During Cvent Connect 2019, Gaby Proctor, Cvent’s Business Development Executive outlined the attendee journey in five steps, suggesting ways to deliver and capitalise on the delegate experience along the way.
Step One: Registration
More often, the point at which an attendee registers for a particular event is the very first interaction point between delegate and brand, so it’s essential to create a positive first impression.
This initial perception is usually reliant on a website that communicates clearly, accurately and entices every attendee to begin their journey immediately. Registrants can instantly access their badge, while being encouraged to download the event app, peruse the schedule and start requesting appointments with exhibitors or networking opportunities.
“Registration is also the point at which event organisers can start gathering attendee data, providing a wealth of opportunity for more personalised event content, based on registrant preferences,” suggests Gaby Proctor. “It can further help determine where to prioritise marketing resource, based on what drove people to register. Was one particular social channel more effective in driving interest and engagement, or did people register following an email or direct marketing campaign?”
Step Two: Check-in
On arrival, the attendee check-in process should be a seamless experience. As this is the first time delegates will have encountered onsite event staff, they need to be well briefed and amiable so that any questions about where to go and how to access different parts of the event can be answered effectively. Check-in is an opportunity to ensure that the positive first brand impression created at registration is extended into the physical event itself.
“Check-in also provides an opportunity to collect GDPR consent and personalise the event experience for anyone who doesn’t want their badge scanned by exhibitors, movements tracked, or image captured by photographers or videographers.” says Gaby. “Anyone who wishes to opt-out can have the QR code removed from their badge or have an identifier added to alert photographers not to capture images of this individual.”
Step Three: Session tracking
For the majority who give consent to having their data captured during the event, tracking who went to which session allows event organisers to gauge interest, tailor follow-ups and control room capacities. Scanning people’s badges as they enter or leave the seminar room also allows planners to award learning credits and deliver push notifications to remind attendees to fill-out session feedback surveys whilst the content is still front-of-mind.
“Planners can also passively scan visitors as they navigate different elements of the event via RFID,” says Gaby. “It negates the need to scan every badge on the way into a popular keynote for example, plus provides a more complete picture of how long people spent in certain areas and what interested them most away from the education programme.”
Step Four: Lead capture
Help exhibitors and sponsors to follow-up on conversations in a timely and effective manner by facilitating lead capture that not only integrates directly with a company’s CRM system but also allows notes to be added to ensure greater accuracy and more personalised responses.
Gaby says: “Planners often worry that exhibition areas don’t attract a high enough footfall as attendees are either in an education session or networking over coffee or lunch. One solution is to host coffee breaks within the exhibition zone. Another planner’s tactic is to position the most popular exhibitor or sponsor at the back of the exhibition zone so everyone has to walk through the hall to reach them. If they’re launching a new product or showcasing a popular piece of technology, it can generate crowds and stimulate natural conversations between attendees and the other exhibitors in the room.”
Step Five: Feedback
The most authentic feedback is often collected straight after a particular seminar, keynote or presentation. Those planners who communicate to their attendees that individual session surveys are available via the app, and then remind attendees to fill them out by sending push notifications, will receive a clearer overall picture of what worked and what didn’t.
“If you can clearly show attendees that you’re listening to their feedback by making improvements either in real-time or when planning for next year’s event, they’ll not only respond with loyalty and repeat business, but they’ll also be more inclined to provide genuine feedback next time too.”