Everyday, around the globe, there are hundreds of seminars, conferences and industry events taking place that are attended by thousands of people. These events are supposed to be a platform where participants get to learn something new, perhaps sharpen their knowledge and skills, but somehow a staggering number of these events turn out to be a total washout for the attendees, who leave disappointed at not having gathered any key takeaways from the event they just attended.
It takes a lot of time, effort and resources to put a great event together, but here are some problems that most commonly plague an industry or a corporate event:
Broad topics and general discussions are not what an attendee comes in search of at a conference. The content for corporate events should be well planned keeping the audience in mind. Be it panel discussions, speaking sessions or workshops, the topics need to resonate with the audience and be relevant to them
One size fits all format
Not everyone who comes to a business seminar or an industry event is looking to sit in a panel discussion or listen to a keynote speaker, so designing an event with just one or two different activities might not be engaging enough. Organizers should look at providing a plethora of activities for their attendees to choose from. Having a few entirely different activities on a given day makes sense– workshops, contests, product launches, speaker sessions and panel discussions – so that people can choose what appeals to them the most and attend it
One way communication
Let’s face it, a classroom environment at a conference can get very boring for most people. Interaction and a dialogue between the panelists and the audience is key to keeping engagement levels high. A speaker is important, yes, but so is the audience – give enough time to a Q&A
All work and no play
One of the biggest reasons that people attend a business event is to network with people, organizers should provide ample opportunity for that. Breaks at regular intervals should be weaved in to ensure that people mingle with each other. Organizing after hours events such as dinners and mixers can help people unwind and get to know other attendees better.
A great speaker can make the most boring topic come alive, and a bad can have the opposite effect. Having a subject matter expert as a speaker is a given, but they should be chosen judiciously. Given ample time to prepare and guidance on what’s expected from their session, most speakers will be able put their thoughts and content together to create a good session
If organizers are mindful of these 5 pain-points that afflict industry conferences, everyone associated with an event- be it a speaker, an attendee or the organizers themselves – will leave the conferences having had an enriching experience.