Nobody gets up and leaves a live music show if they are having a great time. People do not miss the end of big soccer or basketball games if they are caught up in the action. In fact, when somebody does leave a big event early, it is a good sign that they think they can have more fun elsewhere.
We know this, yet trade shows and conferences are notorious for early departures. When it comes to longer events, some guests miss out on whole days, and attendance numbers fall as they draw to a close. It does not have to be this way. If early departures are a problem, something is missing, and good event managers should be keen to find out what it is.
Keep reading for some clever ways to keep numbers up and encourage guests to stick with your event until the final moments.
Don’t Explode Too Early
Even among event managers, scheduling can be woefully underestimated, particularly when it comes to longer projects like trade and road shows
. However, the best way to keep guests interested is to order your attractions in the right way.
Sure, you need an opener that is memorable and eye-catching, but you also need to ensure that there’s lots of quality throughout the whole schedule. Don’t bunch the best bits up into one day or the first few hours if it is a single day project.
Don’t Make It Easy to Leave
The temptation can be to pander to the urge to leave and use a shorter day to end things. It represents missed opportunities and, besides, human beings are creatures of habit and convenience. If they automatically write off the last day, it will be easier for them to duck out on other stuff too.
The exception is exhibiting on a final day. Usually, people who are not ‘in the market’ will leave early every time. Schedule something else and make sure that it is exciting enough to hold their interest. Also, if you do save the best event until last, don’t forget to publicise it!
Offer a Reason to Stay
One common trick used by event managers is to provide a free video recording of all the speakers, presentations, or workshops held across the schedule if guests stay until the end. Everybody else has to pay for them. It can be a successful little ploy because most attendees will turn up with the intention of taking home books and video resources.
If they find out they can save money by sticking around, most will. People love getting something for nothing. The incentive has to be a good one, however. Free pens aren't going to be enough to stop people running out to catch trains and taxis back home.
by: Antony Hampel