If you are sponsoring an event, hosting a conference, or manning an exhibit, you will want to be aware of the types of people you may come across as well as the individual agendas they have for being around you. Armed with this information, you will be able to identify their needs and optimise your interactions with them.
The Networker is an attendee whose express purpose is to connect and engage with as many people across the industry as possible in a wide cross section of roles. This delegate carries with them a bundle of business cards and measures their success at the event by the number of card exchanges made across the duration of the conference. The Networker considers the conference social events to be the most valuable element of the schedule.
The Collector is similar to the Super-fan (who is mentioned below) with one distinct difference. The Collector demonstrates their enthusiasm by attending every booth and exhibit displays and gathering free merchandise, pamphlets, and samples. The Collector often arrives with an empty backpack and leaves with a loaded up trolley suitcase.
The Super-fan is a delegate who keenly and actively engages in everything conference related in the lead up to, during, and post conference. The Super-fan will be an active participant of the conference social media feeds and will be the first in line to meet and greet guest speakers.
The Escape Artist
The Escape Artist is similar to the Frugal Tourist in some respects as they love a free outing, but this attendee is someone who will not stick around to take advantage of the freebies. They will put in an appearance through the conference displays duration, but spend the majority of time away from the venue to pursue their own interests.
The Job Seeker
As conference delegates, Job Seekers attend the event with one of two intentions. They either want seek out companies and opportunities and make assessments if they are the right fit for them, or to make a 1:1 connection with someone who they have already networked with online with the hope of securing a position.
The Teacher is an attendee that will absorb as much as they can from the event and then take such knowledge back to share with their colleagues during team meetings or as part of coaching processes. The teacher is often a leader back at their workplace.
The Frugal Tourist
The Frugal Tourist is a delegate that values their attendance at the event just as much as they value the free air fare and accommodations that have been paid for by their employer. This guest is likely to partake in everything surrounding the conference including the pre, post, and evening events, and will optimise their access to the breakfasts, dinners, tours, and golf days.
The Thought Leader
Conferences are built around Thought Leaders. These delegates are often the guest speakers, those asked to speak in debates or at round table discussions, and host conference activities such as workshops or master classes. Thought leaders are typically subject matter experts in their niche area, and are also considered to hold a valuable and sometimes contentious view about that topic. Thought Leaders can be used to support the marketing of the event as other delegates will attend in order to see or engage with them.
At every conference there is a cohort of delegates that see the event as the perfect opportunity to research and analyse competitors in the marketplace. These conference attendees are looking to gather information about who is doing what, what companies or products are emerging, and then use this data to make predictions as to how they should position themselves going forward. The Spy can also report direct information back to salespeople in their business based on conversations they have overheard between the reps of other companies and potential customers.
The Salesperson is the delegate that comes to the conference with a single-minded goal: to promote their product or service, make connections, and generate sales. Unlike the Deal-maker, the Salesperson does not necessarily spend time investing in strategic partnerships and exposing the company’s mission and values. They are more interested in identifying customer issues and providing solutions. The Salesperson is always on the lookout for an opportunity to spruik their offerings.
At every conference, you will find the Partier at the centre of the room. This guest is someone who embodies the very spirit of a conference in terms of networking, engagement, and relationship management. They are the first to the pre-dinner drinks, last to leave the gala dinner, hangs out by the buffet to chat with others, and attends every pre and post conference activity that has been scheduled. Every conference organiser needs a cohort of partiers to keep things active, interesting, and enjoyable.