This week we welcomed 20 event professionals to the brand new LABS House in Holborn for a roundtable discussion on 'improving turnout at client facing events', with Alexandra Galviz, co-founder of LinkedIn Local and Robert Dunsmore, freelance creative director. Designed to help event profs enhance their skills, these events are 'Powered by EventLAB', drawing on some of the themes that were explored at the flagship event last month (October).
The event addressed many of the challenges and frustrations that our attendees face when running events, from drop-out rates to keeping content fresh. We've rounded up the key points from the discussion and the best advice from our speakers.
Combatting drop out: This was one of the biggest challenges faced by our attendees. Robert suggests there are three things you need to combat it:
Optimise: Do things better - whether it is the content, the venue, the food
Expand: Get more people to come - incentivise, use ambassadors
Scale: Once you reach this point, the drop out rate will improve - it's a marathon, not a sprint.
Alexandra suggests that having a mission and taking people on that mission with you is a big draw, use emotion and humanity and give people a reason to attend.
Always create value: Firstly, make sure your event is right for the community you are trying to reach. Sounds simple, but if you get this right then people will want to show up. Then give your attendees actionable, relatable takeaways or connect them with relevant people - this is added value.
Use brand ambassadors: Encourage people to share your content and add value to their connections, Alexandra calls this 'cross-pollenating networks'. Remember, there are always more people outside the room than in it, use these people to spread your message.
Identify the most 'active' people in your community, get their opinions and collaborate with them when you create events. These people already exist, you just need to 'activate them' - connect with them on whatever platform they use and nurture them. You can do this with attendees too, it gives a sense of ownership over the event and makes them more likely to not only attend but publicise the event too.
Content, content, content: Content at your event is so important. It has to be relevant to your attendees and really add value - make it good enough that people simply can't miss it. Drip feed valuable content to your community between events too, this creates that all important feeling of 'fomo'.
Play with the format: It could be as easy as changing the physical layout of a discussion. Robert highlighted the example of an international conference which was adapted to mirror the parliament of the country that was hosting it. This helped to spark debate and increase engagement across the board.
Take a risk: People will engage when they are given permission, so ask! A simple way to do this is by taking feedback and using it to turn a negative into a positive - how can you get that person involved again, how can you improve the content for the future?
Modern, bright and airy, the private event space on floor 7 and 8 is contemporary and fully flexible, with a prime location just minutes from Holborn underground station.
As you walk into the space your eyes are immediately drawn to the floor to ceiling windows with beautiful views across London. You'll then be suitably wowed by how the design and decor. Combining industrial features with warming velvets and golds and plenty of greenery makes the space a stylish spot for any event.
Our event was set up in one corner of the room, with a central space for networking and breakfast and coffee served from the bar. Guests were treated to quail egg Benedict, goats cheese and sun-dried tomato muffins and American pancakes with bacon and maple syrup.
The space is also perfectly suited for conferences for up to 120, standing receptions or networking for 250 and dinners for up to 80 people. Workshops, away days and large business meetings also work well, with access to a private bar, AV, delicious catering and onsite event management, LABS House is a truly versatile new venue, perfect for your next event.
More about Our Speakers
Alexandra Galviz was the former Head of Training and Development for a Foreign Exchange broker by the time she was 24 years old. Finding herself a round peg in a square hole she spent time learning what her values, passions and skills were. Unable to find a role that aligned with all the above, Alex decided to create her own portfolio career. She has been named LinkedIn Top Voice for the UK, consulted
with clients such as Shell and Deloitte on graduate development and coached some of the leading CEOs on building their online presence on LinkedIn. She is also the co-founder of a global movement called LinkedInLocal.
Robert Dunsmore is a freelance Creative Director and live events native – its all he works on. Events and experiences defined and shaped by their culture first – everything else is just infrastructure. He is a self-proclaimed ‘call guy’, his job is to change things. A creative leader and ideas professional from the experience and
events sector called to identify and generate the ideas, write the proposals, lead the pitches and to deliver “one new thing” to every event – as that’s the first thing anyone will remember. He is also regularly published in the media, guest lectures and mentors via the UK university network and a long-term supporter
of ILEA and one of the magnificent seven founders of the ICE AWARDS initiative.
He believes “art” predicts the future and is currently as interested and involved with the metrics producing “blurred lines” of digital activation to grow live events – from “mad-man” to “math-man” as one commentator correctly observed.