Can you put too much information on a guest itinerary? The short answer: No. Knowing what to expect is key in building attendee anticipation. We have some serious experience doing this, so we’ve laid out our recommendations for what and how much to tell attendees before an event.
In our case, this information lives in a cloud-based itinerary, so it’s available ahead of time and is always up to date. Even if you’re not working with dynamic itineraries, these tips apply to any pre-event communication you send out.
More is Better
As Event Professionals, we can all relate to being a little Type A. It’s what makes us thorough, knowledgeable, and dependable. We can relate to the need to know as much information as we can about an upcoming party or trip. While not every attendee you’ll encounter will be as Type A as you, people are now accustomed to having tons of information at their fingertips that will help them pack, prepare, and get excited for an event. When you provide less than what attendees are used to, it’s actually a point of frustration. This is why we abide by the “more is better” rule of thumb. Every description is an opportunity to engage and excite.
Types of Details
So we can agree that more information is key – but where do you start? What kind of information should you include?
Common Courtesies: don’t underestimate the power of speaking to your guest as though they are, in fact, a person. It’s easier to just list out details, but simply starting with a “Please join us for” or “We’re looking forward to seeing you at…” goes a long way in making the experience feel personalized.
What to Wear: it’s not news that people agonize over what to wear to an event they care about. Any direction you can provide as to the formality, location (indoor/outdoor), or forecasted weather of an event will be appreciated. If your event warrants it, this is even great content to share leading up to the event in a “What to Wear” blog post or social series. Feature photos from last years’ attendees or inspiration from influencers.
What to Bring: what’s worse than showing up somewhere and realizing you needed a photo ID (which is now inconveniently in your hotel room and you’re carless)? Or bringing an umbrella you can’t take into a concert? Or not using a venue-approved bag for your belongings? The list goes on. A description or list of items to bring (or not bring) is extremely useful and avoids attendee frustration.
What Will There Be to Eat/Drink? Should attendees eat ahead of time or will food be provided? If it is provided, how heavy is the meal and are there options for those with dietary restrictions? Is there a cash bar or are drinks complimentary? Hungry, sober guests aren’t high on anyone’s list of event outcomes, so help them prepare for the situation.
Brand Messaging: use event descriptions as an opportunity to reinforce your messaging. Give them some history, reinforce your tagline, and share facts and statistics about why your event is the best event. This is also a great place to introduce attendees to a campaign or hashtag you wish to use during the event. The more they are exposed to it in a relevant place, the more likely they are to recall it when it’s time to use it.
Good luck on your next event and happy writing!