Human-Centric Event Design: Nurture Attendees, Incorporate Thoughtful Planning

Written by | Event Marketing

A recent whitepaper, summarized at, looks at the ways in which event marketers have traditionally judged or measured events—financial, number of registrations, learner outcomes—and asks whether these metrics are sufficient. The authors suggest that instead, we ought to take a more human-centric approach to events, looking at how events impact attendees, asking questions such as how the experience has enriched and nourished their minds, created balance and mimicked the ways in which they best learn. The paper presents five ways in which integrated marketers can ensure that their events are more meaningful.

1). Account for Human Behavior
First, they looked at how people interact and relate to their social environments, explaining that wisdom is born in social connection and exchange. The article explains that the combination of verbal and non-verbal communication, the feeling of social obligation or reminders to ‘give back’ within a peer group, can change behavior, instigate conversions, and help facilitate other event objectives.

2). Be Mindful of One’s HealthThe authors remind integrated marketers that the human brain can only take in so much. The event planner can help protect and care for attendees by offering thoughtful messaging such as reminders to sleep and exercise, suggestions for managing stress, and including time in the schedule—as well as a designated space—for attendees to decompress between sessions.

3). Incorporate Thoughtful Design
Rather than “being the architects of exhausted people,” the paper suggests bringing a new strategic eye to the agenda—balancing participatory time with downtime, considering the duration and format of sessions, allotting time and space for relaxation, as well as for connections to be made and cultivated. Rather than focusing solely on logistics, reflect on how people will feel throughout the day—when will they be most alert or most tired? How can you create a unique experience that caters to these needs?

4) Consider the Community
Contemplate the inclusion of activities that will help build connections between attendees, of course, but also within the community. Is there any way in which to connect the event with local programs, business leaders, or organizations? Above all, integrated marketers should emphasize collaboration and authentic human connections.

5). Enhance Your Event Through Technology
We’ve discussed before how event planners can create lasting experiences and ensure happy attendees through well-planned interactions and connections using a number of types of event technology. Ideally, any technology introduced (apps, connection tools) should eliminate complexity, enhance relationships, and put humans at their center. To cut down on stress and anxiety, integrated marketers should confirm that all technology introduced is intuitive and approachable.

Ultimately, events should be built around the attendees, at their core. reminds event planners to ensure that every element of an event is structured to reinforce this truth.

Last modified: April 16, 2018