MAXIMIZE THEIR JOURNEY: Guiding Attendees Through Experience and Engagement
A basic journey mapping framework for event marketers
Throughout this series, we will explore the different ways to map an effective journey so that attendees’ needs are addressed and their wants are met: from guidance and value, to connections, achievement, and growth.
We’ve all been there. Wandering or driving aimlessly in search of something, anything, that will point us in the right direction to our destination. It’s in situations like this that the human body tends to increase its production of perspiration and colorful language.
Beyond feeling lost, you often feel unsafe, uncertain, and unsure about what is next. For marketers, these feelings can be a consequence of poor planning resulting in missed expectations or it can be an opportunity to surprise and delight their attendees.
According to Abraham Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs,” there is a physiological need within all of us to be safe and secure; to be fed and sheltered. Above all else, this is the most basic need and it must be met before any higher levels of involvement or engagement can be achieved. We expect people—and in our case, brands—to uphold their end of this intrinsic, rational bargain. Looking through the lens of an attendee’s journey, meeting this need can be achieved with proper guidance. Who knew a pyramid and a brand experience could have so much in common?
Surprisingly, they do.
KNOW BEFORE THEY NEED
With some careful planning, quick thinking, and a touch of empathy, marketers can successfully meet the needs of their attendee’s before those needs even arise. After a long day of traveling, even the smallest of gestures can go a long way. Maybe it’s having cold bottled water waiting for them as they arrive or helping them avoid long registration lines with the help of a roving ambassador and an iPad. Whatever the methods might be, employing a level of surprise and delight can immediately make attendees feel appreciated and at ease.
It may seem obvious, but offering attendees directions and information that is prevalent and applicable in all situations is invaluable. Designers take heed, social media managers take notice, and planners take it to heart: knowing where to go is the most important step in any attendee’s journey. But with the increase in technology, doing so has become more and more fragmented.
Thankfully, there are countless tools and services available that have been specifically designed to lead the proverbial horses to water. With an increased focus among marketers in app development, this opportunity is now available in the palms of each and every delegate. Smartphones have become more than glorified calendars and Instagram machines. By monitoring the hashtag feed, you can address any attendee issues or concerns in real-time. Through innovation and utility, smartphones can serve as tour guides always available if we can’t.
Signage and smartphones can never replace the value of a knowledgeable and helpful face. Key to proving support and guiding traffic, a human element can provide a certain level of empathy, understanding, and emotion that no app ever could. Being there to provide assistance and answers on-time and in real-time can further complement a smart and thoughtful design meant to guide, engage, and inspire.
PREPARE THE WAY
Whether they’d admit it or not, the idea of getting lost or “missing out” is a real concern for most, if not all, attendees. By adequately preparing them and supporting them throughout the event, anxiety gives way to confidence and excitement. From value to recognition, connection to growth, we can more effectively and efficiently map the attendee’s event journey if we become more aware of what makes them (and the rest of us) tick.
For more thoughts on how to map the journey of attendees, on time and in real-time, download our insights paper. Or explore this series to learn about guidance, value, connections, achievement, and growth.
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VP, Strategy International
Whether at the country, industry, or audience segment level, she specializes in delivering holistic event portfolio plans and creates strategies that go above and beyond clients’ needs. The brain force behind many successful digital and social media campaigns, Niru keeps a finger to the pulse of...read on