It’s important for associations to not only provide valuable learning opportunities for attendees at conferences, but also to create a memorable and immersive experience that will keep them coming back for more. Here are a few ideas to consider for your next conference:
Offer diverse and interactive sessions.
Instead of solely relying on traditional lectures, consider offering a mix of panel discussions, workshops, and breakout sessions that allow attendees to actively participate and engage with the content. This could include hands-on exercises, group discussions, and activities that apply the concepts being learned.
Leveraging technology can help enhance the conference experience for attendees. This could include using virtual reality to transport attendees to new locations or using augmented reality to bring interactive elements to the physical conference space.
Provide networking opportunities.
Conferences are a great opportunity for attendees to connect with others in their industry. Consider hosting networking events, such as happy hours or group activities, to encourage attendees to make new connections and build relationships.
Partner with local businesses and organisations.
Consider partnering with local businesses and organisations to add an element of the community to your conference and provide attendees with unique experiences. This could include hosting events at local attractions or offering discounts to attendees at nearby restaurants.
Incorporate wellness activities.
Many conferences offer long days of sessions and networking events, which can be physically and mentally draining for attendees. Incorporating wellness activities, such as yoga classes or guided meditation sessions, can help attendees recharge and feel their best throughout the conference.
Offer unique social events.
In addition to traditional networking events, consider hosting social events that offer a unique experience for attendees. This could include a guided tour of a local landmark, a cooking class, or a recreational activity such as bowling or escape rooms.
Make use of attendee feedback.
Solicit feedback from attendees after each conference and use it to make improvements and enhancements for future events. This could include gathering input on session topics, speakers, and overall conference organisation.
By implementing these seven strategies, you can create an immersive and engaging conference experience for attendees. From interactive sessions and the incorporation of technology to wellness activities and gathering attendee feedback, there are many ways to create a memorable conference for all who attend.
Want to learn more? I will be attending and presenting at the Association Event Innovators Retreat in Melbourne (15-17 February). If delivering exceptional events is important to you, then please register. This inspiring event is run by Answers for Associations and I would love to see you there.