I was a motivational keynote speaker for a conference of government employees. The meeting planner suggested many delegates had coerced their best buddies from work to attend the event. This was the result of a very successful promotional method to increase conference attendance.
Government employees typically don't attend events because of lack of desire or resources ( money, scheduling etc). This year was different because they ran a special promotion to increase conference attendance. Dubbed, You and a Few, attendees already enrolled for the event, who got three other coworkers to attend were given their registration money back (so they attended for free).
The meeting planner cleverly build the event around groups of 3 or 4. She had competitions, drink coupons, special passes to the hospitality suite and more. Many of these were perks they received unexpectedly at the event, adding to their impact. Further, she highlighted the You and a Few at the event. They introduced the motivational keynote speaker, their photos were put on a PowerPoint and they were asked to help out with the networking game the night before the keynote speaker.
As they motivational keynote speaker, they asked me to highlight these members. During my motivational speech, I walked up to them and highlighted their workplace and rapport with one another etc.
It is an overused cliche that people who play together stay together but when you see groups of people from one workplace laughing together and having fun you know it is a great place to work.
What better way to boost rapport and workplace morale then to send people to industry events? People go back to work and feel renewed pride in their professional and closer connection to colleagues! The added bonus is it strengthens our events and the event industry.