Weekly Insights: Are You Ready for the Attendee of the Future?

Graphic: © FreeImages.com/Sigurd Decroos

Graphic: © FreeImages.com/Sigurd Decroos

Let’s face it – these days, attendees want to be in control of their own experience. They thrive on the four C’s, which according to the Event Manager Blog are: Connection, Communication, Curation and Community. (Click here to read the entire article on the Event Manager Blog site.)

They’re no longer content to simply show up at the event and hope to meet people of interest. They’re connecting and sharing content, photos, and of course opinions on everything – before, during and after the event.

So what can you do to adapt to and encourage this behavior? Here are three ideas where you can start:

  • Give them a reason to spread the word in advance by posting sharable content. Most attendees already have a network of influence, so let them broadcast to an audience you might not otherwise reach. But mere press releases and fluff-promos won’t be shared. It has to be buzz-worthy content that strikes a nerve, creates a sense of “wow,” or makes them feel like an insider.
  • Offer access to everything in a digital format that’s available 24/7. Apps are a great way to do that. Attendees can create their own schedule, access exhibitor and session details, and connect with other attendees using the device that’s already in their pockets.
  • Provide photo-worthy opportunities onsite. Appeal to the Snapchatters, Instagrammers, and FacebookLivers by creating areas of visual interest on the show floor and elsewhere. And of course, this also requires the WiFi bandwidth to handle all those connections.

Be sure to check out the Event Manager Blog for more ideas.

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With experiences as both an exhibitor and a show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. As an exhibit marketing strategist, she travels the country consulting and training on how to create experiential exhibits that produce significantly higher numbers of qualified leads. She’s led workshops for events ranging from local consumer expos to some of the largest trade shows in the U.S. She hosts the Trade Show Insights blog/podcast, and is the author of Build a Better Trade Show Image, the Exhibitor Education Manifesto, and the ExhibitorEd Success System. Exhibit Design That Works (the first book in the YES: Your Exhibit Success series) debuted in July 2017. She’s also the founder of the Exhibit Marketers Café, an online education community.

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