The Five Love Languages of Event Communication

There's no one-size-fits-all approach to communication. To keep this top of mind, JDC created the Five Love Languages of Event Communication.

The Five Love Languages of Event Communication

It’s February, the month of candy hearts and sweet sentiments. All the love in the air has Team JDC talking about the Five Love Languages. They are a timely reminder that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to communication – regardless of whether your relationship is personal or professional. 

Event communications are no different. Participants mentally juggle a lot when they come to an event. There are travel plans to book, meetings to prepare for, sessions to attend, unfamiliar cities to navigate, work emails to address, children to call at bedtime, and on and on. With so many variables competing for attention, it’s easy to miss key details. To keep participants on track, event marketers must consider the clarity of their messaging, the effectiveness of their channels, and the frequency with which they’re connecting. 

To keep these best practices top of mind, JDC Events created the Five Love Languages of Event Communication.


#1: Words of affirmation

Understandably, event participants may start to feel anxious when they’ve registered for an event but don’t fully understand what they’re supposed to do when they get there. To ease attendees’ nerves, event organizers should relay essential event communication well in advance via multiple channels.

When considering where your comms plan may have information gaps, put yourself in the shoes of your various attendee groups and think about their journeys before, during, and after the event. Do they understand how to prepare for the event? Do they know how to utilize the event’s programming and other features effectively? Do they know how to connect with their fellow attendees? 

When answering those questions, ask yourself: 1) Have we relayed that information to attendees? and 2) Have we done so in a manner that attendees can easily find and refer to?


#2: Quality (over quantity) time 

Events can be complex, and it may be tempting to err on the side of sharing lots of information with participants, down to the minor details. But when everything is important, nothing is important. You don’t want crucial information to get lost in a sea of minutiae. Decide what those critical pieces of information are, and then focus your energy on driving them home. 

Remember, too, that you can drip information to attendees over time. There’s no need to bombard them in the lead-up to the event when some details could be relayed onsite through supporting collateral.


#3: Physical touch: A health and safety guide 

A comprehensive health and safety plan is essential for any in-person event. While the plan should include internal information for the organizing team, it should also include guidelines for the onsite protocols and procedures that attendees must adhere to. Will they need proof of vaccination to enter the event? Is a negative test result an acceptable alternative? Will there be onsite testing? What will happen if they test positive during the event?

This is one of those critical areas of event communication we referenced in the previous section. If a participant misses out on these details, they may risk flying cross-country only to be barred at the entrance to the event. (We’ve seen it happen.) So, take care to prominently relay these details over multiple channels, repeatedly, in the lead-up to your event.


#4: Acts of (customer) service 

When building out your event communication plan, be sure to let attendees know where they can turn if they have questions. Prior to the event, this can be as simple as sharing a help desk email address and assigning a staff member to answer it. For onsite questions, staff a customer service desk (or, for smaller events, designate a point person who can answer questions, and make sure your staff knows who it is).

In your pre-event staff meeting, train all onsite staff on how to answer FAQs, and coach them on the next steps if they need to route an unfamiliar question to another staff member.  

If your event is virtual or hybrid, consider installing a tech help chat widget into your event site or app. If you go this route, you will need dedicated staff whose only job is to field those inquiries. There are several apps on the market, but we recommend one that pulls people into a queue and tells them where they are in line. Otherwise, your staff may find themselves trying to respond to 20 questions at once.


#5: Receiving gifts

Extra gifts, such as room amenities, bags of sponsored goodies, and other promotional items, are lovely ways to make attendees feel welcome. Accompany them with a note or welcome letter expressing your organization’s gratitude for their participation.

If budget or rules don’t allow for these kinds of gifts, not to worry; simple attention to detail will make participants feel like you’re going the extra mile for them. After all, as thoughtful as your marketing and communications strategy may be, nothing will speak louder than the onsite experience your team delivers. Are your wayfinding signs clear? Is your staff friendly and well-rehearsed? Is your onsite buildout tidy and clutter-free? Is your event app fully stocked with helpful information? Have you put care into creating a cohesive design for all of your digital and print collateral?    

If you can consistently answer yes to those types of questions, you can rest assured that you are sending the right message to your attendees.


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