6 crucial factors how attendees decide to attend your event
In order to increase your number of congress attendees, it is essential to understand the decision-making process, that every attendee goes through before attending an event. In this article, which is based on a paper published by Mair/Thompson (2008) we show you the 6 most important factors influencing your attendees in their decision whether they will come or not.
1. Personal/professional development
The planned event must address an added value for potential attendee. This added value is mostly driven by personal/professional development. Therefore, your congress has to provide enough added value for your attendees to let them achieve further personal development. This can be specific knowledge about a topic, new contacts or just being part of a bigger community.
Personal development is something you can perfectly address with the quality of your program and the speakers. Further you can think about workshops for community building. The entire conference program plus additional add-ons must be easily accessible on your web page and the value for the attendees as clear as possible. The more your attendees can personally develop themselves at your congress, the higher the chances for registration.
2. Networking opportunities
Another crucial thing is networking opportunities. It’s very important to communicate how huge the audience is and what the attendee can expect in terms of networking. It might be helpful to add an exhibitor list or to promote how many attendees have already registered. Further, matchmaking sessions can lower the fear of first contact and help them to engage.
If you got the first two steps right, you made already a huge step and sparked the attendee’s interest
One of the biggest obstacles in the decision-making process are costs. It strongly depends if attendees have their own budget or need to ask for approval within their organization. The consequences of the latter are that attendees need to know how much money they need for attending the event. The main shares of total costs consist of event entrance fees, travelling and accommodation expenses.
Where entrance fees are known upfront, travel accommodation costs are different for everyone. I.e. that the attendee needs to do some extra work to get the overall costs. Since many attendees are very busy during their workdays, travel planning is often postponed to a later stage. That’s why the decision often gets postponed.
New “All in One” travel planning tools like EnterAnGo can help here, bring full cost transparency within a couple of seconds and provide the required information as quick as possible.
Along with the costs, also the location of your congress has a huge impact on the decision of your attendees. People want to have fun and meet at nice settings. Hotel capacity, meeting space and accessibility remain the basic needs, but more destinations are playing up their distinctive venues and creating unique experiences.
Authenticity, sustainability, technology, community engagement and, of course, reasonable prices, experts say, are increasingly important to attract attendees. So, keep that in mind when choosing your next event location.
5. Time & Convenience
The congress should be scheduled to fit in the season of your target group. E.g. if your event is for schoolteachers, then it will be pointless to have your event during the school year, while they need to teach.
When you host your congress in a nice city or next to a tourist area, schedule your event that it starts on a Monday or ends on a Friday, that attendees can combine the travel with a weekend trip. This brings added value for them and makes sure your congress will be remembered forever.
6. Health & wellbeing
For some attendees, visiting a business congress is also seen as a little holiday, where you leave your office environment to get inspired and learn from new ideas. Hence, this feeling needs to be supported with healthy food, socializing events in the evening or other entertainment programs.
Further, it’s very important you support the sustainable event movement. It gains more and more relevance for the attendee, that the congress is sustainable and does not harm the environment. Instead of causing mountains of waste and traffic avalanches, “Green Meetings” and “Green Events” are characterized by increased energy efficiency, waste avoidance and environmentally friendly arrival and departure of guests.
This development has gained over time wide approval and gives the event a positive image and greater acceptance among the population, guests and sponsors. For example, this can be and is often a unique selling point to give your event the essential edge.
In order to convince your possible attendees from your event and as a result to increase the number of attendees, it is essential to understand the decision-making process every attendee goes through before attending the event. 6 factors strongly affect the decision whether your potential attendee registers or not.
The 2 most elemental factors are enough added value for the attendee I.e professional development and the networking factor. If you get these 2 steps right, you already make a huge step and spark the attendee’s interest. Because that’s why people attend a congress at the first place.
Further, the related costs can be a huge obstacle, especially when the potential attendee needs to ask for approval. Therefore, it’s crucial to make it as easy as possible to provide a quick overview of entrance fees and all travel costs from door to door, like explained.
On top of that the location, time & convenience as well as health & wellbeing are additional factors that need to be kept in mind organizing an event. Overall, attendees want to have fun and meet at nice places, enjoy their time and meet great people, that brings them forward in their career and personal development.
If you want to learn more about Event organizing with EnterAnGo, then visit our Event information page above.