Who owns the overall experience that customers have at your conference?
Who oversees and manages the conference customers’ journey? Is it you or someone else? Or perhaps no one is considering the holistic experience of your conference customer?
Are you functioning as a scheduler and executor of the conference with a divide and conquer mentality where every leadership team hands you their planned component and you schedule the details? Do you consider how these pieces fit together creating the conference experience from your target market customer’s perspective? Do you know what your conference target market customer wants?
Owning The Conference Customer Experience
What do your conference customers want?
Before you can answer the question about what your conference target market wants, you have to know who they are. So who is your conference target market? Answering this question with our membership, anyone who will pay or everyone is the wrong answer. It illuminates a fatal flaw in your conference strategy. It highlights a lack of clarity, focus and purpose on the part of your team.
So how would you know if you’ve identified the right audience? Or if you are asking those customers the right questions? Or even listening to, observing and considering your conference customer in your decision making process?
The best conference organizers and meeting professionals are asking “Who is the target market for our event? And what do they want and need? And what evidence do we have to support our responses to those two primary questions?” They start with the who—target market—and the why—why are they coming to our event.
The Conference Customer Experience Is More Important Than The Content
Once those are clearly articulated, sharp conference professionals move on to designing and planning their conference experience. They know that they are in the event-customer-experience business. They understand that how they design, plan and implement that conference experience is as important as the content (the what) of that experience. Scheduling expert speakers or successful member presenters is no longer enough. They have to consider the holistic conference experience through the lens of their target market. Curating the conference content and information to be delivered through speakers and panels is not enough. They have to design a different participatory experience for their target customer.
So they give as much attention and intention to the how the experience unfolds through the lens of their customer as to what content unfolds. They move to the how before the what. They use the conference customer’s perspective as the filter for all decisions in the planning, scheduling and execution of their event.
What’s the difference between executing or planning a conference and designing a conference experience? Who currently owns and advocates for the conference customer’s experience at your event?