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For a smooth running event … communicate

October 4, 2012

There is nothing worse then taking time out of your work day to attend an event that no longer exists, where the speakers have changed and are no longer of any interest to you or worst of all being the only delegate in the room! It’s happened to all of us and we’ve all made awkward apologies and excuses about ‘last minute meetings’ we had to get to before flying out the door quicker than free tickets to see Caitlin Moran!

This is a typical example of poor delegate management and the impact it can have on your reputation as an event manager, something you just can’t afford in this current climate. It’s become increasingly important for event managers to exploit technology and the internet to keep costs low and still create an event that offers value and a positive experience to its delegates. A good online communication strategy between you and your delegates takes no time at all to create, is easy to implement and quite frankly without it you may face zero attendance or little or no feedback.

So what should the key objectives of your communication strategy be? It’s very simple by following the key points below you can ensure there’s more than just tumbleweed at your event.

a. Make it as easy as possible for potential delegates to access information, by sending an initial branded, personalised e-invite campaign to your targeted database and share the event agenda with prospective attendees. You can also track who’s opened the email and looked at the agenda page or visited your website as a result of the campaign helping to make future campaigns more successful.

b. Encourage them to attend by having a clear call to action ‘click here to book/reserve your place’ Keep the campaign simple and ensure its easy to process the information and navigate around the email, provide a clear link to your event landing page or those of interesting speakers you have attending on the day.

c. Any points of data capture that you use such as registration need to be pre-populated with as much information about that person as possible to make it easy for them to submit details. Your delegates are busy people and don’t have time to fill out bulky forms and give unnecessary information.

d. For those people that have looked at the agenda and haven’t registered it’s vital to make sure you send them an e-invite follow up. Get to the top of their to-do list and maximise interest in the event so that they sign up once they are reminded of the initial email you sent.

e. Finally send them confirmation of their booking and further updates as the event approaches, it’s a great way of building up anticipation of the event and if people can no longer attend they are far more likely to tell you in advance.

One of the ways you can ensure the delegate process is managed effectively is to outsource it to a company like Extravision, our services cover all the above and more. It allows us to make sure your delegates get a complete closed circle of information by being contacted where appropriate without fail and allows you to take a backseat whilst still maintaining full control of the delegate process with little impact on your overall event budget.

Posted by Rebecca McCormick
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