May 11, 2006
News & Opinion: In the midst of planning an event?
- Ask customers to facilitate activities
Have customers volunteer to lead sessions.
- Provide peer-to-peer opportunities
Encourage your attendees to meet, greet and chat with each other.
- Be interactive
Retention rates are higher when people use what they're learning and aren't just listening to speakers.
- Set word-of-mouth goals
"Create phrases you want customers to spread and design your event accordingly."
- Be creative and surprising
Maybe this means having a surprise speaker or event. Attendees don't need to know everything ahead of time.
- Plan a social-media strategy
Let people connect to each other online through blogs, wikis, and tags.
- Make wi-fi access free
Wi-fi will help spread your word because attendees can chat/update outsiders in real-time as to what's going on and what they're learning.
- Webcast presentations, sessions, and keynotes
If people can't join you at the location, let them join you online through webcasts, podcasts and other virtual medais.
- Solicit feedback
Feedback from attendees will make sure you're delivering the right message and they're enjoying it. So open your ears and build a platform so you can listen while the event is happening.
- Create ownership
One way to do this is to "invite customers to join an event council."
Book suggestions on events from BtoB:
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.