How to Create a User Conference that Increases Attendee Networking

As an event technology consultant for EventMobi, I speak to hundreds of event planners every month who need guidance on how to create a User Conference. One of the number one goals event planners are usually striving for with a User Conference is increasing attendee engagement and networking, especially between clients and prospects.

Attendee engagement at an event is important for any company across any industry, but for tech companies in particular, User Conferences are excellent for promoting product usage while increasing the engagement of your users.

A User Conference is the one time of the year where you have all your top clients, prospects, and partners focused on how your product can help make their lives easier, whether that’s in the form of increased efficiencies, cost savings, or enabling them to offer their own clients a better user experience. At the same time, having everyone in the same space at the same time is the perfect opportunity to get them interacting and learning from one another.

In this post, we’ll go through how to create a user conference around your brand to achieve maximum attendee engagement and networking. Let’s get started!

1. Create Opportunities for Your Clients & Prospects to Connect With One Another

Connecting your top clients with one another is the most productive way to start building your brand. They can exchange stories and talk about how well your product has worked for them, provide each other insights into other ways they can use your product successfully, or convince your prospects that your product is the right choice.

People want to purchase a proven solution that addresses their needs, but most importantly, they want to see how it’s worked for similar companies. Your clients and prospects want to know that they are getting the best possible solution from a market leader. At the same time, you’re able to take advantage of their brand advocacy to grow your client base.

Having Clients & Prospects Attend Sessions Together Isn’t Enough

Just having prospects and clients attend sessions together at your User Conference really isn’t enough to get them building relationships and advocating your product. If you want to foster deeper, more insightful conversations about your product’s advantages and successes, you need to make sure you’re steering attendees’ focus with carefully designed sessions and well-facilitated networking opportunities. Here are a few ideas:

Round-Table Sessions Can Nurture Client-Prospect Relationships

Small round-table sessions are a very effective way to get specific clients and prospects together talking about a specific topic. You can group them by industry, individual goals for your product, or other mutual characteristics. This is your chance to get similar clients in the same space and encourage them to get to know one another by giving them a relatable topic to discuss.

Your goal as an event planner is to help prospects gain insights and learn from the experiences of other users of your product.  If you can show both clients and prospects that value, they’ll leave that discussion with a reason to remain connected.

Recommended Read: Are you planning a User Conference? Get organized with the Essential User Conference Marketing Plan Template to track your promotions, budget, and results.

2. Use Your Event App to Encourage Group Discussions

If you’re using an event app at your User Conference, you can take advantage of the Group Discussions feature by creating online forums or channels for your users to communicate with one another. Ask your clients how they use certain products, how they feel about new features, or even which direction they’d like to see the product go. Take it a step further by moderating the discussion and encouraging users to meet up in-person to continue nurturing the relationships.

Additionally, an event app allows for direct messaging between attendees so you can step out of the middleman role once introductions have been made in the larger group discussion and the ball gets rolling.

3. Use Event Gamification to Increase Attendee Networking

Gamification is a proven strategy to get your clients connecting with each other. Set up a networking game so that they’re encouraged to meet people they may not already know. Keep things simple and have the biggest socialites win prizes, or be a bit more specific and make it a challenge for clients to meet specific people.

Join us on May 8th to learn how to use gamification to achieve common event goals like increasing attendee engagement and networking, and delivering a top-notch event experience. Register today! 

You might reward guests for connecting with new out-of-network contacts. You might let groups take part in a Scavenger Hunt around the conference centre or even around the local area. Games are a fun way to encourage your attendees to engage with one-another and talk about your product without forcing them to do so.

Recommended Read: Use this step-by-step guide to develop a Scavenger Hunt at your next event. 

4. Create Time for Fun Moments Outside of the Event Space

Lastly, let your clients forget about work and your product, and simply get to know each other. Group outings are always the most memorable part of a conference and the people who attend them are often the ones who will want to stay in touch the most. Connect your clients on social media, share off-conference shows, events, or local attractions. Help them have a good time.

You can promote these opportunities in your marketing outreach and promotional material before the event, as well as during the event through push notifications in your event app and digital display ads.

In Conclusion

The more reasons you give your clients to stay in touch with each other and nurture relationships with prospects, the better the experience for both you and them. Whether the relationship business or for social purposes, your brand is what brought them together and they will remember this.

Take care to connect the right clients with the right people. They need to see how other companies are leveraging your product in different ways, whether to solve different business cases or technical problems. Help your clients be ambassadors for your brand. Your User Conference is the place to make customers feel valued, encourage prospects, and showcase your product as a true business solution.

Want to take your attendee networking to the next level?

Learn how to create an event community that will foster attendee loyalty and engagement year-round.

 

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