Why You Must Personalize Your Attendee Experience

Personalization is one of those terms event organizers are hearing more often. It makes sense to personalize attendee experiences, for example. Exhibition and conference-goers want to be acknowledged and understood. However, there are other reasons to customize the way that customers consume an event. Event technology can make the job easier.  

Delivering a Personal Experience

Consumer brands, such as Amazon, Starbucks and Netflix, have changed consumer expectations, and event attendees are, at their core, consumers. Research from Deloitte describes those changes. “While different businesses offer consumers various products and services, there are overarching themes around how expectations are changing—and these generally center around authenticity, personalized experiences, removal of friction, and on-demand functionality.”[1]

There are personalization blueprints now. Gartner says, “87% of surveyed marketing leaders said their organization is pursuing personalization.”[1] Marketers outside the exhibition are using personalization frameworks to guide customer outreach, change perceptions and influence behaviors. Leading event organizers are using personalization tactics to market to attendees, make registration more accessible and provide in-event recommendations.


Delivering personalized attendee experiences may be easier and more effective in an exhibition or conference. Most are held in purpose-built venues or hotels so that delivery of personalized services can be somewhat controlled. Plus, while today most people expect personalization from their bank, grocery store or online retail outlet, it’s still a relatively new (and potentially impactful) concept when implemented on the trade show floor or in the breakout room.

Successful efforts to personalize the attendee experience can help differentiate one event from another. While the attendee journey is relatively the same for every business event: check-in, consult the schedule, attend a presentation, visit exhibits, go to a networking activity, eat lunch, etc., how attendees experience the journey can make or break a decision to attend the following year. Returning to a place “where everyone knows your name” (figuratively speaking) is preferable for many attendees.

Event Technology and Personalization

Event technology can help personalize the in-event customer journey. However, implementing technology as part of a personalization strategy requires more than placing a collection of standalone technologies throughout the event space. Some devices are more effective than others in reaching personalization goals, and capabilities often overlap—every kiosk or digital sign calling out an attendee’s name could be overkill. 

Implementing Your Personal Strategy

SmartSource® has published a whitepaper written by technology journalist Michelle Bruno titled, Personalizing the Event Experience Through Technology.”  It places specific technologies in the right place along the attendee journey and explores how to implement a successful personalization strategy, one that makes attendees feel as if the event was created just for them.  

About SmartSource®

As a leading provider of event technologies, SmartSource® has a nationwide footprint with expert project managers and solutions architects strategically located across the country. Armed with a multi-million-dollar inventory of high-quality displays, audio visual equipment, computers, laptops, mobile devices, kiosks, touch screens, lighting, and WiFi networking solutions, SmartSource’s knowledgeable experts can work with you to customize a solution based on your unique needs and budget, so you have every resource you need to ease your burden and make your next event a success.

[1] https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/consumer-business/us-cb-2017-travel-hospitality-industry-outlook.pdf

[2] https://emtemp.gcom.cloud/ngw/globalassets/en/insights/executive-guidance/documents/insights/executive-guidance-maximize-personalization-ebook.pdf

Partner Voices

Las Vegas is home to world-leading tech conferences, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) re:Invent in late 2021 and CES in January 2022. It’s where the world’s brightest minds once again are coming together – in person – to discuss the very future of tech, digital transformation, and innovations to help people live and work more productively. It’s only fitting that as a destination Las Vegas is transforming the guest experience with unique venue technology ranging from secure hybrid meetings to contactless payments to some of the largest digital screens in the world.