Daniele Catalanotto
Author - Daniele Catalanotto

When it comes to organizing an event or a conference we spend most of the time organizing the event itself.

Leaving a conference isn't just one step
Leaving a conference isn't just one step

Where will it be? Who will talk? How can we make sure that the people speaking will not be boring? How can we feed all these people in a quicker way? But there is one element that we usually forget to think about: what happens when people leave the event?
To explore this topic I spoke with Ines Rüthrich. Ines is an event organizer for the Service Design Network. Ines has a few simple tips to make the leaving experience part of the whole event experience. Here a few element that we spoke about:


Let the team say goodbye

You remember these strange images from the Apple Stores openings? Where all the staff in blue shirts waves at the people entering with huge smiles. It’s a bit weird, you don’t know these guys and they are super excited to see you there. In a way, Ines and her team built something on that base but improved it. At the end of a conference they organized, they made sure that the team was ready outside of the venue location. There the whole team said goodbye to the attendees and waved at them. This staff is, in fact, the people that the attendees saw for 2 days running everywhere to make them happy. These are the same people that helped the attendees when they were lost. Having these people who took care of you saying goodbye at the end is a nice touch.

Give a last great impression

An event is full of memories, good ones, and bad ones. You can’t do much about what already happened. But you can emphasize what was great. Ines and her team prepare during the event a little recap’ video with the best moments of the event they lived. At the moment when people leave, they show on every screen the video of those happy memories. This gives to the people leaving the event a great last impression.

Say thank you

The last thing that the conference team does right after people have left the event is to send them a little thank you email. But not the classical thank you email. Ines explained to me that she is thankful to the people who come at the event she organizes. She is thankful because without them there would be no event, and she would have no job. And this is exactly what she says to people. She thanks them for making it possible, and she reminds to people that they had a big role in the event. She reminds them that they can be proud of being an actor of the event.

Expanding the event

For the Service Design Conference of this year, the Service Design Network team has prepared one more thing. There is a Dutch Beer Testing Tour right after the conference. So people who have some extra time and are willing to continue the experience can expand the event. As this isn’t mandatory it is something that won't bother the people with a tough schedule. But still, they can see that the team cares about creating a great experience. 

About this article

This article is part of a series celebrating the next Service Design Conference. The conference will take place in Amsterdam on the 27th and 28th October. If you are going there to leave a comment below or reach me on Twitter so that we can meet each other in real life.


Daniele Catalanotto
Daniele Catalanotto - Design Strategist at Enigma

Daniele is a swiss Service Designer who believes that helping others is the best hobby in the world.

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