By Melody King & Odette Vargas
“Don't just create an event, create an experience,” says the SOS Event team.
Here are some ways to make your event fun and memorable.
Creating an Experience
Inviting leading experts to speak about pressing topics in your industry and networking events are a good start. According to Bizzabo, (36%) of event marketers claim their biggest challenge comes from increasing event registration. Planners are starting to explore alternative, fun, and informal activities so prospective members feel energized and excited about becoming a member, such as; movie nights, simple team building, emphasize hands-on activities and collaborative learning.
All about the Attendees
Creating personas can help in the creation of proper content and communication methods that will appeal to your attendees. Personas are fictional, generalized characters representing various needs, goals and challenges of your members. Create fictional characters to represent each type of member you would like to attract to your association. Have a persona in mind (just as you would think about a friend if you were to write a letter to them) as you develop event content and communications for the group each specific persona represents.
To increase attendee interaction consider pairing up each prospective member with a long-time member who can welcome them and introduce them to other members. The IRS broadly defines associations as “a group of persons banded together for a specific purpose”, attendees are more likely to become a member of an association if they feel a strong sense of community, coordinated activity, and opportunity to build several lasting connections. According to EventMB 2018 report, attendees’ priorities are networking (82%), learning (71%) and entertainment (38%) and self-improvement is important to (37%) and time out of the office is appealing to (16%).
According to ASAE’s 2012 Benchmark report, event registration counts for about (50%) of non-dues association revenue. Consider making joining even more compelling by offering an event discount or benefits for new members. Highlighting a member registration price versus a non-member price for every event, along with additional member benefits your association may also offer, can serve as a reminder for people who are looking to become members.
Location. Location. Location.
It seems that getting members to keep registering is a challenge for many associations. Changing the location to somewhere unique is a way to get members engaged, excited, and builds word-of-mouth marketing around your association’s events. According to EventMB 2018 research publishing, (53%) of events are taking place in unusual venues, demand for non-traditional meetings facilities is expected to increase by (3.8%) in 2018.