August 20, 2019
By Caroline Howard
If you've ever been an attendee or hosted attendees, then you understand you can never fully satisfy everyone. There's always something that could've been better, but you can do your best to avoid these common complaints. Put yourself in your attendees' shoes for a second and think back to the events you've attended. Have you ever showed up and looked at the food, cringed, and walked away? Or listened to a keynote speaker that either made no sense or had little relevance to the conference? I'm betting you've had a complaint or two yourself. If you're a planner then this blog is important! If you work to solve these potential problems before they happen then you've got a better chance of avoiding unhappy attendees.

7 Things Attendees Complain About


Food is important to everyone and people can be extremely critical. Maybe the attendees thought the food was too spicy, too bland, too something they can't even identify. Maybe they turned away because the food was left out for too long. Remember, the presentation is just as important as taste.


Stay on top of your food game and read into what your attendees like beforehand. If you have a crowd of healthy attendees, play into that and order organic catering. Use what you know to deliver the best event possible.


Ask yourself, "Could all of my sessions and activities mean too much walking for my attendees at my event?" If yes, then you need to think about some key solutions. A lot of walking causes attendees to get upset, especially if walking is difficult for them.


Avoid this problem by downsizing your venue space or by making transportation available for longer walks. Additionally, let your attendees know ahead of time so they can plan accordingly.


If your venue/conference room is too hot or too cold then it might be a thing your attendees complain about. No one likes to be sweating or chilly when they're trying to engage.


If your venue or conference space is overheating, provide fans and water. Your attendees will thank you! If you your event space is on the chillier side, provide warmth like warm beverages or warm blankets. At Cvent CONNECT we gave out pashminas because we know our conference space tends to be cold and our attendees loved it.


Don't make anything difficult on your attendees or they'll be frustrated. This ranges from parking to food service.  If something gives them trouble, be ready to hear about it.


Make everything easy for them instead and show that you were prepared. If you know parking is an issue look into providing a valet service. Think about anything that could get confusing and create a process to streamline it. Your attendees will be impressed by your ability to think ahead.

Speaker Content

There are many ways that your content could swing and miss. You don't want your attendees regretting they came, feeling like they wasted time, or cringing at the mention of your name because of the speaker at your conference. Sometimes a big name might not be the best fit if they aren't able to deliver meaningful content to your attendees.


Really think about why your attendees are there. What do they care about? What are they hoping to learn? Focus on these and your message instead of the person delivering that message.


WiFi is almost always an issue. People, especially business professionals, like their internet fast. If the Wi-Fi is difficult to find, slow, or both, then you will definitely find out from your attendees.


Look into getting the fastest WiFi service available. This will help you and your attendees! Also, make sure that everyone knows the WiFi password. Customize your WiFi name and password and to make them catchy, simple, and relevant.


Whether it's rush hour traffic or the buffet line people hate waiting for things. Your attendees are no different so don't make them wait! Lines form everywhere from check-in to the bar, so be on the lookout.


Be prepared for lines by setting up multiple service locations. If you see a line forming at the bar, jump in and start taking people's orders or quickly direct someone to do so. These seven topics generate unhappy attendees and the best tip for avoiding them is planning ahead. You know your attendees best so use that to your advantage!

Caroline Howard

Northern Virginia native turned southerner at The University of South Carolina. My skills include planning 4,000 attendee corporate events and then blogging about them.

My friends always ask where I am, because when I'm not behind my laptop writing, I'm off exploring new places like Cuba and Spain.

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