Why and How to Simplify Your Event Programs

Why and How to Simplify Your Event Programs

Complexity will make your event look less attractive. Add different topics, mix different activities, and focus on quantity instead of quality, and you’ll be surprised to discover that people have less interest in your event. And that’s true for both online and physical events. After all, who has the time and energy to untangle a messy event program with dozens of concurrent sessions? 

True, you may want to pack your event program with knowledge sessions and entertaining activities, thinking this is an added value. But considering the short attention span we all have, chances are people will be more engaged and interested in a simple, yet efficient online program. Just think about it: If you’re offering simultaneous sessions, you’ll increase your attendees’ anxiety because they’ll have to choose which session to attend. Also, if you’re adding multiple sessions, you’ll increase the chances of your attendees deciding to disconnect from your event completely. That’s why you’ll want to simplify your event program and focus exclusively on its quality. Here’s a list of tips that will help you do that:

Tip 1: Provide golden nuggets people can’t find anywhere else

Instead of just mindlessly adding sessions to your program, concentrate on the elements that will help your attendees solve a specific problem. How can you do that? Start by knowing your audience and their pain points, and from there, analyze the content out there and identify the newest and most useful solutions people can apply immediately.

Also, talk to your potential speakers and see if their approach to solving a specific problem is aligned with your brand and can serve your audience well. Then create your entire event program based on these golden nuggets. You may discover that your schedule may end up smaller, but better focused. 

Tip 2: Niche down and narrow down

Another important rule to follow is to niche down your target group and narrow down your event topic. For example, you may want to run an event for marketers, but that’s way too generic. You may discover that by wanting to cover all types of marketers, your event program will get diluted. Instead, concentrate on a more specific audience—maybe smaller or larger marketing teams, or SaaS or e-commerce marketing professionals. 

Or maybe you feel like your event is better suited for marketers, inbound marketers, or performance marketers.  Focus on one specific target group based on your overall goals. Do the same for your event topic—instead of talking about digital marketing, for example, and adding everything marketing related to your online agenda sessions, it’s always better to narrow it down. Choose something specific (content marketing, inbound marketing, outbound marketing, e-commerce marketing, etc.). This will help you build a robust event program and attract the right professionals. 

Tip 3: Avoid simultaneous sessions to decrease FOMO

It’s quite tempting to run a massive online event and offer parallel sessions. You may think you’re doing a good thing by giving your attendees lots of options, but in reality, the only thing you’re doing is increasing their FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). The more options people have, the more anxious they may feel. Instead, work on creating a strong event program with a few sessions that people can enjoy. 

Tip 4: Focus on the quality of the content, not the quantity

This tip refers mostly to your mindset. You may think that adding more to your event program is better. However, quality trumps quantity. Which do you prefer: Your attendees getting eight hours of content during your online event and feeling paralyzed and overwhelmed by all of the information, or your attendees getting one or two hours of high-quality content they can use immediately? The answer’s pretty obvious. So instead of adding more sessions, it’s always better to think about the added value of each dynamic and include in the event program only if it’s truly worth it. 

Tip 5: Invite fewer, but better speakers

Some people may think that inviting lots of speakers from well-known brands will make their event more attractive, but nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, you can achieve better success with your marketing campaigning. After all, we like big names. But in fact, people care less about the brand your attendee is representing and more about the knowledge he or she is sharing. So instead of chasing after renowned speakers for an impressive-looking event program, find a few awesome speakers who can have some interesting and helpful insights to share. 

Final thoughts

When it comes to event programs, less is more. Don’t overwhelm your attendees with large schedules and simultaneous sessions. Know your audience and their challenges. If your target group is too vague, narrow it down, along with the topic of your event. Always focus on the quality of your event content, and finally, invite a few amazing speakers who have useful insights to share. Do all that and you’ll get happier attendees who’ll actually enjoy the added value your event offers.


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