With Covid case rates fluctuating on a monthly basis, it’s critical to take advantage of the opportunities for in-person business events when they arise. An increased feeling of safety and CDC approval, however, may not be enough to draw your audience out of their Zoom caves. The wide adoption of virtual events and meetings has left many questioning whether meeting in real life is even necessary. Convincing them otherwise could be a challenge, but applying a few of these five tips should lure some attendees out of their home offices.
Hire Live Speakers
Hiring a prominent, engaging speaker can increase attendance to your events without alienating those that join virtually. (Virtual attendees can join remotely to listen to the speaker but will lack the opportunity to participate fully as an audience member.) Finding relevant and engaging speakers will depend on your budget and schedule, but many agencies can do the hard part for you.
For example, booking agencies like All American Speakers can help you secure dynamic business leaders like Steve Streit. We can all watch YouTube videos of celebrities and successful business professionals speaking online. The promise of seeing them in person, however, can entice even the most stubborn of remote workers to come to your event.
Provide Free Food
If it worked before the pandemic, there’s a good chance that it will also work after. The attraction of free food isn’t going away because of Covid, but there may be some extra precautions to take.
Try reducing clustered lines and self-serving options to make all attendees feel more comfortable. If you’re having the event catered, choose a catering service that places an emphasis on sanitary food preparation and requires that their employees wear masks. Regardless of whether your event is masked, having food handlers wear them will ease the minds of many attendees.
Give out Swag
Those joining over the Zoom can’t pick up company water bottles or tote bags. Giving attendees company swag can increase brand recognition as well as overall event turnout. Missing out on that new Hydro Flask can convince those attending virtually to join in person the next time.
Convince the Higher-Ups
Convincing guests one by one to attend is unnecessarily tedious. Instead, focus your effort on attendees who can successfully encourage others to go. If someone’s supervisor is urging them to attend, they’ll be less likely to move the invitation to their spam folder. The more upper management attendees there are, the more likely others will attend to make themselves known.
Use an Attractive Venue
Reconsider hosting an event in your office building. After all, that’s what many have been avoiding by working from home. Outdoor venues can give guests a sense of protection from infection, while restaurants or hotels give guests an excuse to dress up and enjoy a night in the town. Don’t fret if your budget can’t accommodate a hotel ballroom or rooftop garden. You just need to find a venue that is more appealing than their home office. A change of pace from the flickering fluorescent lights and coffee-stained carpet of the conference room may be all that’s needed.
Despite your best efforts, some people may not be ready to leave the comfort of their home office. So try offering some type of remote option for those not physically attending. Inclusivity is appealing to both in-person and remote attendees.
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