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Jill Stone

Your Meeting Matchmaker Fairy Godmother

Walk a Conference in Their Shoes

in: Attendee Experience

It’s one thing to plan a meeting, but a whole other to experience it. A recent article from MeetingsNet really struck me. The article called for meeting planners to take some time to walk in their attendees’ shoes; or as they called it, to perform a “sensory exposure audit.”

The idea is to walk the same path(s) as your attendees; while thinking about the smells, tastes, views, etc that they will experience along the way. It’s also an ideal time to assess everything from arriving to the airport and transportation to the venue to the signage, check-in process and more.

During the “walk”, practice great awareness. Take note of all the positive and negatives; then solve any issues ahead of time. Some negatives can be eliminated, while others can be turned into a positive by adding in a sensory experience.

Keep an eye, I mean nose, out for Scent technology – it’s a thing! Imagine a signature scent for your overall event, utilizing scents to enhance a speaker’s presentation, scenting invitations or using scent to complement the mood of an event.

Include messaging along the walk – this is another great idea! Let’s say there is a very long walk from one event space to another; keep attendees engaged during their walk via a series of signs that inspire, build suspense or provide hints to a game to be played at a later time.

Schedule walk-around entertainment like magicians, silly mimes, etc. Or go with food. Think tasting stations along long walkways or passing out interesting appetizers or desserts when attendees are standing in line. Keep their mind from noticing how long the time is while waiting or walking.

The same for long drives either to/from the airport or locations. Hire someone to play guitar and conduct a sing-along. Or hold a trivia contest. Entertainment can also be used between “acts,” during times when additional stage set up may be required.

Take a walk, Meeting Planner! Cater to the sensory and create more memorable meeting experience for your attendees. Put on their shoes, or perhaps a fabulous pair of Manolo Blahnik’s, and walk that meeting.

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