What does it take to really “wow” an attendee? How do you ensure that everyone who participates in your conference leaves saying “I’m definitely going back,” or better yet, “You’ve got to come with me” next year?
One of the trends we’re most excited about to improve conference and event planning in 2022 is focusing on guest wellness. It’s time to start creating engaging environments that go beyond the standard excitement of sales and networking. With that in mind, here are a few tips to improve conferences and events so you can make your conference more memorable and emotionally/physically beneficial for attendees. Event management checklists like this will be a lifesaver.
Planning any icebreakers? Consider using that time to help attendees get to know each other and get to know themselves a little better as well. Activities like yoga, stretching, and meditation are excellent group exercises that relax the atmosphere, our minds, and our muscles.
Now, if you’d rather stick with more traditional icebreaker activities and networking, try injecting mindfulness into breaks between presentations and speakers. Nobody wants to just sit around in a ballroom, so get them up and moving. That fresh hit of endorphins is certain to keep them attentive and engaged all day long.
Take It Easy
It isn’t hard to get over-stimulated, especially at large conferences and events, so break us off a piece of that sweet sweet silence. That’s right, create designated areas where guests can feel at home, take a power nap in sponsor pods, or just check out the latest on their Instagram feed. Rest is equally important to engagement, so allow for free time and downtime in between major elements of your day. Some guests even find free time to be best for networking.
Quiet space bars are also important for retention. By giving your attendees a chance to slip away briefly and catch their breath, yet remain close to the action, you could prevent early escapes to hotel rooms. The last thing you want to hear from a guest is “I really wanted to go to that but I was too tired!”
Sweets & Swag
Traveling is tough on the mind and body, so the better your guests eat, the more likely they’ll bring their A-game all throughout the conference. Just think about how excited they’ll be to have access to a smoothie bar. Smoothies, after all, are tasty AND often loaded with vitamins and protein — both of which are critical to maintaining energy throughout a guests’ day.
All that to say, you can avoid sending your attendees on the hunt for a refreshing, revitalizing fruits and veggies to balance out all the sweets and snacks. Simply turn elegant, yet healthy options into featured items at every meal. Also, if you plan to suggest local restaurants that guests can visit, include a few vegetarian and vegan options too.
When it comes to swag, think similarly. Be mindful. For example, fanny packs and sunglasses are fun, but they end up at the bottom of closets when the conference is over. Repackaging more engaging, even therapeutic items — think essential oils, warm neck wraps, a scented candle, or even a blend of relaxing tea they can brew at home — with a label that reminds them of your event will keep you top of mind for months.
Whatever you do, don’t let your guests leave feeling like they need a vacation. Get in touch. Let us help you improve your conferences and events so you can make a day so special they’ll be telling everyone about it.
If you’d like more event management tips, see a full conference checklist, or would like to talk to our team about creating a thoughtful experience for your conference, reach out to us!