Get Attendees To Care By Being Human

Jumping Over The 3rd Largest Pyramid In The World

When it comes to teaching businesses how to be more human, there’s no bigger name than Chris Brogan. While the idea that businesses — ya know, groups of humans — need help being themselves may seem a little absurd, one look at your typical corporation or even small business is proof that there’s often a disconnect between customers and employees.

Reasons for this are myriad, as it’s easy to get caught up in the how of business operation while forgetting the why. Because how can be measured (efficiency) and analyzed quite easily — yay spreadsheets — the why, the part that connects customers to your product, service and company using such mystical ideas like emotion, is a bit tougher to assign numbers to.

But explaining the why behind your event is not a complicated process. According to Brogan, all you need is this quick recipe for telling bigger stories:

Ingredients (Pick 2 or 3 of the following):
Connect with an emotion.
Share something useful.
Create a valuable resource.
Give without asking as often as possible.
Be brief and/or entertaining.

No problem, right?

Connect with an emotion
Is gratitude an emotion? How about hope? How about happiness? Whatever you’re looking to share/sell with/to your attendees, there’s an emotion attached to the problem it solves.

Share something useful
This means useful to them, not to you. 30 day demo versions of sponsor software doesn’t help your attendees all that much, while discounted, full versions might.

Create a valuable resource
Whether it’s a catalog of services available, a yearbook of sorts for attendees or a white paper explaining exactly how to do what your attendees really need, give them something they can take away and use.

Give without asking as often as possible
We know businesses need to make money, but they don’t need to receive payment every time they interact with customers. Sharing resources without asking for something in return creates trust and often leads to future sales and referrals.

Be brief and/or entertaining
Do not underestimate this. Don’t waste people’s time.

Time to create our own offer for EventDay’s official launch. Thanks, Chris!

Help New Attendees By Assigning Conference Buddies

Co-op Katie

Adrian Segar of Conferences That Work recently shared a fantastic tip: use a buddy system to welcome conference newbies. While the terminology could use a bit of work, we love the idea of rewarding our most vocal attendees by helping them mentor and show around those who’re attending for the very first time.

Segar states that 25% of all conference attendees are newbies, which is a sizable enough chunk to make this a worthwhile effort. Done right, it could also save money on staff.

Similar to how many spring training facilities are run by volunteers, programs like this need to be set up and buddies/mentors must be vetted correctly for this to work as intended. No one wants to be paired with a guy that can’t stop talking about himself or his company.

Here’s what we would do:

Identify Your Most Vocal Supporters
If you don’t know who they are, start paying attention to those that frequently post online about your event, and the ones that seem to show up to every session at every conference. These people are likely interested in your event for far more than simply finding it a good value for their money, they hopefully believe in the overall cause.

Ask A Favor
While some event planners may find it useful to list the benefits of being a mentor, there’s one that stands out above the rest: to be respected by their peers. Yes, mentoring can help drive business, and yes, the buddy system can help attendees learn more about their industry, but looking at it solely in business terms won’t do much good to convince those qualified to lead others.

Set Expectations
Try a checklist of recommended activities, points to cover, questions to ask and where to find more information instead of simply saying “show them around and answer their questions”. While mentors should be free to wander off script, having a script to bounce from will ease the anxiety they may have.

Reward Your Mentors
Publicly. Adorn their badge. Call them on stage. Give them free food. Have a special dinner. Don’t settle for a thank you and a gift certificate from a sponsor.

Actively Recruit
Third-time attendees who have previously been mentored are prime candidates for mentoring, as they’ve taught, they’ve experienced and now they should be brimming with knowledge to share.

By involving as many qualified attendees as possible, event planners are able to cultivate a higher degree of interaction among attendees. Nothing like taking ownership to convince attendees that they are part of your event, too.

Who’s Going By Eventbrite

Guest cards

It happens before every party, event or get together. It’s something people swear doesn’t matter, but event planners know better. It’s also something that can be easily shared with those who want to know. What is it? It’s this simple question:

So…who else is going?

While it’s certainly easy for event planners to be personally offended at the question, we don’t think it’s asked out of disrespect for whomever is in charge. People asked because we’re social animals, and we like to be around people that interest us. We’re certain this question will always be asked, so instead of finding ways to not be offended, why not answer before it’s even a question?

Eventbrite already has. Their “Who’s Going” feature matches attendee information with their Facebook profile, enabling potential and current attendees to discover who else will be there before they even think to ask.

For all you privacy wonks out there, don’t worry, the feature can be turned off, but we bet most people will leave it on. Here’s why:

Skip The Small Talk
A little bit of advance research never hurt anyone, so why not use this feature to find more about other attendees? No more wasting time talking name, job title or position, making it easier for attendees to talk about something meaningful.

Make Early Connections
Those looking to make an early impression would be well served to contact attendees before the event starts. While we don’t recommend businesses mine personal data to invite attendees to marketing events, a quick cup of coffee near the registration table does wonders for relationship building.

Gauge The Crowd
Let’s face it, events aren’t for everyone. The Who’s Going feature makes it easy to discern who’s coming to town for the event, allowing those who may not attend in person a chance to meet those people somewhere else, even virtually.

Events are all about making connections, and we think features like Eventbrite’s Who’s Going will do plenty to facilitate that, which allows event planners to focus on more technical aspects.

Will we see you on the Who’s Going page?