Getting to and from an event location, managing complicated conference agendas with overlapping sessions, networking and not knowing anyone at an event were cited as attendees’ top stress factors, according to the recent Inside the Mind of The Event Attendee study commissioned by Cvent.
In addition, navigating the event venue and translating key conference learnings into actionable takeaways were highlighted as top stress triggers. The survey findings highlight a major opportunity for event organisers to create programs that are more customised, clear and impactful to help minimise what gets in the way of a great attendee experience.
Millennials showed consistently higher stress levels (between 10-20%) than Generation X and Baby Boomer respondents and their stress triggers focused more on the social aspect of attending events. Nearly three in ten (28%) Millennials are stressed by not knowing anyone at an event compared to just 8% of Baby Boomers. Likewise, when navigating the event venue, more than a quarter of Millennials (28%) find this stressful compared to 18% of Generation Xers and 9% of Baby Boomers. More than a quarter of Millennials (26%) stress about what to wear at events compared to just 4% of Baby Boomers.
The research, which was conducted by Edelman Intelligence, also revealed other stress factors including selecting which keynote sessions to attend and proving the value of their event attendance (ROI).
The research includes responses from 3,000 event attendees (1,000 from the UK, 1,000 from Germany and 1,000 from the US) globally who had attended at least one B2B event in the past six months. The top five industries from respondents include education, business & professional services, healthcare & medical, technology, and retail.
Top 5 stressors per region
UK attendees’ Top Event Stressors
1. Getting to and from the event location
2. Being away from home and loved ones
4. Not knowing anyone
5. Trying to fit in at the event
German attendees’ top event stressors
1. Having to choose between two sessions (both of which they want to attend) but occur at the same time
2. Getting to and from the event location
3. Being away from home and loved ones
4. Translating key learnings into actionable takeaways for the workplace
5. Finding one’s way around the event/exhibition floor
U.S. attendees’ top event stressors
1. Being away from home and loved ones
2. Being away from the office
3. Overextending oneself
5. Getting to and from the location
Judy Elvey, Director of Marketing at Cvent comments: “Live events play a crucial role in how organisations connect with their customers and prospects. Nothing beats the power of the human connection which face-to-face events support, but there has been very little focus on the physical and mental impact event attendance has on attendees. There is a strong need for organisers to step up and ensure attendees have the best experience and crucially, wherever possible, make it a ‘stress-free’ one.