Give attendees the meeting content they want with these research-backed strategies

Handouts, printouts, links to online resources—whatever the meeting material, the content you share with attendees can increase guest engagement with your meeting purpose. 

But it turns out how you deliver this content is just as important as what it says, and many planners are seeing a big shift in the content types attendees want, according to the 2019 State of the Conference Industry Report.  

Here are five key meeting content do’s and don’ts based on the research:

Do consider minimizing print materials. 

Stop the press! About 56 percent of planners say that attendees are moving away from print materials—which means a big change could be in the future for the 96 percent of planners who rely on paper handouts. So why the change? Simple: Web-based content is in higher demand, per 68 percent of planners.     

Don’t forget to optimize web materials for different devices.

Don’t let the surge in web content fool you: Attendees don’t only want to access meeting materials on their desktops but on their phones, tablets and other devices, too. In fact, 65 percent of planners are seeing more demand for mobile-friendly material in particular. For planners, this shift means that all web content needs to be designed and optimized for different formats. That way, guests can access event materials whenever and on whatever device they choose.

Do make content interactive.

Another attendee demand? About 48 percent of planners are seeing a greater desire for interactive meeting materials. In other words, attendees want more dynamic content—something they can actively engage in. One way to do it: Try breaking up meeting content with polls or quizzes to test attendees’ knowledge. 

Don’t write a book.

You might have a lot to say, but attendees likely don’t have the time to read a book on your meeting purpose. Throw humans’ eight-second attention span into the mix, and it’s no wonder why 46 percent of planners see a need for shorter event materials. The takeaway: Cut down on copy, and let your meeting speak for itself.

Do amp up the visuals.

With shorter content comes more opportunity for bigger and better visuals, with an attendee preference to match: 42 percent of planners say visual-based meeting materials are in higher demand. So, get creative with different ways to show, not tell, your meeting purpose. And if you’re worried that the meaning will get lost in the imagery, try storytelling techniques, such as infographics, that allow you to spell out the bottom line in a way that’s still visual in nature.