Producing a business event is usually a big investment, focused on generating new business ventures, or preserving existing ones. Producing such an event has overhead expenditures, such as building a website, renting a venue, designing and printing banners, as well as recurring expenditures according to the number of attendees, such as attendee binders, meals, gifts, etc.
The key to minimizing the event's cost per attendee is to distribute the overhead over as many attendees as possible. At the same time, securing participation of attendees that are relevant to the event's purpose poses the biggest challenge for event organizers.
In order to attract a high number of quality attendees, the following 4 factors must be taken into consideration:
- Maintaining an up-to-date database
- Delivering a punctual and detailed invitation
- Creating an engaging agenda
- Providing a simple and brisk registration process
Maintaining an up-to-date databaseAre you keeping attendee lists from previous events? Are you updating the attendees' contact information? Do you maintain a communication channel with your attendees after the event is over? Do you have a system that remembers which events an attendee has attended, what are his or her interests, and what topics will get him or her to attend future events? You don't need a complex database in order to keep relevant information, but maintaining the lists is critical to the next successful event.
Delivering a punctual and detailed invitationWhen do you send your event's save-the-date? When is a detailed agenda delivered? Do you follow who opened your emails, who bounced back and who ignored? Do you track or resend to those who did not open your emails? Do you use other methods of communication, such as calling or texting? Does the marketing department take all the responsibility for inviting, or do the sales people also take part?
Creating an engaging agendaMost potential attendees need an approval from their immediate manager. Managers tend to keep their employees at their desks, unless they see an added value obtainable at the event. Is your event's description going to convince managers to approve the venture? How interesting and original are your speakers? Do you check attendees' satisfaction with your speakers? Do you have talks that are over 40 minutes long? If so, you should consider cutting them short.
What is the ratio of talk to break? For most attendees the breaks are quality networking time. Is the itinerary branded? Are the abstracts engaging? Are the key speakers highlighted? The agenda is a very important factor, and will be featured in a designated post.