Last week I gave you a sum up of the elements you need in order to create an experience for your conference delegates. However, one element was missing from my blog, and that was input about the communication in regard to an event, so here comes the promised post.
Set the right expectations
First of all, we want to set the right expectations with our invitation, which is the first touch point with our attendees – no matter how we invite (online, E-mail, paper). The right expectations are the ground for a great experience. The communication (marketing, social media posts, website etc.) sets the scene from the first moment.
Use the invitation to inform the attendees about all the relevant things that will take place during the conference and set the right expectations with both theme, words, and pictures. The invite should visualize the event with words and pictures, as the latter reflects the kind of attendees you expect to be at the event.
Remember the obvious
Furthermore, it is important that the invite clearly states the following:
- What the objectives of attending are
- What sort of content the attendee can expect
- What outcome the attendee can expect
- What target group you are aiming at and so expecting (what kind of people can the attendee expect to meet at the event)
- What possibilities the attendee has to get involved, create relations, and have an impact on the event
- …and remember practical information like the exact address for the event, date and time, etc. These are easy to forget, since you know where you are going :o)
What does workshop mean
When it comes to the words you use in the invitation, you have to think about what expectations they create too. Take a word like ‘workshop’ – it is very different from person to person what they expect from that word (is it a very involving activity or maybe not involving at all – I have seen that, though you would think that the word ‘workshop’ is not the best, right?). And if you plan to make a very interactive and involving conference, make sure you state that in the invite. Sure, you might scare some potential attendees away by using or avoiding specific words, but it is a risk worth taking: You would rather have happy, relevant attendees than a lot of unhappy ones.
All of the above is not the same as you have to reveal everything beforehand and that you cannot add surprises to your program, but you want to avoid disappointed delegates who thought your event was something different than it was.
The communication about your event is the famous cherry on the sundae, and it ties a perfect pink bow around everything your event stands for, so it is not wise to skip quickly over this point on your event to do list. The decisions about the communication about the conference and experience has to be at the top of the agenda for the startup meeting for your next event.
After all, communication about this and all your events is a reflection of the company brand, and you do not want to mess with that! Do you?