Event planning is a serious business. From beginning to end, there are many steps along the journey that call for innovation, creativity, and the ability to work under pressure! For event attendees, their journey with your organization or group really begins and ends on the big “day of”. It’s important to prioritize time to focus specifically on what the attendees will take away from their experience.
Whether swag, a finishing medal, or awesome fellowship, everyone should have a moment or experience that adds value to their day. There’s nothing better for word of mouth exposure than happy attendees! Here are five ways you can go above and beyond for your registrants to serve them an unforgettable event!
Amp it Up
The internet makes it super easy to hype up participants on the days leading up to your event. Put a countdown clock on your website. Post shareable, motivational content on your social media pages. Send an email blast to your attendees letting them know you’re excited – and remind them of important things to bring. The more your participants look forward to the event beforehand, the more likely you’ll all feel it in the energy on the day of the event!
You know your event better than anyone; think about the little things you can add to the day that your attendees will most appreciate. Hosting a race during the rainy season? Find low-cost, one-use ponchos to offer runners. Throwing a family event outdoors? Dedicate a safe space for small kids to roam and play away from crowds. If it’s a cold day, offer hand warmers, and on hot days make sure to load up on ice chests!
Make it Easy to Connect
Most people attend events with another person or a group of friends, but often times people are interested in meeting others who share their same interests. Make it easy to connect by providing name tags; it’s a great way to make people feel like they’re all on an equal playing field. If you have the time, or your event allows for it, break off into small groups for quick intros beforehand!
Celebrate Their Success
There’s nothing quite like finishing the first race or participating in an event that truly required attendees to push themselves. In addition to your normal awards or placements, find a way to honor the success of every participant; think medallions, certificates, grab bags, and more. They’ll leave with something to share with their family and friends when they get home!
Follow Up – Visually
There are few things event attendees love more than finishing their race or event – and that’s pictures of the event. Many organizations end up using a third party service to sell photos of their event, but there’s something else you can do with those pictures. Sending a simple, personalized “thank you” email with a link to a free photo album of event pictures can go a long way!
We hope these tips inspire your next event planning session! There are certainly dozens of ways to customize your event so that it’s unique to your organization and unforgettable to your participants. We’d love to hear what’s worked for you in the past!
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