Business meetings and conferences are among the most effective ways to tell about yourself and your startup to increase brand awareness. Here people from different industries who might never have met in their lives create lasting connections, find business partners and just friends, and gain new practical knowledge.
The biggest challenge for organizing an offline meeting or any business event is not choosing a venue. The biggest challenge is the participants and the question of their interest in your conference or another event.
Everything is evident with the issue of initiating people’s interest in participating in a meeting using the benefits of digital technology. However, getting people interested, so they are satisfied with the forum and want to come back to you remains a challenge.
You must apply a holistic strategy of three elements to achieve this effect: attracting attention before the event, during its running, and holding attention after it.
To begin with
The target audience. Here you have decided on the place and topic of the meeting. But it would be very irresponsible to assume that the crowd will run to you, absolutely nothing knowing neither the subject nor the event’s purpose.
It is not enough to place a banner somewhere in the subway passage with the time of the meeting and its topic. You have to be more dynamic now.
The first task your company should do is to determine for whom it is holding this meeting and who your audience is.
It can be a business owner, an employer, an independent contractor, an accountant, a lawyer, or an employee. What are his interests? What does he want to see at this event, and what results will he achieve?
Once you know your target, please use the Internet to reach out to the right people and discuss why your event will benefit them.
Spread the word. Spread the word on social media. If your company has its account – put up a sales post about your planned event. It should be as illuminating as possible and cause a desire to participate in the meeting. Use and maximize the unique hashtag to promote your event more effectively. Marketers can gradually fill it with content, which can increase the level of engagement several times over. Be sure to create your blog if your business is still not an active participant online (why?).
You have to collect as much information about the meeting participants as possible. Knowing, for example, the age, place of work, and position of the person, you can create the most appropriate meeting for him. If a person is fun and exciting, if he gets precisely the information and emotions he wants, he will leave an excellent review of the event and want to participate in it again.
This kind of information is essential to gather before the meeting to plan content that is interesting to all attendees. You can do it by having potential attendees fill out a registration form on the company website.
During the meeting, keep the audience engaged in a lively conversation to keep their attention. Attendees usually want to follow the event to gain new knowledge, learn about recent market trends, and have fun with interesting people.
Influencer. Involve essential people who will want to be seen, heard, and listened to. They’ll first be able to attract more of an audience by talking about your plans on their blog, and second, talk about themselves and their experiences offline. Many people would want to meet the person they always listen to online. It would be great publicity for you, and during the event, the Influencer would keep the conversation going and the level of participant engagement high.
After all, the main goal of people who attend an event like yours is communication, experience, knowledge, and information. People won’t come to an event that can’t offer them something of value. So take advantage of engaging, valuable, and experienced speakers. The more individuals you can attract, the more interesting the event will be.
Elements of the game. If you want the meeting not to turn into a boring event, increase the interaction of people through a kind of game or contest. You can even prepare prizes – something that any of the participants in the event may need or consider helpful.
One such game could be, for example, making up a paystub on speed. Let one part of the players make up a document by hand, and the other part will be able to use a paystub generator. Just imagine how much excitement people can get from doing routine work in a game form and even in competition with others? Of course, you know who will win. But the excitement is the main point here.
Live surveys. Use well-known methods of engaging and holding your audience’s attention. Engage your audience in an active dialogue. Turn listeners into co-participants in the meeting. Ask questions, get people thinking, and allow them to finish the message independently. Invite the audience to participate in a quiz or survey. This method helps to stimulate interest in the presentation, enlivens the audience, and makes the meeting interactive.
After the meeting
It is not enough to make the event enjoyable. Building on the success and leaving a good impression behind is essential. Your audience should feel satisfied and emotionally uplifted by its participation. The meeting should be as productive as possible for the participants.
Party. After a productive meeting, allow participants to relax in an informal part, including a chance to get to know each other better and take a break from brain-saturating information. You can organize a dinner near the place where the event was held. Prepare different treats and an atmosphere where people can enjoy informal conversations with influencers and share emotions.
Email newsletter. After the occasion, send a thank you email to all attendees. It is a great way to add to the experience and complete the event. Make such an email personal and use the recipient’s name. This letter will show that your company is interested in continuing to work with the person and is willing to help solve his problems.
Take it to heart that you should be personally interested in what you discuss in the meeting. If you are bored, then why should your audience be satisfied? Please pay attention to the emotional elements in your topic and intrigue your listeners with them, mesmerize and delight them. All you should do is win the attention of your attendees.