How do you create your event agenda? Do you tailor the schedule to your speakers’ needs? Do you feel compelled to pack the program with multiple activities so the attendees can take good advantage of every second? Do you take into account the way your guests may feel? How are you deciding the way activities alternate?
Regardless of the type of event (from product launches to corporate conferences), the number one factor that will truly impact your attendees’ experience is how you decide to create your event agenda.
Although it seems like an easy task to accomplish—especially when you recourse to event management software—building a program requires a lot of thinking and context-aware decision-making.
Your agenda will influence the way your guests will perceive the event and the memories they’ll form about the overall experience.
So if you are about to create your event agenda, check out the following things you must take into account:
Avoid tiring out your attendees
One of the things that will definitely exhaust your attendees is an intense event schedule. The more activities you introduce when you create your event agenda, the bigger the probability they won’t enjoy the overall experience.
That’s why you may want to follow the simplicity path and engage your audience in fewer activities, focusing on each activity’s quality and value. This way, your attendees won’t feel overwhelmed by the event program intensity and will be able to truly enjoy their experience.
Use diversity to keep the boredom away
Create your event agenda thinking about alternatives to engage your attendees so they don’t end up scrolling through their social media feed as a way to entertain themselves. So instead of scheduling round table after round table or keynote speaker after keynote speaker, diversify your guests’ experience by mixing the dynamics up and having them change rooms or activity formats. Also, schedule activities such as Q&A or Ask Me Anything sessions in between “heavy” event dynamics to strike a balance and maintain your audience’s engagement and interest.
Offer the possibility to choose
If your event covers a general thematic that can be segmented into different topics of interest for your attendees, don’t hesitate to offer a series of multiple micro keynote speeches or round tables that take place simultaneously. This way, attendees will have control over their event program and decide where they want to be and what speaker they prefer to listen to.
Conversely, be sure not to offer too many choices
It’s good to provide alternatives, yet how many options can you give to your attendees? Think about yourself at an ice cream shop (if you don’t like ice cream, think of another example).
You’re not sure what ice cream flavor you want, so you decide to choose the one that appeals the most to you. Do you think that after 10 minutes of reading all the labels, you’ll know which flavor you want? More likely, you’ll end up tired and decide to leave without buying any ice cream or choosing a “safe” option.
But the overall shopping experience won’t be positive, considering the time you spent on choosing and the difficulty of the decision.
The same thing happens when you have to create your event agenda. Think about your attendees. Do they want to choose from an abundance of activities, all of which they might find appealing? Or do they want a simple range of options where the differences and the benefits of choosing one over another are easy to understand?
Keep the program structure as simple as possible
Design matters, especially when you have a complex event schedule. Whether you print the event program or decide to go paperless by using event management software, always be aware of how to present the activities’ information. Be sure to make it as simple and clear as possible. This way, you’ll avoid the attendees’ confusion and help them understand what’s next with just a glance.
Next time you create your event agenda, be aware of how your attendees will feel by following it. Never underestimate the time and effort you’ll need to dedicate to create the most user-friendly, attractive, and interesting event program. Only by doing so will you provide a gratifying and positive event experience to your audience.