Had my final follow up call with Don Gabor, took one more run through the networking and speaker stuff (Don went to SQLSaturday #40). Might have some repeats from earlier posts, trying to capture and burn into my brain at least.
- Less than 50% of attendees had business cards. Some options are to insert a reminder into the scheduled messages far enough in advance so that they can order from one of the really cheap biz card sites, print some faux cards and stuff in their event bag, set up a kiosk on site to print them. Maybe all three?
- Do more for first time attendees. Different color badge or sticker, try to match them up with someone at check-in. Huge difference in experience if you have someone to introduce you to a few people and get you comfortable.
- Likes the idea of baking into the formula having the speaker drive the left/right introductions at the beginning of each session right down to ‘introduce AND exchange business cards’.
- We should work on getting attendees to set networking goals. A printed checklist that suggests and captures goals would be useful.
- Show testimonials on the site to try to encourage first timers, also to note the value from networking
- Keynotes should be highly scripted, important to maintain energy level, stick to the event theme. Opening remarks not the same as keynote, keynote = excitement/energy. Very useful to do, logistics are often hard, and it takes away from sponsor time unless well integrated.