No apologies the ‘years of experience’ card has to be played today. My notes reference five people who question large talk schedules and see who commend the policy.
Let’s go back to May 2017:
I wrote that we would have fewer talks and see if this kept Visitors ‘on the floor’ during the shows. My idea was a dismal failure, visitors stayed for about three hours and left. Liz and I have slowly built the schedule over the last twelve months, and Visitors now visit longer and return time and again.
As the attendance figures continue to rise we should accept the talks are very much part of the attraction. Not only do we gain this knowledge from conversations with Visitors at the shows. Of great importance is the website analytic; which guides that the shows talks pages have the same degree of attention as the attending Community pages. There is little doubt the Visitors consider talks as very much part of the enjoyment of attending.
Some may feel the talks keep the Visitors away from The Community. The suggestion is understandable as there may be over a hundred people attending the talk rooms. It is, of course, impossible for Visitors to be in two places. However, there is a way of considering the issue in another way. Imagine the Visitors as a sea, which flows with the tide. They spend time talking to The Community, drink a coffee in the refreshment area and then attend a talk.
This flow is essential to keep our Visitors at the show. As difficult as it is to accept if we are to encourage Visitors we have to give them a large choice and varied experience. The Community is a fantastic attraction, and our followers are growing. Not only is the growth evident, but there are also Visitors who have become loyal to our format and ethos. It is not possible to ignore the headways The Community is making with people who attend the Well Being Shows.
Reread the first paragraph:
“Let’s go back to May 2017. I wrote that we would have fewer talks and see if this kept Visitors ‘on the floor’ during the shows. My idea was a dismal failure, visitors stayed for about three hours and left. Liz and I have slowly built the schedule over the last twelve months, and Visitors now visit longer and return time and again”.
If the talk schedule is extensive and varied, the Visitor may well miss a presentation and return to attend later in the year. In the same way, Visitors connect to certain Community members at one show and others at the next. Indeed, this is why we have a varied Community list for every show. There are an ebb and flow of those who attend.
Some feel they become more established by regular attendance and others think the opposite. This has to be a personal assessment and whatever the preference the choice will be the right one. In the same way, some will review their stall presentation, and other will keep it fixed. On the subject of talks; some will stay with one specific talk and others will change and vary the matter.
The priority is Visitor enjoyment. When we keep the Visitor, the attendance of the show will grow, and The Community will prosper. I feel The Community is beginning to realise they are part of a different style and ethos. The Visitors positively comment on the atmosphere and unification of The Community.
Our talk schedule is part of the Visitor experience, and we should accept the programme is the second reason they attend the show. I spoke to a friend recently, who said she’d attended a show without talks. ‘The exhibitors were ok Ian, but after two hours it was time to go home’.
People love information, and that is why we will always have an extensive number of presenters. Writing of presenters, tomorrows article will give the reasons why we would never pay for someone to ‘talk’ at our shows.
See You Soon