©2019 London Business School

Audience + programming

Decide on the target audience

One of the biggest mistakes we see is organisers attempting to reach out to, and attract everyone. These questions can help you with your decision making and planning:

  • Who do you want your attendees to be? Why?

  • What are their most pressing issues, problems or desires?

  • Where can you reach them? Where do they get their information?

  • How will your initiative solve their problem?

 

Design the audience experience

Once you have a clearer understanding of your audience, here are some tips for how to design their experience:

 

Pre-event

  • Engage them on social media

  • Send email updates

  • Get them talking and posting

  • Check if they need a visa to attend

 

During the event

  • Carefully think about foot traffic and event flow

  • Make registration friendly and easy

  • Provide name badges to facilitate networking

  • Everybody loves a goody bag

  • Feed your attendees

  • Give time for networking and interactions

  • Plan for breaks so that your audience can engage with a clear mind

 

Post-event

  • Send a feedback form immediately after the event (email us for the link)

  • Prepare in advance so you can let them know when the next event is!

 

Create your programme

Here are some principles of how to structure your event, especially if it is a conference:

  • Start strong - Start your event with energy and clear intentions.

  • Give it flow and narrative - Consider the content throughout your event. Is there a red thread? Can you help your audience by making the narrative and themes clear?

  • Mix it up - Experiment to break up a longer programme (e.g. shorter talks, break out sessions, interactive activities)

 

Assign a host

Having fantastic facilitators or MCs can greatly raise the quality of your event. Their role is to make sure that the programme runs smoothly. Their tasks:

  • Introduce speakers

  • Thank your sponsors

  • Keep the programme on track and on time

  • Respond to technical difficulties and delays

  • Make any housekeeping announcements

  • Connect the dots throughout the day

  • Encourage audience engagement and participation