Personalization is a hot trend in events, but what does it really mean? Personalization focuses on tailoring the event experience for each attendee. This can seem daunting when planning events with thousands of people. But even with the biggest events, breaking it down to one-on-one communication can help make it more manageable. From including first names on email correspondence to monogrammed bags at check-in, carefully curated refreshments, targeted sessions recommendations, and post-event engagement, personalization options abound.
To do any of this, you need one critical element--data.
Gather information on your attendees. What is their preferred name (Jennifer vs Jenny)? What is their job title, buying authority, departments they oversee? Do they have dietary restrictions or preferences? However, be careful not to over ask or overwhelm attendees with questions. The registration form should not ask every piece of information you are looking for. Get the basics, then follow-up with a pre-event questionnaire for more in-depth questions.
Once people are registered, give them the opportunity to build their agenda online or on a mobile app. You can use this information to develop attendee profiles based on their interests and reasons for attending your event. This allows you to make additional recommendations or personalize the materials they get in advance or at the event.
Social media is also a great way to personalize the experience. Keep an eye on who is talking about your event. Start a conversation with them to spark excitement and increase their engagement. At the event, provide opportunities for photos or other share-worthy moments that offer a personal connection that lives as part of their social profile.
After the event, email photos and videos to tap into the natural goodwill of nostalgia and excitement to relive great event moments. During this follow-up, encourage pre-registration for the next event or any related events you may have.
Personalization can feel overwhelming but with smart use of the data and readily available technologies - including mobile apps, analytics, and social media - it's an attainable goal that can differentiate your event and keep attendees connected beyond the event dates.