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Everyone knows the story of gas prices: 

Fast to rise and slow to fall.

For a good number of associations, 2009 – 2012 saw their event attendance behaving as the reciprocal of this formula – slow to rise and fast to fall . So what is driving this trend? 

The economy right? Sure that was part of it, but looking back, it appears there was more at play. How do you curb the decline and accelerate through the finish line? Try harnessing the power of these three trends:

Millennials – do they even care?

YES. All they do is care. Millennial’s are a puzzle solved through the power of empathy. Put yourself in their shoes and understand that when you’re graduating during the second worst recession in history, with mountains of debt, all you have left is to care and you want to make an impact. 

That means trying to do work above your pay grade and wanting it to be recognized. 

Industries are changing, being created, and evaporating faster than ever.

Business has changed, people have found new niches to do their jobs and connect with others. The value and perception of the event must adapt. There is continual evaluation going on, and future attendees and association members are looking to their bosses and senior management for direction.  

Look at the trends within your market determine what new market you should be investing in next.

“The non-attendee attendee” – social media

Social media is everywhere. Making it part of the event is critical for increasing your event’s popularity. It’s true that it can even increase your attendees without actually increasing your attendees. The non-attendee attendee is just as important as a physical in person attendee because it drives engagement. The revenue will lag, but placing strong content in the hands of those who influence others can be a strong marketing strategy that costs little and yields big returns over time.

Listen to the crowd. 

The sentimental change in how events are perceived is accelerating. Industries, their constituent companies and individuals are turning over at a faster rate than at any point in history. Which means that your annual event is now susceptible to industry changes that would have previously manifested themselves over years. Now they are happening in months and even weeks for some industries. 

Stopping the decline and starting the incline for your event is all about today’s attendee and putting your event and brand in position to attract tomorrow’s attendee. 

Joe

@joecolangelo

Image by @dharder