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What Really Drives Event Attendance? Don’t Fall into These Traps

According to Meeting Professionals International, about 1.8 million meetings and events occur in the U.S. each year. Surprising? Not at all. Events are one of the few marketing tactics that provide both tangible and intangible benefits for your organization. But why are some events filled with “cult followers” while others struggle for attendance?

Research to the Rescue
With the latest technology, we can better understand your attendees and the reasons why they attend events. For example, we recently surveyed a group of 150 IT professionals who attended at least one tech conference in a given year. According to this group, the least important factors in deciding whether or not to attend an event were:

  1. Conference Cost. Does this mean you can charge $500 more for your registration? Not necessarily. By understanding the value exchange your attendee is receiving, you can adjust your conference cost adjust accordingly.
  2. Conference Duration. Interestingly, as the number of people attending conferences steadily increases, the overall time commitment attendees are dedicating to the conference program is declining. Most likely this trend is due to the lack of relevance conference material has for many of the attendees.
  3. Number of Attendees. The importance of personalized and targeted content continues to be at the forefront to attract the right audience, not necessarily the largest one.

So what is the motivation to attend events? Here are the top-three reasons the IT professionals we surveyed attend an event:

1. The amount of quality networking

2. The conference expo/showcase content

3. The conference keynote

These findings mirror CIO’s recently published “Guide to Top Tech Conferences in 2017.” In reviewing the common threads between many of these conferences, all have a focus on building relationships, content, and educational opportunities. The value proposition to the attendee is clear.

Regardless of attendee trends, your pivotal question remains the same: Why would [insert your target audience] want to attend my event? Our commitment is to work alongside our customers to help define the why and what of their events.

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