Event planning can be a stressful exercise. When you’ve got an entire conference hall full of hungry attendees, waiting on caterers who are running late, while you’ve been on your feet since five in the morning to make sure the coffee was hot and your speakers had everything they needed. To top it off, the rumor in the hallways is that your pre-lunch speaker was boring and uninformative, how will you deal with both the dissatisfaction of the audience and breaking the news to your speaker that he’ll need to re-tune before the next event?
There are plenty of things you can do to help reduce event-day challenges in the planning marketplace: making use of event planning software, choosing your venue and suppliers based on careful research, automating as much as possible, etc. But nothing will ever completely eliminate hiccups in your events, it’s part of the excitement of being an event professional, right?
Managing the stress-level of your attendees is an important consideration because when they are in a good mood, they are less likely to complain about the little things that happen during the course of your event. Here are three tips to help your attendees feel more relaxed at your event:
Order a Hometown Newspaper Delivered to Your Attendee’s Hotel Room
The logistics could be tough to manage, so limiting the delivery to a certain room-block, or the first 100 registrants might be a good idea, but the payoff is that your audience will feel like they’re keeping on top of things at home while they’re away at your event. The familiarity of their hometown paper will help keep attendees relaxed and help to prepare them for each day.
Provide Suggestions for Downtime in the Area
When you meet new people at events it can be difficult to know where to conduct business dinners, or what to do with associates in the area. To help your attendees have a better networking experience provide them with a sheet of good restaurants and places to see so that they can gain some insight on the area before conducting business.
By conducting the research beforehand you save your attendee planning work and navigation effort, making them more attentive, better prepared and happier at your sessions.
Organize a Charity Sub-Event for Your Attendees to Participate in
Some event planners are beginning to include a concurrent charity event with their event. For example, some recent conferences held in or around New Orleans have given attendees the opportunity to participate in housing reconstruction projects, or food drives for displaced families.
This kind of activity gives your attendees a common goal to work toward, while at the same time reminding them of how bad things could really be. When they’re feeling good about helping others, they’re less likely to complain that their favorite brand of coffee wasn’t served. As an added bonus, your event will probably get some free press, and you can help to make a positive change at or near your venue.
The broad skill-sets of event planners is so easy to extend to sub-events and information at your main conference that there’s no reason not to do it. Providing your attendees with the comforts of home, knowledge of the area, and a charitable feeling are three ways to make your event stand out, and to help your attendees relax at your event.