How to Successfully Plan a Recurring Event That’s Never the Same

Successful Events

This is our fifth year hosting an annual meeting for our Cvent clients, prospects, and industry experts. In 2012, Cvent started its annual conference for just over 240 corporate meeting and event planners in our backyard - Washington D.C.  Over the next three years, our conference grew significantly and we even launched a conference dedicated to hoteliers in 2014.

Our love for creating successful events for our clients drives us to never stop evolving and innovating. We’ve continued to grow the event year over year – and not just our attendance numbers, but also our educational offerings, the length of the conference, and even the type of industry attendees. 

So how does our event planning team continue to pull off an incredibly successful event that keeps attendees coming back? While we can’t give you all our secrets, here are a few tips for creating a recurring event that’s never the same:

 
Excellent Education Content
Next to face-to-face networking, content is the main driver of event attendance. If you focus on providing excellent educational content to your attendees, your event will be a success. At Cvent CONNECT, we’ll be providing over 100 educational sessions with dedicated content for specific audiences. We’re dedicated to providing content that inspires and empowers our attendees, without relying on just traditional lectures. Consider mixing it up by hosting certification classes or roundtables that give attendees an interactive educational experience they’ll reference long after your event has ended. Something I should mention, which is incredibly important, is knowing and studying your different audience verticals. Are they derived from a specific industry? If 20% of your attendees come from a pharmaceutical company, tailor your content for them or create a specific track to accommodate what they would find most valuable. For example, this year, we added specific sessions dedicated to the education industry so that those attendees can learn ways to better their meeting program as it relates to their line of work.
 
Ask Your Audience
We always say, there is no such thing as too much feedback. No matter how smooth your event goes, you should always aim for an even better attendee experience. Make sure to survey your attendees about content and speakers in advance in order to optimize your event agenda. Throughout the event, ensure you’re getting immediate input on how each session, dining experience, and networking portion of your event is going. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways including mobile app polling after a specific session, monitoring real-time feedback on social media, or even asking attendees to provide video testimony about their experience. Knowing what your attendees want and what they liked/didn’t like will give you powerful insights on how to make next year’s event an even greater success. Last year, our attendees asked for more opportunities to network with like-minded peers so we changed the entire event agenda to accommodate. In the 5 years of planning this event, our agenda, content, structure etc. has changed completely to satisfy what our industry is asking for.
 
Integrate Innovative Technology
Event technology is a growing field that should always be integrated into the event experience. When we introduced BUZZair Aerial Cinema drones to our attendees in 2014 as a way to enjoy a new perspective of the event and key sessions. Whether making check-in lines move faster or displaying attendees’ social media posts on the big screen, onsite technologies like OnArrival or SocialWall can have a huge impact on the overall event feel. Event technology is an easy way to ensure you’re delivering the best possible attendee experience. From hologram technology to over-the-top screen technology, embrace event technology and you’ll make the entire event experience more interactive for your attendees.
 
Inspiring & Creative Entertainment
What would an event be without entertainment? Announcing a keynote speaker that your attendees recognize or admire is a great way to enrich their experience and drive legitimacy to the content and keep people engaged. It also allows planners to ultimately shape the focal point of the event experience. Speakers aren’t the only way to entertain your attendees! Throw in some surprises like a celebrity guest visit during a networking session or a flash-dance mob in the middle of general session.  Keeping your attendees guessing about what exciting things you have in store for them is the key to keeping them engaged and loyal to your event.
 
Excited to see what’s in store for Cvent CONNECT 2016? Check out the packed agenda we have planned for this year’s conference and the sessions we’re hosting for event and hospitality professionals. Make sure register now and take advantage of all Cvent CONNECT has to offer.

 

 

 

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