Melissa Hawkes
Melissa Hawkes, Senior Event Manager

If you had the chance to read Part 1 of this blog series on how to be a great attendee before the event, then you are already on your way to winning the hearts of planners everywhere.  Part 2, however, is just as important and will help ensure you have an excellent experience during the event!

As an event attendee, here are a few tips and tricks to make certain this will be the case:

Review collateral and signage provided at the event:

For the majority of events, lots of information, collateral and signage are provided to point you in the right direction and inform you of the event’s content and progression. This information is available to enhance your event experience and reduce the need for trying to track down the event planner on site for assistance.

This works great leading up to the event as well (should it be provided) so you are best prepared for the on site activities. Catching a planner in the heat of an event emergency might not elicit the most pleasant reaction…don’t take this to heart! The devil is in the details and they are just ensuring these are all taken care of.

Be on time to get out on time: 

Planners typically wait on guest arrivals before starting the show. If a large portion of the event guests are not in attendance it can delay the start of the event which in turn can affect the event’s projected conclusion time. Arriving on time is also a courtesy to the other individuals that have made commitments based on leaving on time.

It is also important to pay attention to seating cues and instructions on moving to the next portion of the event. When networking is in full swing, it’s almost like herding cats for a planner to direct guests from one location to another, so be sure to listen for cues and keep an eye on time to play a role in assisting the event moves on schedule.

Technology 101 – Turn your phone or mobile devices to silent/vibrate:

Bring the smart phones, iPads, laptops, etc. and tweet and facebook and message the world about what great things are happening at the event. This is not only excellent profile for the event but for you and your business!

The only request is – SET THEM TO SILENT OR VIBRATE. This is a courtesy to guests, a speaker/presenter, and the planner. Next time you are at an event, take note of when a device goes off and don’t look at whose device it is but how many other people are looking for where the sound is coming from and either stopped taking notes, stopped listening to the messaging, or ended a discussion.

That concludes your 3 easy steps for being a great event attendee: during the event. Don’t forget to HAVE FUN! Network and meet people – make the most of the experience.

Stay tuned for the last installment on how to be a great event attendee: after the event!

Melissa Hawkes is the Senior Event Manager at the Halifax Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at (902) 481-1350 or To see all of the Chamber’s upcoming events, please visit our Calendar of Events