Key questions to keep in mind as you start to prepare your first post-pandemic conference. 

By Gretchen Kast

With vaccine roll-out moving steadily along, we’re excited to be at a place to start planning future in-person events more realistically. As we head into this next stage of preparation, there will be plenty of questions to figure out in advance. What will your event look like? How will it all come together? What extra items should you budget for post-pandemic?

Here are a few in-person conference planning questions to start thinking about: 
How Are You Driving Attendance?

With a combination of strategic marketing efforts, we can help associations drive up the attendance of their next events. Our highly targeted digital advertising puts your message in front of the right people at the right time. With first-party data and geofencing capabilities, we can help you not only target your existing audience—but reach an even wider audience of relevant prospects. This is an opportunity to enhance your other marketing strategies, like email marketing and traditional mailers, in order to keep your organization top of mind. 

How Are You Planning The Physical Layout?

Some associations are anticipating that in-person event attendance will actually be bigger than ever once it’s safe to come back. With that possibility on the horizon, it’s necessary to start thinking about how you will make that work in the physical space.  

We are always cognizant of the amount of exhibitors versus attendees when putting together any exhibit hall showroom. While it can be tempting to pack as many exhibitors as possible into a space, that takes a toll on the attendee experience. Even with the pandemic under control, certain safety measures may simply stay the norm. How can you set-up your event to reassure your attendees and minimize crowding?

Don’t forget to ask! Surveys are a great way to gauge people’s comfort level – and start to build excitement leading up to the event. Getting feedback in advance can help you make sure you can fulfill their expectations when they arrive. 

What New Opportunities Can You Incorporate? 

After over a year of online-everything, we have discovered plenty of new tools and offerings that will continue to enhance our conferences even once things get back to normal. By delivering more data-driven and digitally-focused opportunities, associations and their affiliate partners can reach a wider audience and foster greater engagement. 

  • An Emphasis On Industry & Attendee Data: Whether they’re looking for industry-wide trends or individual contact information, this type of data powers truly effective sales strategies. Offering more comprehensive datasets as part of a conference sponsorship or exhibit program can help marketers boost their conference experience. 
  • Enhanced Advertising Offerings: People today are inundated with messages and notifications. In order to break through some of that noise, marketers need to make sure their messaging is reaching their intended audience in multiple places, at multiple times. With today’s digital advertising capabilities, affiliates have the chance to reach your membership regularly before, during and after the event. 
  • Content-Rich Platforms & Year-Round Educational Opportunities: While there has been plenty of talk about “hybrid” events, we’re hoping that the blending of in-person and online opportunities simply becomes the norm for all conferences moving forward. Not only does it make your event more accessible to more people, it also gives associations more ongoing advertising and sponsorship opportunities.

Need some help planning your next conference or meeting? Give us a call today!