Results Phase 2:

USER EXPERIENCE AS A KEY SUCCESS FACTOR:

HOW TO CREATE EVENTS THAT ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE 

Results Phase 2:

USER EXPERIENCE AS A KEY SUCCESS FACTOR: 

HOW TO CREATE EVENTS THAT ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE 

»How can I in future make sure that everyone is happy when they go home, with the feeling that the event was really worthwhile for them personally?«

What makes a successful event?
What do attendees need?

While the first phase of the “Future Meeting Space” research project looked at venues and overall event design, phase 2 analysed the needs and experiences of event attendees to find out what makes events successful.

The following questions were asked: 

What kind of event attendee types do exist?

How does the use of different methodical and technological elements impact attendees?

How do the methodical and technological elements impact the success factors user acceptance, knowledge transfer, learning success and experience value for different attendee types?

To get the answers, we carried out the “What kind of attendee type am I?” online survey.

RESULTS ARE MADE UP OF THREE COMPONENTS:

Attendee types | Event success factors | Recommendations for action for successful events

Attendee types

From the variety of people attending events, the following six archetypes were identified: younger and older, mostly female and mostly male, quiet and extrovert, either more or less tech-savvy as well as either more or less ambitious attendee types.

TECH-SAVVY

YOUNG

QUIET

54,1% female
34,4% in the 26 to 35 age group
82,6% with academic degree
84,5% work full-time

TECH-SAVVY

MALE

EXPERIENCED

72,4% male
18,5% attend events as speakers
37,0% in the 46 to 55 age group
91,7% with academic degree
14,8% with a PhD
21,3% are self-employed

COMMUNICATIVE

FOCUSED ON THE JOB

GOAL-ORIENTED

61,3% male 
47,4% in the 46 to 55 age group
85,7% with academic degree
16,9% with a PhD
20,1% are self-employed 

QUIET

ESTABLISHED

INSPIRED

53,6% female
39,6% in the 46 to 55 age group
86,4% with academic degree
20,7% are self-employed

 

QUIET

FEMALE

OBSERVING

80% female
34,5% in the 46 to 55 age group
86% with academic degree
73% work full-time

 

YOUNG

FEMALE

EAGER TO LEARN

65,2% female
35,7% in the 26 to 35 age group
81,4% with academic degree
84,1% work full-time

»However, how can you make sure that everyone is happy when they go home, with the feeling that the event was really worthwhile for them personally?«

Success factors

The core result of the study are six success factors that were identified. They are all interrelated: 

Satisfaction

The satisfaction index is a kind of “meta” index that fundamentally expresses whether event attendees feel that attending the event was worthwhile and whether their expectations have been fulfilled.

Knowledge transfer

Knowledge transfer is a crucial factor for events: Were attendees able to acquire new knowledge, was their understanding of a topic considerably improved and were they able to apply the new information in their everyday working life?

Networking

The networking index describes if attendees were provided with networking opportunities, if it was easy to strike up conversations in these moments and if taking part in the event enriched their own networks.

Interaction

The interaction index reflects the intensity of interactive formats: Did attendees use such formats? Did they provide them with new knowledge and inspiration? Did interactive formats serve the purpose of visualising results?

Digitalisation

The digitalisation index covers interactive formats or event apps as well as virtual tools, digital visualisation tools or the integration of external individuals, e.g., via livestreaming, holography and VR.

Disruption

The disruption index is a completely new factor when looking at events. It asks whether the event was surprising, triggered change or created a sense of community and therefore remains in people’s minds. 

»What can we learn from this?«

RECOMMENDATIONS 

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTION AND ATTENDEE TYPES

Encourage networking

Attendees on the quiet side (types 1, 4 and 5) need support to facilitate communication with other attendees so that they have the same chances to make business connections.

Active integration

Swapping seats can help more reserved attendees as well as active integration and guidance in communicative situations.

Simplify technology access

For the less tech-savvy attendee types 4 and 5 event planners should provide help to make access to new media and technologies easier.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTION FOR ALL ATTENDEES

Event design

Events should not last for too long as this does not influence, for example, the potential for networking. Cost and benefit need to be considered.

Technology

It is important to use innovative formats and technology to connect, visualise and present. Light and sound are supporting elements. 

 

Knowledge transfer

Speakers that can cover a topic from every angle are key to knowledge transfer as well as interactive formats such as fishbowl discussions, feedback apps or small groups.

Visualisation

New formats such as writable walls or large-scale projection screens but also visualisation aids that attendees made themselves intensify the development of knowledge.

Disruption

The disruptive character of an event considerably impacts its success: Events that change CVs and organisations create lasting memories.

Interaction

New content and interaction between attendees and also between attendees and speakers improve knowledge transfer and also have positive effects on the disruption factor.

SUMMARY

Knowledge transfer is key to ensure attendees are satisfied when they go home.

Disruption: Events that turn into an experience and change us as attendees create lasting memories.

It is important to cater to the different attendee types and integrate all of them – be it analogue or tech-savvy, younger or older, quiet or extrovert.

Alongside the lead partners GCB and EVVC and the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO as project manager the “Future Meeting Space” innovation alliance consists of the following research partners in phase 2: 

The Education Foundation of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) provides additional funding.