How Changing Your Thinking Helps Design Better Event Experiences

event experiences

Post authored by Pattee Brown, Content Marketing Manager

It’s easy to get stuck in doing things the same way every year.

This method has its own advantages, such as being familiar or easy to navigate since we’ve done them the same way for so long. Going on auto-pilot is a natural process, but often when we do the same thing over and over, we fail to realize just how much better our event can be if we think outside the box.

I had the opportunity to talk in-depth with Scott Baum, the Director or Meetings and Sponsorship for NAHCH,  at e4 last month. He had some incredible insights about coming into an organization and recognizing where change needs to take place.

With a new set of eyes on his conferences he was able to identify some of the changes that could be made to improve their attendance and enhance his attendee’s experience.

One of the major challenges we face as change agents is that not everyone is so quick to try something new. Although we might have a very clear understanding of what needs to be done differently and what steps we need to take to improve our events, sometimes getting our team on board with those changes is the greatest challenge of all.

The ability to identify why changes will make a difference, quantifying those differences and making those changes incrementally and effectively is an important component to getting your team on board with implementing change.

Implementing change can be a way to improve attendance to our shows, but often it’s the fear of losing attendees that make implementing change difficult. Scott shared with me that although he is in the healthcare industry, and there is quite a bit of uncertainty in recent years, he is constantly thinking of new ways to engage his attendees.

It’s so important to understand your attendees and what motivates them to come to your event. Collecting event data can tell you why your attendees come to your event and is critical for creating experiences that make a difference to your attendees. It’s critical for your event’s future that attendees fell that they have spent their time and money wisely.

So, what is your model for making sure your attendees are having a great experience at your event? How are you analyzing your show and understanding what works and what doesn’t? What is important to your attendees and what is going to get them to keep coming back?

When I asked Scott why e4 was such an inspiration for him and why he looked to the annual event for ideas and methodology for his own show, he shared with me the most important elements that inspired him to elicit change in his conferences and how he implemented those changes.

Throughout my discussions with various clients at e4, I noticed the most common theme was a need to improve attendee numbers. But I also noticed the biggest challenge was understanding what needs to change in order to make those numbers grow. As event planners, it’s critical to keep our eyes open to new ideas and use quantifiable data to show our teams how implementing change will improve the bottom line.

Don’t be afraid to introduce new ideas to your team. Don’t shy away from taking ideas from other conferences and seeing how those ideas can best be suited to improve your event. Stay aware that change is not something everyone is comfortable with but if you implement changes slowly and introduce your team to better ways of designing your event for your attendees you will get the results you are looking for.

Change is inevitable. It’s critical that we take action and make changes that will have the most positive impact on our events. Spend some time helping your team understand how making small changes and implementing new ideas can have a positive impact on your event.

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