To design the perfect business meeting or corporate event, it is essential to have specific and measurable objectives and a clear picture of attendee expectations. One tool that I have been using for years is the participant profile. A participant profile is a carefully constructed and customized set of questions that provide participants with an opportunity to articulate their expectations so that meeting planners can shape content accordingly.
If you want to experiment with participant profiles, here are just a few questions that you may find useful.
Fill in the blanks with your own content.
- How much experience do you have with _______? ___Years ____ Months.
- What specific obstacles and challenges have you encountered when ________? (e.g. using social media for events, planning events for senior executives)
With which of the following business planning tools are you familiar? (List tools you are considering incorporating into your content so that you avoid duplicating content with which participants are already familiar. Provide checkboxes for each option to determine level of proficiency.
- I am familiar with this Tool
- I Use it Regularly
- I Can Coach it
- What specific issues/topics or agenda items do you feel it is important to cover during this meeting (or conference).
- What specific questions do you have about _________?
Questions for Forming Teams
- How much management, supervisory or team leadership experience do you have? ___Years ____ Months. (Helpful to ensure that you give participants with less experience an opportunity to be group or team leaders.)
Food and Beverage
- Do you have any special dietary requirements that we should take into account when planning the menu? If yes please provide details.
- Do you have any food allergies? If yes please provide details.
Health and Safety
- Do you have any scent allergies about which we should be aware when planning the event? If yes please provide details.
- Do you have any physical challenges that would prevent you from participating in ____________?
It would also be helpful to ask participants to identify other courses they have taken or conferences they have taken related to the topic of the conference or meeting.
Always end by asking "If there is any other information that you feel we should take into account when planning this meeting (conference or event) please note it here."
A participant profile to customize content combined with a learning styles survey to help you select content delivery methods that cater to the audience will go a long way in helping you design meetings, conferences and events that exceed participant expectations.
For more tips on identifying and meeting attendee expectations, also consult 12 Strategies to Engage Conference and Meeting Participants and 10 Strategies to Supercharge Conference and Meeting Keynotes.
Photo Credit: horasis