I believe that many events don’t achieve the numbers of audience members that they need due to lack of information. This article is directed at event audience members considering registering for an event. If you are an event organizer you should pay heed to the questions posed here and factor the answers into your promotional material. It could very well make the difference between a successful event and one that should have been!
Before paying your hard-earned money to register to attend any event, the very first question that you will likely need to answer for yourself is “What’s in it for me?” After reading through the event description, what it has to offer and what the tangible benefits are to you, then you will have to determine its return on investment for you.
It doesn’t matter what the event is, even if it is free, it still has a cost to you. An often heard saying is “time is money.” If you could be doing something else that would earn you money that needs to be done at the exact same time as the event than you are considering, then perhaps it would be a good idea to pass on it. However, if the event doesn’t conflict with any money making opportunities and/or the content of the event promises you the opportunity to increase your ability to generate revenue, than perhaps it will be a good decision to attend it.
My motto when it comes to events is “the best surprise … is no surprise!”
Here are a list of questions to consider when registering for an event. If you don’t see your question answered in the event’s promotional material, contact the event organizer and ask them. Far too many events are organized and promoted without the organizer actually considering all the logistics.
Questions to ask:
- What is the event organizer’s cancellation policy, for if they cancel or if you are unable to attend?
- When you register on-line, is your information kept private or will it be made public to 3rdparty groups?
- What is the cost of the event?
- Is everything included, or do you have to pay extra to participate in specific parts of the program?
Re the Event’s Program:
- If not posted, ask about the Speaker’s Bios. Are they available to read?
- Ask if handouts will be available after the event. If so, how will they be available?
- Do you have to sign any kind of a release or waiver before attending the event?
Re the actual event:
- Are meals & breaks included or are you expected to fend for yourself?
- If you have to fend for yourself, are there food establishments/restaurants nearby?
- If food will be served, are they able to accommodate any special dietary needs?
- What is the exact start time & finish time of the event?
- Will the other registrant’s names & contact info be available?
- Is seating predetermined or may you sit where you choose?
- Will the event speakers be having product/book sales?
- If not posted, are there any learning objectives available for each session?
Re Networking Opportunities:
- Does the event allow for face-to-face networking opportunities?
- Is there a Twitter # hashtag or Facebook page set up for the event?
- Is there an event website set up for the event?
Re the venue:
- If the event is taking place in a large venue, what specific room(s) will the event be held?
- Is there a map/diagram available for the event room?
- Is parking free or is it an additional cost? If additional, how much is it?
- If the event ends after darkness, is the parking lot secure and/or will there be someone available to escort you to your vehicle?
Let’s raise the bar on the quality of business events, at least the part we have control of.
Something to think about …