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7 Tips for Creating a User Conference Your Audience Will Love

Many businesses find that hosting a user conference is the number one way to get leads – and with good reason. More than 20 percent of qualified leads result in a sale. Hosting events is a terrific way to bring leads with buying authority to you.

From experience, we know that a user conference is not just a snapshot in time; it’s a great campaign opportunity. You can effectively boost your potential to stand out as an industry expert with top quality products. To succeed, your event needs a defined purpose and an enhanced strategy. Here are seven tips for creating a user conference your audience will love:

1. Make sure they want it

Before you decide to host a user conference, be sure that your user base wants it. If you don’t gauge interest prior to planning, your efforts could be for naught. Nobody wants to have to cancel an announced event for lack of interest (this doesn’t bode well for marketing efforts). Before announcing your event:

  • Email surveys or questionnaires to your users.
  • Post polls on Twitter, Facebook or other social media outlets.
  • Create a blog post and solicit responses in the comments.

Once you receive a good sample of replies, you’ll have a firmer idea of who is interested. Next, you can move along to the actual planning of your conference.

2. Be attentive to details

In the midst of strategizing, planning and organizing, it can be easy to lose sight of what a user conference is all about – your users. When pulling your event together, you’ll want to pay careful attention to details such as:

  • The venue, food and refreshments.
  • Logistics, such as decor, layout, badges, signage and posters.
  • Representatives from across your organizations, not just sales. (Remember that employees are often your best brand ambassadors. Plus, it’s a great way to bring your entire team together to work towards a common goal!)
  • Speakers, presentations and breakout sessions – be sure that these are tailored to your user base’s interests.
  • Price setting and cancellation policy.

While you want to make sure that your company gains something from hosting, we’ve found that if you don’t put primary focus on your users, the conference fails by any metric.

3. Treat the event like it’s your business

It’s essential to treat your user conference like it’s your business because ultimately, it is. Once you get past the planning stage and have aligned it with your brand, you’ll need to actively reach your audience.

  • Market your conference and generate a buzz.
  • Determine your return on investment. What are your goals? How many qualified leads are you aiming for?
  • Facilitate and guide users but then step back and let them play a role.

A good strategy is to make your conference about more than just your product or service. You want to plan a conference to be the event where people come together to talk shop, strategize or brainstorm. As event management experts, every day we see the importance of treating a conference like you would any other business process. After all, it’s a part of your brand.

4. Location, location, location!

You want to ensure that your event is held somewhere accessible and at a desirable location. Buyers like user conferences because they can get useful information on purchasing, but if you hold it somewhere out of reach, they won’t come. Choose an inviting location that gives people a place to gather to share a like-minded interest.

5. Treat your customers well the entire time

From marketing to the big day itself, be sure to treat your customers well. While the goal is to ultimately to gain leads and boost your industry position, in the end, it’s also about the customers. Without them, you aren’t going to find much success. As a part of your event, include promotions, giveaways and specialized attention to key customers. Don’t forget post-event marketing; drop them a note of appreciation – make your users feel like VIPs from beginning to end.

6. Solicit the right kind of feedback

Your purpose is to create an appealing event, get customers excited (and hopefully pass along information about the event to others!), educate, inform and build your brand image. We believe if you successfully accomplish these key objectives, you’ll increase engagement, boost customer retention and hopefully expand your user base. During and after the event, survey attendees in simple, quantifiable metrics to measure what you’ve done well and what you can improve for next time. Any information gleaned is useful when planning your next event.

7. ESG can help!

At ESG, we stand for quality and perfection and always go the extra mile to ensure that our client’s goals and objectives are met. Our clients seek impeccably managed events, and we strive to make sure our solutions exceed these expectations. Attention to detail is our specialty. Each client is assigned a single point of contact to streamline the process and ensure no detail is forgotten. But don’t just let us tell you, let us show you—click here to see a full sample of our work.

Make your event a memorable experience for your own customers! To learn more about our 360-degree approach, contact us today.