Admin Sep 29, 2021 9:00:00 AM 9 min read

Are Experience Designers the Future of Digital Event Planning?

When you're planning events for your company, you're always looking for new ways to engage with your clients and ensure that the people who registered for the event attend it. The COVID-19 pandemic turned the way you look at events in a new direction in a matter of days.

Of course, digital events were becoming more popular and slowly the industry was learning how to incorporate them. However, the COVID-19 put the trend of digital events into hyperdrive. Even as life returns to normal, it's clear that digital events are the future and aren't going anywhere. 

More and more, the attendees at your events are looking for more than seminars and networking. They want to enjoy an experience. According to Forbes:

"These events thrive on human interaction and one-on-one and group collaboration, which makes them uniquely positioned to advance in the experience economy."

Event teams can combine digital event planning and experience design to keep your attendees engaged, lead generation robust, and revenue growth on track. In other words, the worlds of traditional event planners and modern experience designers are colliding in fantastic fashion.

Event Planning vs. Experience Design

All event planners want their guests to have a good time and create memories that last. However, it takes an experience to do that.

The easiest example of the importance of experience design is a wedding. Before the wedding, there's an engagement party, a bachelor party, a bachelorette party, a rehearsal dinner, and then the Big Day. These smaller events combine with the ceremony and reception to create a wedding experience. 

Using a target persona, an event designer produces an event that incorporates your products, events, and details into one smooth experience that feels like it's happened organically. The clients at an event experience are feeling connected in a seamless manner.

According to Forbes:

"It's not only about a learning session, a keynote speech, or a sponsorship -- it's about diving into the minds of the people attending and anticipating their needs on multiple levels."

While an event planner is busy lining up keynote speakers or organizing webinars, the experience designer is looking at each component and designing a common thread to run through them all. The experience designer is also looking for ways to shift the attendees' role from passive observer to active participant. 

During a digital event, the idea of an experience is even more important. It's easier for an attendee to multitask and lose interest in the information presented than it is during an in-person event.

Event planning doesn't offer the active component that you need to engage your customers, generate leads, and build revenue growth. For that, it's essential to create an experience the attendee won't easily forget. 

Frictionless Events Are Only Part of the Story

Yes, it's essential to have the digital or in-person event run smoothly. If the event seems disjointed or there are multiple issues, the attendee will fail to be engaged. However, this isn't the only consideration. 

Of course, even when audience members don’t notice any issues, there can still be bumps in the road. It's essential that the attendees never see them. This is one of the most important parts of customer enjoyment and satisfaction. 

Event planners shine when it comes time to plan an in-person or digital conference where the attendees never notice an issue or problem. However, they can't always turn an event into an experience and spur the attendees to switch from passive observers to active participants. 

There needs to be more to an event than simply the fact that it runs without any issues. An experience designer is able to add the magical ingredient that transforms an event from a series of speakers with networking mixed into it without any hitches to a day when the attendee becomes a part of something and connects with your brand in a new way. 

It's the job of the event planner to handle the logistics — ensuring there's enough space, finding the best industry speakers, sending out invites — and ensure the entire event runs smoothly. They also curate content for webinars, keynote speeches, and more. 

While all of these things are important and sought by the attendees, there needs to be more. The digital or in-person event needs to be memorable, and this comes with active participation from each of the customers. This is what an experience designer does. 

Experience Designers and Digital Event Planning

As more businesses opt for digital events, experience designers will be needed to provide the conference that the customers need to stay engaged throughout the event. It won't be enough to have the right speaker or make sure all the activities occur on time. 

A talented experience designer will create a digital event in which the customer is able to walk themselves through the journey, want to connect with the brand even after the event, and become pipeline customers.

For successful experience design, the creator needs to connect with the client base and understand what drives them.

"Using rich customer and employee profiles, advanced research analytics, and automated workflows, organizations can drive brand differentiation, keep a real-time pulse on the market and trends, and take action to respond quickly to real-time feedback."

It's a good idea for event planners to start using the term experience design when they're talking about digital event planning. This can help them begin to look at the larger picture of the digital event and beyond. 

Experience design will help to shape the future of digital event planning. The right design experience ensures that customers are not only engaged but active participants. 

Incorporate Experience Design in Your DIgital Event

The concept of event planning is beginning to evolve into experience design. With the customer at the center of all planning, a successful team can turn the client into an active participant during an event and help them take the next step to become pipeline customers.

At Impact Point Group, we have the skills needed to design an experience for your next digital event and beyond. Contact us to learn more.