Over the past few years, there have been dramatic shifts in the way conferences are planned. From embracing hybrid programming to a greater dependence on technology, staying current with the most recent trends has been one heck of a job.
The personalized attendee experience trend, however, is the most important evolution in planning in our view. And it’s one trend that’s here to stay because it encapsulates all of the other trends we’ve been following. Below are a few ways we like to go the extra mile to ensure that your attendees feel personally connected to the conference.
Falling in love with Artificial Intelligence
Think of AI as a computerized concierge. AI can help guests pick and choose the right speakers, programs, and parties to attend based on a short survey they take through the program. Not only is this a fun, interactive experience but it feels curated just for them.
Taking attendee wellness seriously
Kick your guests’ day off with group exercise or meditation classes. There’s nothing like a good sweat to shake the nerves associated with attending a big conference. Of course, wellness isn’t just about working out, it’s also about the food you serve. Catering is going to be your main tool in keeping attendees fueled and engaged, so be sure to focus on high-quality ingredients as well as options that accommodate allergic and religious dietary restrictions. Both go a long way in making guests feel seen and taken care of.
Increasing interactions between attendees
Gamification is a great way to bring people together. Create challenges through your event app or provide access to actual gaming stations. Giving your guests a mental break ties back to that focus on wellness we were just talking about, while also providing casual opportunities to bond without the pressure of formal networking events.
Explore your host city’s culture
Conference design is so important. Incorporating live music, entertainment, art installations, cuisine, and other elements of your host region helps create a unique experience for guests. That’s especially the case for out-of-town attendees. But the fun doesn’t have to stop inside the conference hall. Take your guests out to see the city and experience it firsthand. Give them some memorable experiences they can share with anyone who missed but could be potential guests for the next meeting.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are essential
If personalizing your attendee experience is truly important to you, it’s critical to make your guests feel comfortable and represented. Diversity among speakers and high-profile guests can help accomplish this, but be sure to host relevant panels and discussions about groups in your industry that may feel underrepresented.
Hybrid is still important to a lot of people
The days of solely virtual conferences may be fading, but there are still benefits to the hybrid experience. This is even the case for virtual conferences that don’t run side-by-side with the in-person conference. Virtual options can help extend the life of your conference by allowing those who couldn’t make the conference in person to still participate and feel like a part of the community.
Want to make your upcoming conference feel more personalized for your attendees? The Coterie Spark team has helped countless clients like yourself create memorable, welcoming, inclusive, exciting, and original conferences. Reach out to learn more.