Conferences and events are back; and with recession concerns and the corresponding digital advertising pullback, they are back with a vengeance—becoming an increasingly bigger piece of the revenue mix for media, publishing, associations, and nonprofit organizations.
That’s great news. And now, the hard part: you have to make the right people aware of your event and explain why it’s right for them. But you know how to do this, right?
You have 3 headline speakers!!!
You have a 5-topic/track agenda!!!
You have 40 conference sessions on pressing industry issues!!!
You have 30 exhibitors!!!
You have 15 sponsor engagements!!!
You have 5 networking opportunities!!!
YOU. HAVE. SWAG. !!!
Oh, and you have one more thing.
You have, on average, approximately 30 seconds to capture the attention of—and convey all of this information to—prospective attendees.
Overcome the paradox of choice by surfacing relevance for prospective event attendees.
Here’s the thing: the exclamation point (!!!) that moves each individual from a prospect to a registrant is unique to their specific bundle of needs, interests, and goals. In his seminal book, The Paradox of Choice, American psychologist Barry Schwartz posits that an abundance of options can actually be detrimental to taking action or making a decision. Moreover, that ‘paralysis’ actually leaves individuals with negative feelings about having been put in that situation. So, what do you do?
Pull back on the diversity and ambition of your event? No.
Give everyone the exact same event experience? No.
Surface the sessions, speakers, exhibitors, etc. that meet the specific interests, needs, and goals of prospective attendees? Yep.
When it comes to large, complex events (or even more intimate ones), we have a mantra at CredSpark:
Don’t show them all you got. Show them what they need.
The Insight: Make it relevant to each individual.
You worked hard on your agenda and you want to showcase the breadth and depth that your event offers. But let’s be honest with ourselves: Your audience has an equally broad and deep agenda and it’s not going to be a perfect fit with yours. This is a complex dance, and you shouldn’t amplify that complexity by presenting your audience with a monolithic approach. Because, remember, not only are they evaluating attending your event, they are being bombarded with similar conference pitches from others in your industry. You need to stand apart.
There are turnkey, low-cost personalization solutions that can help you synthesize your event’s plethora of opportunities with the specific interests and needs of prospective attendees. Here’s how CredSpark does it. Plus, here are a few insights on how to maximize the personalization strategic advantage for your organization.
Make it a discovery experience.
Move away from the passive “here’s the link to our agenda” and create a tactile, active experience for prospective attendees. Put them on a journey of discovering the specific elements of your conference agenda that best meet their needs and interests. Ask them questions; and based on their responses, highlight the value propositions that best align with their goals.
Make it personal.
Don’t show them your agenda. Show them their agenda! Based on their responses, surface the relevant speakers, sessions, and more and package them into a customized agenda specifically designed to meet their goals for attending the conference.
Make it necessary.
Create an interactive experience that showcases the necessity of attending your event and make it easy to take the next step. Create custom, downloadable/emailable “make the case” letters that prospects can submit to gain budget approval for attending. Show competing organizations who have already registered. Include registration buttons on their custom agendas. Follow up with targeted emails. In short, personalized interactions will help you close the deal.
Make it rain.
Don’t forget that your sponsors, exhibitors, and your organization’s bottom line can benefit from personalized interactive experiences, too. Not only will you see an increase in registration revenue, there are also opportunities to develop custom sponsorship packages that include qualifier questions from a sponsor for super-charged lead generation. You can also connect attendees to specific exhibitors by matching their needs to the exhibitors’ specific products and services, making the exhibition hall experience more relevant rather than random. What would your sponsors and partners pay for this? We think you’ll be surprised.
Here’s a perfect example of a personalized event interaction.
CredSpark will be at BIMS. Should you be with us?
Growing event engagement and revenue is a key topic at this year’s BIMS 2023, the premier conference for business and information publishing, held in Orlando from February 22-24. CredSpark will be there this year as a presenter and sponsor. We’ll be engaging with attendees on topics just like this one, plus revenue and monetization, leadership, and tech and strategy.
Is attending BIMS right for you and your organization? Well, let’s find out. CredSpark worked with BIMS to create an interactive content experience (just like the ones we’ve been talking about in this article). Go through the experience and find out which sessions, speakers, and more best meet your interests, your needs, and expectations.