Do you find that your attendees aren’t networking as you had envisioned?
In addition to great content, great networking is important to attendees of a conference.
How often do you attend an opening session and stay by the people that you already know, or worse, you don’t know a soul! I guess then, the safe spot is by the food.
We know that this isn’t the desired outcome. What can we do to make it better?
Everyone will suggest that there should be networking prior to the conference, via social media. Clearly, that’s a very good idea. What to do? Create a Facebook page for the event and post photos, tidbits about speakers, the venue, the area, etc. Ask questions, so you will begin to engage attendees. Ask your speakers to post on the page, too. This might be a good time to suggest a “meet up” of first timers, or people from a certain region. Have a contest that develops during the pre-conference with a culmination at the aforementioned opening reception, or perhaps, at the closing session. Why not use a game on Facebook or Twitter to encourage interaction pre- event and follow through on site. Enthusiasm will have been built up and by the time everyone is at the conference, networking will be a breeze. There’s nothing like have enthusiastic attendees, is there!!
Use the traditional badges as part of a matching program. For instance, use a color code, or sticker and the attendee must find a matching badge. The two pair up to sit together at lunch.
There are dozens of ideas and it would be perfect if you would contribute an idea or two to this blog. There are no ideas too silly, trust me!