As planners, we know to expect the unexpected. But having the pope, the president of the United States and the United Nations’ full complement of distinguished delegates in town at the same time as a PYM LIVE Event was a first. Attrition always is a concern, especially with a free event. But when the media is telling people not to travel at all? That’s when you really start to sweat.
Surprisingly, attrition for PYM LIVE New York attendance was the lowest for any event we produced this year. How did we do it? By subtly changing up our know-before-you-go emails.
Because we knew the pope’s visit had the potential to keep people out of the city, we addressed that right off the bat. We reminded attendees that the show would conclude at 1 p.m. — four hours before Pope Francis was scheduled to land. Additional helpful tips to avoid papal traffic were included in the email.
The next thing we did was instruct attendees to notify us if they were running late or unable to attend. Typically this lives at the bottom of our email, but it seemed like it needed more prominence for this event. We also added some sentences encouraging attendees to find replacements if they couldn’t attend and giving them permission to bring colleagues with them.
The last thing we did was to add to the intro: “Thank you in advance for honoring the commitment you made when you RSVP’d. We look forward to creating an exceptional experience for you.”
The result? An enthusiastic, dedicated audience that not only showed up, but were all in their seats on time and came to our event in midtown Manhattan from as far away as Maryland!
Because one of the planners couldn’t download apps on her company phone, I promised I’d embed the conversation from our event app Topi here for her. Enjoy this record of our conference chat room. Underneath you’ll find a full social media recap, courtesy of Storify. Want to experience a PYM LIVE yourself? We’ll be in Houston on Nov. 17 for our last show of the year. But you can check our events page for upcoming dates.