as 53 percent of those who downloaded an event’s app expressed that they were likely to attend more events within the year. For attendees, mobile apps remove the stress around an event’s logistics by providing features such as session information, a schedule tracker, maps, speaker information, and notifications, allowing them to more easily navigate and learn from the events they attend.
Beyond keynote speakers and breakout sessions, the value of networking opportunities between attendees should not be underestimated. Among event factors that contribute positively to the overall event experience, in-person networking with other attendees was at the top, with 63 percent saying this contributed to an overall positive experience. Aside from being a key component of events, many attendees reported that networking opportunities have a significant impact on their lives beyond the event itself. Among respondents, one in five globally reported receiving a new job offer as a result of a connection made at an event and, even more interestingly, one in seven report meeting a significant other at an event.
Cvent and Edelman Intelligence collected responses from 3,000 event attendees in the US, UK, and Germany.