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Lead with the Attendee Journey

Are you leading with the attendee journey? Read how this approach created a personalized and memorable experience for a recent virtual event.

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How Journey Mapping Can Amplify the Attendee Experience

In a virtual event platform experience that feels very choose-your-own adventure by design, it's essential to map the attendee journey and create the right content mix to support it. Think of your content as dots and then think about how you'd intentionally create pathways to seamlessly connect them for the best attendee experience possible.

For a global life sciences client and their recent four-day virtual event, our brand experience team started designing the experience with the attendee journey at the forefront. This approach helped the team narrow on the entire structure of the event, create consistencies, and streamline decision making. Alternately, using a content first lens would have led to inefficiencies, more expense and lack of clarity - all very real and regular occurrences in the event planning industry. 

Leading with the journey also informed how the team planned to observe, capture, measure data and glean insights during and after the event. It meant moving beyond quantitative metrics into qualitative insights that would share deeper, specific and more meaningful feedback to act upon. It was the difference between knowing 220 people attended a session and knowing what a handful of engaged attendees directly asked a session host or panel member. While maintaining data privacy, it was also possible to look at trends and ways attendees were engaging. What gaps in knowledge sharing rose to the top? How could the client re-engage with attendees to provide that content post event?

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Access to this valuable data and insights was available because the event was created as a digital destination to attract attendees to consume live content. The event succeeded in connecting the dots between live and on demand content and it allowed for connectivity and conversation between attendees outside the scheduled content sessions.

Throughout design and development, the team continually stretched to consider what content could exist as a digital library of on-demand education and information attendees could consume at their leisure. More specifically, the team intentionally plotted out how consuming that content would organically lead to live interaction with key opinion leaders and subject matter experts through more intimate engagement in virtual fireside chats. This connectivity was essential to delivering micro-experience to attendees that translated into a feeling of having experienced something profound and bigger within a global digital community. 

Delivering a live experience that was memorable - thanks to key opinion leaders' vulnerability and transparency - established the brand as credible and one worth deepening a relationship with. Observational data showed the highest level of engagement occurred when speakers told stories of their experiences. The direct data (or surveys) indicated that 90% of attendees would recommend the event to a colleague. Overall, the client gained valuable insights that will shape their future events, ensure marketing and sales alignment, and encourage broader and better integration of events and measurements of success.

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Jen Gilhoi

Written by Jen Gilhoi

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