One of the most difficult things about holding an annual meeting is ensuring that your attendees will return for the following year. Attendees are looking for a unique and helpful experience that adds value to their year.
It may be difficult for them to see how they can benefit from attending an annual meeting year after year. Because of this, it is up to the event planner to determine the best ways to make sure that the majority of attendees return the following year.
What to Do
One of the biggest missions that you must accomplish as an annual event planner is giving attendees a reason to return the following year. There is no better time to fill them in on the following year’s events than at the meeting that is currently taking place.
This is the time that you should be getting them excited for the following year’s event and make sure that you follow up with them throughout the year as well. It’s easy to be excited about something while you are at the event and then to forget about that excitement by the time the next meeting rolls around.
When you are looking for ways to keep your meeting retention up, you will find that there are many things that you can do to increase the excitement for supplement events. For starters, you will need to get them excited about the location. If the location of the meeting changes on a yearly basis, have a contest that allows your guests the opportunity to guess the next venue location. You can then offer a discount or a prize to the winner.
Building this excitement may be difficult if you are located in the same location every year. For this reason, you will need to build their excitement with the announcement of special features that will be added the following year, such as special speakers.
Some attendees will respond better if they have an incentive for attending the following year. For this reason, it may be a good idea to offer the benefit of a discount for those who are attending year after year. As an added bonus, you can even offer an addition discount for those who bring a friend with them.
Above all, you will need to be creative. Once your event for the year has ended, make sure that you immediately switch gears to the following year. Change the information on your website and begin advertising quickly for the following year. This is one of the best ways to keep everyone excited about what you have planned next.
You should always keep in contact with your attendees throughout the year. Send out feedback cards that will allow you to know the areas where they would like to see change or the speakers that they would like to see in the future. Catering to the needs of those who are attending can be one of the best ways to make sure that you have a healthy meeting retention for many years to come.