Thoughts from a Conference Professional – The Final Session

For years we have asked ourselves “Why do attendees leave the conference before the final session?”  We have tried everything from saving key sessions until the end of the day, to having half-day events rather than full-day events.  We have even invited everyone to join us for cocktails at the close of the event, thus providing not only some fun at the end of the day, but an opportunity to network with industry peers and/or make a connection with a prospect.   At one event we even had a band performing after the conference to liven up the cocktail hour and still people left.  I don’t understand it, who doesn’t like cocktails and live music?! Though, in retrospect, they might have left on this particular occasion because the FTF staff did start providing the background vocals?!!

Nonetheless, given that we continually receive great feedback throughout the conference day, I know the attendees are not disappointed with the content.  Could it be that there is a bit of information overload after a full day of panel discussions and debates on the latest and greatest industry news?  Or is it just human nature to want to cut out early?  Then there is the more practical reason, which is that most people’s personal and professional lives are so tightly wound, that they don’t want to miss an opportunity to catch an early train home and squeeze in a little more time with their families.

What do you think?  Do you have any additional insight, feedback or other possible explanations that I haven’t thought of yet?  Please help us solve this mystery!

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