There’s a lot to love about user conferences: The networking opportunities, the industry insights and best practices, the face–to-face conversations with customers – and of course, all the excitement that goes along with it.
Naturally, many businesses want to harness that excitement and grow their conference into the biggest event of the year. But you don’t necessarily have to.
We’ve been lucky enough to experience many successful user conferences with our clients – and the truth is that there’s more than way for your conference to provide enormous benefits to attendees.
On one hand, the large, multi-day circus generates an enormous amount of excitement and buzz for your company. Larger events also tend to provide more opportunity to attract a large number of industry influencers – media, analysts, consultants, industry partners – that your customers would love to connect with. And by transforming your event from a user conference to an industry-wide show, it’s possible to heighten your position as a leader in the market.
But on the other hand, there’s something to be said for quality over quantity. Small-scale, more intimate gatherings typically offer stronger networking opportunities, where your customer can have extensive and in-depth peer-to-peer conversations – without distractions – that provide more relevant and actionable insight. With a smaller crowd, you can also invite presenters that actively engage and involve the audience. And perhaps most important – your team gets more quality face time with customers.
Neither approach is fundamentally better than the other – the key is determining what your customers value the most, and delivering an experience that meets their needs.