Boosting Your Attendee Experience: A Psychological Hack
Sense of belonging as an intangible aspect that becomes the determining factor
Keeping an event going doesn't make the event attendee experience better. Instead, the paramount objective is to add substantial value and facilitate attendees in garnering tangible improvements from their event participation.
While fragments of the event may fade soon after it concludes, the emotions and impressions etched by the experience are enduring. Hence, it is imperative not to undervalue the significance of ensuring that every attendee finds their event experience valuable, useful, and distinctive.
One of the key elements that significantly contributes to a great attendee experience is, without a doubt, engagement. According to a study conducted by Bizzabo, a staggering 82% of B2B marketers consider the level of engagement among attendees to be a crucial indicator of an event's success. However, achieving effective event engagement is never an overnight magic trick. It must be built upon strong foundations that encompass various aspects, including the psychological attributes of each attendee. Let's delve deeper to see how all the dots are connected!
Understanding Event Attendees Experience
Defining an attendee's experience involves considering any form of interaction or impression they encounter during the event. Most importantly, this experience can run the gamut from being profoundly moving to completely negligible, and it may either satisfy or disappoint. The event organizer's challenge lies in reaching the inner thoughts and emotions of each attendee.
The advancement of technology in the event industry brings many things that enhance the experiences of attendees. This includes the content they can access, the digital tools they can use, the ability to have secure meetings with others who have similar interests, and even help with finding their way around the event location. So, technology plays a big role in how attendees enjoy events, and event planners together with organizers can count on it to make things better.
The Determining Factor
The quality of attendee experience is determined by how it leaves an impression in their memory. Memories are not something you can measure with numbers or statistics, so they tend to be overlooked because they're not something you can touch or see.
Event planners and organizers can leverage some psychological tricks to make their events more engaging and memorable, which will make attendees’ experiences better.
According to psychologist Geoffrey L. Cohen in Belonging: The Science of Creating Connection and Bridging Divides, a sense of belonging, even if fleeting, is crucial for human well-being. Most people are familiar with the feeling of being unwelcome in certain situations, and this experience can be comparable to physical pain, as both activate the same neural brain networks.
Under the event industry umbrella, attendees experience a sense of belonging when they feel that their needs are anticipated, the event can meet their expectations, and it helps them achieve their goals through participation.
Belonging can also occur in a very organic way, a phenomenon social psychologists refer to as “passive contact,” which is often the result of serendipitous encounters that have a long-lasting impact. An event that fosters a welcoming environment and makes attendees feel at home, within a safe space where they feel like they’re understood, can enhance their psychological comfort significantly. In such circumstances, attendees are free to explore and interact, creating the best possible experience.
Building a Sense of Belonging
Here comes the burning question: how do we build this sense of belonging?
As featured on PCMA Convene, Naomi Clare Crellin, the founder of Storycraft Lab identifies personalization as the key to creating inclusive spaces for everyone.
When organizers excel in personalization, each attendee who joins their event will feel that it was tailored to their needs. Attendees may have different goals, purposes, and expectations, but by the end of the day, they manage to find what they were looking for. This is the point where attendees can operate at their best and highest frequency, in an event where their needs and preferences are highly valued.
The good news is that event organizers don’t have to wait until the event kicks off to start building a sense of belonging. In the early stages of the event lifecycle, they can maximize their promotional activities to provide a sneak peek of what the event has to offer: exhibiting companies, speaker lists, sessions, and even the venue layout. These previews help potential attendees forecast their experience, allowing them to secure meetings in advance, bookmark sessions, and arrange their schedules independently.
When attendees finally arrive at the event's front door on the big day, there will be few, if any, concerns about whether they fit in, how to engage, or if their goals can be achieved. Attendees already know what to do and what to expect, filling them with a sense of comfort and enthusiasm.
Digital Backbone to Attendee Belonging
Since personalization is the key to activating attendees’ sense of belonging, digital technology serves as the rocket that launches it. To provide the best experience for attendees, organizers need to understand their behavior, much like tailoring a suit — ensuring that every detail fits perfectly.
The use of robust technology enables event organizers to discover and analyze the preferences of their attendees, aligning them with the objectives of their event participation. This capability allows organizers to provide excellent recommendations, enhancing the attendee’s event journey and turning personalization into reality. In the end, attendees will feel as if they have a personal guide at their fingertips, ensuring an enjoyable experience!
Elevate Your Attendee Experience with Us
Among many factors that determine a successful event, attendee experience is not to be looked down upon. In fact, making sure that your event leaves a long-lasting impact on your attendees and helping them to reach their goals adds more value to your portfolio.
To create an impactful experience for attendees, event planners and organizers will need a boost from their tech provider. Robust digital solutions will be able to facilitate attendee engagement, which leads to a good experience. That’s what we at Jublia aim to provide you with, an engagement hub perfectly tailored to your event’s needs and goals. Discover how we can work together to provide your attendees with valuable experiences out of their event participation, by dropping us a message at email@example.com to talk to our Solution Specialists!