For most attendees, attending an event in-person is an experience that starts well before day 1. Months before, attendees are connecting with their communities, planning meet ups, and earmarking which booths with the newest products they want to visit first. The good news is that with digital events, that hasn’t changed. If anything communities are stronger, wider reaching, and on an almost effortless global scale.
But what has changed? And what do you need to keep in mind when designing your attendee experience? We’ve learned a few things that might help you create a more thoughtful and inclusive agenda and experience for your attendees in the digital landscape.
YOU HAVE ARRIVED
There nothing quite like arriving at the airport to signage welcoming you to the city hosting the event you’re attending. You have arrived. There’s nothing like walking through the main doors to the exciting buzz of your peers. You belong.
Switching to digital does not mean forgoing that sense of place. Being intentional about your registration process, about your day 1 welcome and kick off, and about branding throughout your event, can ensure that your attendees know- even from their living rooms, that they’ve arrived.
Work with your registration, marketing, and content teams to ensure that your branding is consistent, the voice in which your communications are written to your attendees align with the culture you want to foster at your event, and to be confident that your speakers, sponsors, and partners, help to further that feeling of belonging to something bigger.
YOU HAVE FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)
The reality we’ve all come to know so well is that life at home is a whirlwind of multi-tasking from conference calls and emails to helping with homework and making sure everyone is fed…it’s a Groundhog Day we’re all learning to navigate.
Your attendees are no longer physically detaching from their normal lives and traveling to your event. They no longer have the focused dedicated intention to fully be immersed in the experience. How does that change how you approach your event?
Make sure they don’t feel like taking a moment to help with homework, to make lunch, or to run an errand is going to make them miss out on valuable content. How?
- Make time for life. Take into consideration the time zones of your attendees. Build into your agenda, breaks for what would be considered a normal time for lunch or dinner, or schedule repeat pre-recorded sessions during those times. Consider making your event days shorter so that attendees can better balance their commitments.
- Help with tricky time zones- Where possible, list session times in more than one time zone. This not only helps your attendees with scheduling real time, but also avoid the frustrations that might come with missing a live session, because of a simple miscalculation or misunderstanding.
- Mind the international dateline. If your event is global ensure that your live activations are scheduled at a time where the majority of your attendee base can attend, and when possible record those live sessions for those who may not be able to attend the keynote at 3AM their time.
- Provide your content post event. Just like any event your attendees will need to manage their time and pick and choose sessions and experiences. Providing as much recorded content post event, allows attendees to prioritize their limited time, but also provide the comfort of knowing that they can run that errand and still watch that session afterwards!
YOU ARE VALUED
Inclusion is something different for everyone. The way you curate your agenda can be impactful in making an attendee feel valued, belonged, and included in your event. Affording the families, the caretakers, the breadwinners, and the life-long learners the time and freedom to balance their life, is a step to a more inclusive world. It is thought, intention, and recognition of humanity now that will not go unnoticed.