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#2 of The 5 Universal Desires of an Event Attendee “What I Want” – Care About What I Care About

By Jimmy Verrett, Senior Creative Strategist, InVision Communications

Welcome to part two of our five-part series, “What I Want.” In this series, we’re examining the notion that event attendees share five basic desires or “care-abouts” that are universal across industries, roles and types of events. In part one of the series we explored the human desire for recognition and acknowledgement and why more personalized, more meaningful experiences with your brand translate into long term success. Today, we’ll delve into relevance.

Meet Dave, an ambitious sales representative on the cusp of making it to regional manager. He’s arrived at his company’s sales kickoff event eager to learn about the products that will open new markets and possibly transform his career. The meeting theme — “Tomorrow Begins Today” —resonates with Dave on a deeply personal level. “Yes, tomorrow begins today,” he says to himself. “Yes. It. Does.”

Ambitious Dave, however, also has ideas. He’s looking forward to sharing his perspective and discussing his specific professional interests and needs at the meeting. When he arrives at the kickoff, he thinks the space looks cool and notices there are some interesting topics on the agenda, but he doesn’t feel personally connected to any of the content or see any opportunities to interact with his peers. Dave thinks, “Do you really get me? Do you understand what I need? Do I have a voice?” He is disappointed and begins to doubt his commitment.

This lack of connection is a lost opportunity—not just for Dave, but for his company. At InVision, we believe you can create more successful, impactful events if you consider the care-abouts of your audience. It’s important to clearly demonstrate that you understand attendees’ specific needs and interests—you need to deliver an experience that validates their personal points of view with relevant content, and opportunities to share their perspectives with other attendees.

We recently helped a client undergoing significant organizational change understand an unexpected divide between management’s perception of customer care-abouts and what customers actually did care about. These insights enabled us to develop a relevant theme and content—customers felt that their concerns were heard and that they had a voice. By making customers’ concerns central to the event, we helped close the gap and move the organization forward with a renewed sense of teamwork.

In this instance, the utilization of a thoughtfully developed pre-event survey uncovered this critical information. While many corporate event teams routinely conduct post-event surveys to gauge the success of an event, very few, in our estimation, invest in understanding attendee mindsets before an event to guide content development. We believe this is an area of opportunity for client partners, a clear pathway to creating more impactful corporate events—and a deeper connection to your brand downstream.

This event attendee desire, “Care Abo­­­ut What I Care About,” is an important consideration in the development of content – both in subject matter and tone. “Dave” will be more engaged, feel more connected and find more value in the experience if he believes the event caters to his needs and his future success.

When you take the time to care about your audience’s care-abouts, you’re making an investment in your most important relationships, whether you’re seeking to engage your customers, your partners or your employees. In our next installment, we’ll dive into how you can enhance an attendee’s experience by optimizing their time on site.

Until then, if you’d like to learn more about InVision, please contact us at