Our brain is wired to remember certain moments above others. This is why your event must make a good first impression.
The start and the end of something, for some reason that goes back 100,000s of years, mean more to us than other parts of the same event.
So much so that research how shown that if the experience of the attendees is poor at the start and at the end then the middle part becomes almost irrelevant. Isn’t the brain weird?
Well, we can’t change how our mind works, so we event planners have to make sure we start and end our events as best we can!
So here’s a few thoughts on how you can get off to a great start!
1. Avoid queues
The last thing anyone wants when they arrive at your event is a long wait in line. A minutes or so is fine and psychologically people like to see a few people ahead of them. So don’t stress yourself our for a 100% empty line, but make sure you don’t have people waiting more than a couple of minutes.
2. Realise that the start of your event is not the start of your attendees day!
Everyone will have travelled to your event and some may have had a long and / or tiring journey. Is there any way you can recognise their efforts to get to your event? Having a space with coffee and a few comfy seats BEFORE you register, is a great way to take the pressure off people.
I love the example from a hotel in Amsterdam. The hotel staff kept an eye on the social media feeds from their guests. One couple had a terrible journey. On arrival the staff told them they would fast track their check in! What a great touch.
3. Personalise the welcome
How easy is it for your registration staff to say “hello, welcome back” to those attendees who have been to your show before? And for others a “welcome to our event, we hope you enjoy your first event” The answer is VERY easy. So why don’t we do it?
I absolutely love this example of a personalised welcome.
I am sure we can all think about ways to improve that crucial moment when our attendees first arrive on site.
It is easy to think that the “first impression” is simply only another moment at our event. However, loads of research says this is ever so important, and that is why your event MUST make a good first impression.