Conferences can be a great way of networking with new people in your industry and boosting your business sales if they’re done right, but as those of you who’ve attended conferences before will know, they can be extremely boring affairs that don’t exactly keep attendees rapt until the end.
This is unfortunate because, if attendees leave early, many speakers will end up delivering their presentations, the result of many weeks’ hard work to very few people and the conference organisers may be thought of as failures by those who were bored by the proceedings.
If you’ve been tasked with organising a conference and you want to avoid the last day slump and keep your attendees rapt ‘til the end, avoiding the pitfalls of so many conference organisers before you, here are some things you can do:
Choose an Exciting Location
If you hold your conference in an exciting location where there are lots of great restaurants, bars, and cultural venues, then people will be more inclined to stick around, because they’ll be able to have a lot of fun once the day’s events are over.
Everyone likes a freebie, even successful business people, so if you can make it know that there will be freebies, whether, in the form of raffles and giveaway, gift bags, that will be given out at the end of the conference, there is a good chance it will persuade most of the event’s attendees to stay for the entirety of the event.
Ensure Your Conference Offers Value
When you’ve just watched a really great gig, do you want to head off hoe, or do you want to see an encore? If you can ensure that every aspect of your event, from the speakers to the food and even the Event Staff are the best around, then no one will actually want to leave early because they’ll be waiting to see what great things you have lined up for them next, and they will sing your praises to everyone who’ll listen once the conference is over.
Make it Half a Day
Often, it’s not because the conference is dull beyond belief that many attendees leave early, it’s because the conference has been planned to go on all day, but they have trains and planes to catch and need to ensure that they get to the airport/station in time. So, to avoid the end of your conference looking like a damp squib, make the final day a half day, and attendees will be more inclined to stick around because they can.
Leave Your best speaker ‘Til Last
Obviously, if you want your guests to stay the distance and stick around until the finale, the best thing you can do is to have your keynote speaker – the one they all really want to see- deliver the final talk of the conference.
If you choose to do this, you do, however, still need to ensure that you book a lot of interesting people in the time leading up to the finale, or attendees might just weigh it up and think that several days of bad guests isn’t worth getting through for one great one.
Have you planned a business conference in the past? Do you have any tips to encourage attendees to stay the distance?
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