I recently attended an event that I was very excited about. As I evaluated the conference, I noticed a few things that could have helped enhance the conference experience for attendees and vendors, such as venue location, session location, the layout of the sponsor village, and the ability to connect with other participants at the conference. Once the conference started, I noticed a few things that created some disappointment as I looked to maximize my participation and experience in the conference.
This location of the conference is essential. You need people to have easy access to the event location. Things you should consider are:
How far is it from the airport?
People don’t want to come in for a conference and drive over an hour to get there. This should be something you consider when choosing a location.
How close is it to a large group of restaurants?
People need to get out of the conference center. Having easy access to restaurants and bars allows them to step out quickly and also get back to attend more sessions.
Is the area walkable?
Getting an Uber or a cab can be a pain and costly. Even if you have rented a car, it can be more painful to get it out of valet and drive and park somewhere to grab dinner. The more walkable an area, the better experience your attendees will have.
The Vendor village location and layout are essential. Vendors pay to be at your event; you need them, so you need to give them the best opportunity to maximize any business they can gain from your event/conference. Suppose you put them in a crowded hallway that makes it difficult for people to stand and chat without being pushed around by people going to their next session. This can negatively impact the vendor because people will get frustrated and move on without getting all the information and perhaps lose a sale/customer for the future.
Ability to Connect
People go to conferences to learn and connect with other people. One of the most frustrating things is not having an area for you to go and meet up with other people to collaborate. If there isn’t any meeting space in the conference location you selected and people are forced to meet in hallways and perhaps even off-site, this can impact the conference’s success and experience for individuals trying to connect and grow their business.
Suppose you consider these things when planning your event. In that case, you will see better success in outcomes from your conference and gain a reputation for putting on significant events that positively impact the exhibitors and attendees. This will always help your conference have repeat attendees and grow your conference in the future.