Schedule building is arguably the most important part of preparing for an event. Your schedule builder is what you will present to every person who attends your event, the details must be flawlessly organized if all is to go off without a hitch. Though it may seem stressful, planning your event schedule does not have to be a tedious and time-consuming task. With a clear strategy and the right tools in your back pocket, you can create a schedule that will exceed attendee expectations and ultimately drive greater ROI
Learn From Last Year
Before you even begin structuring your event schedule, take a look at the previous year’s data. Which topics were trending last year? Which topics are still relevant this year? Which topics underperformed? Structure your event to add upon the content of your last event. Gathering and comparing data year over year is the best way to plan for success and demonstrate the value of your event to stakeholders.
Set Scheduling Restrictions
Many event directors would agree that the majority of their stress is due to scheduling blunders. Save yourself from headache by setting up your scheduling restrictions before any registration errors can occur. Here are some best practices from our team:
- Ensure that attendees cannot sign up for conflicting sessions.
- Determine which attendees should be permitted to sign up for specific sessions.
- Set capacity settings so that attendees can see when a session is almost full.
- Make room swaps during the scheduling process if you see that one session seems to be nearing capacity. With RainFocus these changes can be made on the fly at your event.
Simplify The Scheduling Process
An essential part of building a session schedule is understanding how attendees are going to build their own schedules. Ensure that your attendees know where to sign up for sessions well in advance to your event. RainFocus’ Schedule Builder allows attendees to schedule sessions from either their calendar in their attendee portal or from the session catalog. Having session information in multiple places will prevent attendees from feeling lost at your event.
Personalize Your Marketing
Consider the knowledge base of your attendees. What does each attendee care to know, need to learn, or want to understand? If you’re looking to create tailored experiences, Targeted Agendas should be your go-to marketing tool. Targeted Agendas allow you to go above and beyond your average session schedule to include activities and networking opportunities which will greatly enhance attendees’ experiences. As your event approaches, present attendees with these tailored schedules to demonstrate the direct value your event will provide to them
Consider the Flow of Your Event
When building your schedule, think of your event as if it were playing out on a stage. Like scenes, each session should add to the last, revealing more about your overall event theme. Consider which sessions make sense to start your story and which should be part of the grand finale. The best events have a natural flow from one idea to another.
In addition to a natural flow of ideas, your event should have an effortless flow of traffic. Plan the rooms for each session track to be close to one another. As you are planning, imagine how session transitions may occur, ensure that attendees will not get lost throughout their event journey
Less is More
Remember the rule of quality over quantity when building out your schedule. Don’t overwhelm your attendees with too many options rather, give them relevant options to choose from. An easy way to present your attendees with exclusive options is by using RainFocus’ Recommendations Bot. The Recommendations Bot is an automated recommendation tool which uses attendee demographics, behaviors, and historical data to present each attendee with unique suggestions that meet their exact needs. Simplify session scheduling and delight your attendees with personalized recommendations.