#1 of The 5 Universal Desires of an Event Attendee “What I Want” – Know Who I Am
By Jimmy Verrett, Senior Creative Strategist, InVision Communications
Every program we create and produce at InVision is unique. And of course, every individual at every event is exactly that: an individual. But, as it turns out, whether that individual is an account rep at a sales meeting, an enterprise customer at a tech-sector user conference, or an employee at an all-company meeting, they aren’t all that different in their desires.
To that end, we believe there are five basic attendee “care-abouts” that are universal across industries, roles and types of events. And when these universal desires are carefully and strategically considered in the design and execution of an event, the results are profoundly more impactful than if they are not considered at all. The resulting experience is more powerful and engaging at the individual level, leading attendees toward behaviors and actions that positively impact business.
And that’s what we’re all after: a positive impact on business.
In this five-part series, we’ll examine these universal desires one-by-one and provide both points-of-view and examples of how you can leverage these desires to create more powerful programming or engagement experiences.
Let’s kick it off with: #1: “Know Who I Am”
Personalization is a hot topic in the corporate event space for good reason. Attendees are human and we, as humans, have a positive response to being recognized, to being addressed by our names and to being made to feel that we are valued. I maintain that the greatest, most powerful gift one can give to another isn’t love, but acknowledgement—a true, heartfelt expression of “you matter.”
The Ritz-Carlton is legendary for its personalized service, a business model that continues to influence the best-of-the-best service providers to this day. My InVision colleague, Rob Deal (Executive Creative Director), was a member of the team that originally established this practice at Ritz-Carlton. Emerging technology enabled the hotel chain to capture individual guests’ preferences and automatically have on-hand items they’d requested in the past. For example, if you requested a down pillow in Atlanta, a down pillow would already be in the room you reserved in Boston. This simple demonstration is a powerful expression of acknowledgement, which in turn, creates positive feelings and a deep loyalty to the brand.
In the corporate event industry, there are endless opportunities to recognize and acknowledge our guests—the attendees. So, what can we do to acknowledge every individual and make them feel valued? How do we deliver a truly personalized attendee experience?
There are many tools at our disposal, starting with the registration process. Modern event badges, for example, are equipped with bar codes and/or RFID chips that can be used as an identifier—meaning we can know who each individual is, the set of interests they’ve indicated, where they’ve been in the event space and, with real-time analysis, which breakout sessions an attendee might find to be of value or a particular expo booths that they should visit. Each of these represents an opportunity to present an experience and content customized down to the individual level—to clearly communicate “you matter,”—and scores of other opportunities are present across nearly every event activation.
Because we know how valuable attendee acknowledgement is for a brand, InVision’s Technology Innovation Group developed the Personalized Experience Optimizer™ (PXO). This proprietary IoT-enabled platform allows us to make personalized recommendations to attendees based on their industry, roles and interests. PXO, coupled with a strategic approach to event design, translates into more effective, more meaningful experiences. And more meaningful experiences translate into success.
“Know Who I Am” is the first of the five universal desires of the event attendee. In future installments, we’ll explore the other four desires, giving you insights of value as you create programs that motivate and inspire your guests. In the meantime, to learn more about InVision or our PXO platform, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.