In honor of the National Day Of Listening, consider how you listen to your conference attendees onsite, during the conference?
We’ve all experienced it. The hallways of the conference are buzzing with chatter about the event. Attendees are discussing what’s working, what isn’t, why the organizers planned it this way, what they are happy about and what’s discouraging them.
As meeting and event planners, we often wish we could be a fly on the wall listening to everyone’s discussions all at once. With today’s social media tools, we can engage in discussions with our registrants before, during and after the big event. Now, we can capture those hallway conversations and respond in real time. So, where do you start?
1. Create and encourage a culture of listening.
Listening is something that every staff member can and should do, and the organization’s principals should lead by example. Staff should listen in the hallways, invite feedback on evaluations and encourage attendees to provide comments and concerns to any staff member both face to face and through the social media tools available. The event is all about attendee, not you the meeting professional.
2. Develop a system for capturing feedback and ways to respond.
a. Setup an event presence in Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and other social media tools.
In today’s web world, people go to several different sites to find information about an event. They no longer turn only to your organization or event website. They turn to their friends, colleagues and compadres. They also turn to the social media tools they use and you can help them by setting up “listening and chatting posts” within each social property. Twitter Tip: When using Twitter, identify one person to manage each event account and encourage them to list their name in the profile. For example Jeff4CVG09 meaning Jeff for CONVERGE 2009.
b. Decide who will be the champion for each account, keep the information updated and communicate to people within that network about the event.
Encourage the champions to provide outstanding customer service and do the right thing for the attendees when challenges arise. Let your team members know that you will back them with their decisions to provide outstanding customer service to the attendee.
Read the remander of my post, The Art Of Listening And The Science Of Responding on Event Manager blog.