Successful transfer of knowledge and satisfying the individual needs of attendees are the most effective ways for planners to keep them engaged, according to a recent study.
This was among the findings in the second phase of German Convention Bureau’s research project, Future Meeting Space. The results of the survey informed meeting professionals what makes events successful and how to please their attendees. GCB created an online survey, running from September 2017 to June 2018, based on the question “What kind of attendee am I?” and pulled the results from the data collected from participants that attend conferences.
“The so-called knowledge index turned out to be one of the most important indices in our study, since the need to acquire new knowledge is one of the highest criteria for attending an event,” says GCB Managing Director Matthias Schultze. The index measures how knowledge increases by examining how attendees understand the topic and if their interest in that topic has increased.
6 Attendee Archetypes
The project helped GCB identify the six top attendee archetypes, which can help planners gain an advantage in executing a successful event. Schultze clarifies that knowledge expansion depends on individual characteristics and how participants learn and process information.
The six archetypes skew towards young, quiet, attentive and determined attendees.
- Tech-savvy, young and quiet
- Tech-savvy, male and experienced
- Communicative, focused on the job and goal-oriented
- Quiet, established and inspired
- Quiet, female and observing
- Young, female and eager to learn
Knowledge Transfer Depends on the Attendee
Event planners that learn the needs of the six archetypes and create events around those needs will increase engagement at events. The No. 1 goal for events is to give new information to attendees, have them leave satisfied and use the information after the events.
“Of course, there is the connection between the transfer of knowledge and the satisfaction of the participants. Anyone who learns new information will be satisfied with the event,” Schultze says.
Although it is important to focus on the popular characteristics of the archetypes, it is also essential to include those that don’t fit into the identified categories. GCB recommends having support for attendees that may not be as outgoing as some of the archetypes. Attendees also like to see new and exciting formats to help improve understanding, such as visualization aids and tools that allow the attendees to interact with the presentation.
An easy way to know if the event’s information made it past the door is whether attendees use it during their next work day. Event planners can send surveys out a week after the event to see if their information was received and used. If it was not, then they can ask attendees for suggestions on making events an easy and appealing way to learn.
Related: Secret Life of Your Attendee’s Brain