Why Do People Attend Events?

A recent study looked at factors people consider when deciding whether to attend events — and three stand out.

A new report, the Decision to Attend — Phase One, examines the “myriad of behavioral and societal factors that comprise the reasons individuals decide to attend — or not attend — conventions and exhibits.”

The report, based on over 7,000 survey responses, found that only 8 percent of respondents (other than those who said they “always” attend) said “nothing” would convince them to attend an event. That’s good news for event professionals, because it means most potential attendees can be convinced to register, given the right event design and incentives.

So what did the study find are the top attendance drivers, according to attendees? They consider education, networking opportunities and destination to be most important.

3 Reasons People Attend Events

Education. Education, which spans programming, content, speakers and exhibits, is a key event consideration. A whopping 91 percent of respondents said that keeping up with their profession and industry was a top reason to attend.


Networking opportunities. Fully 75 percent of all respondents reported that networking and making connections was important to them. That’s especially true for millennial attendees (84 percent), who are just beginning to build their contacts.


Destination/location. The location of the event matters to 82 percent of potential attendees: Overwhelmingly, 91 percent of respondents who indicated they “never” or “occasionally” attend events said they are influenced by location.

Cost is another key factor for younger potential attendees, meaning Generations X,Y and millennials. Discounts and/or subsidies can make all the difference with this group.