3 Ways to Foster Better On-Site Engagement:
Maintaining Interest Levels Throughout the Event
Composing the perfect agenda, booking the most knowledgeable speakers, and picking the best venue are why your attendees choose to register for your events. Most people who attend events – especially corporate seminars, workshops, and educational conferences – are used to sitting in a conference room and quietly listening to someone shuffle through a PowerPoint presentation; they may even have grown to expect that! Changing up the old standby layout is key in standing out among a plethora of competitive events.
While providing amazing content and expert speakers is important, giving your attendees plenty of opportunities to network and interact will set you apart from other events. Maintaining a high level of engagement and interest during the event is a whole other component that requires special attention and can add an element of added value to your event.
Take a look at three proven ways to encourage engagement and offer a platform for communication on-site.
1.Round-tables Are A Must
Breaking up your agenda so that it’s a mix of formal presentations and round-table discussions is a fantastic way to keep your attendees interested in the topic at hand while collaborating with colleagues. This starts with the room layout; instead of having your venue set up long, classroom-style tables and chairs, have them set up your room with rounds.
Offer a few different topics that are of interest to your audience and ask your attendees to break up into groups that align with the topics of utmost interest. Once everyone is settled into their new groups, set a specific amount of time for them to share ideas (make sure to have someone write down what’s said!) and culminate with a mini presentation to the other groups. Collect the notes from each breakout group and send them to all of the attendees at the end of the conference!
2. Ask For Input – In The Moment
Everyone will have their phone with them – that’s a given in 2018. Give your attendees a reason to use that smartphone and let them provide insight and feedback during your presentations! Using an intuitive event technology solution offers an easy-to-use platform for managing digital feedback on-site, alleviating any legwork on your part – plus, it’s a fantastic way to monitor the feelings of your attendees throughout the duration of your event.
You can also offer in-the-moment text polls and surveys. Your polls could be simple opinion-based questions, a brief knowledge test, or a way to share ideas. Think about it; your attendees are there to expand their industry knowledge, so they are eager to share what they know and take away new ideas from one another. A simple poll could open new doors for your attendees.
3. Offer an Innovative Networking Activity
Who doesn’t love a good game? Create an networking scavenger hunt for attendees to complete throughout the duration of the event! At the registration table, give each attendee a card with different networking prompts they must complete before event close; when an attendee meets someone who can fill in a blank, have them sign it. Collect completed cards and draw a winner for a prize (tap one of your sponsors for a great incentive!). Your attendees will appreciate the incentive to network and the prospect of winning something awesome. Not sure what prompts to include? Here are a few suggestions:
- Find someone who lives in Illinois
- Find someone who’s job title is Chief Marketing Officer
- Find someone who’s been to Europe
Everyone loves an added “bonus” when it comes to attending events – facilitating interaction is a great way to start! Being creative with engagement and interaction on-site will not only give your event a memorable edge, it will keep you top of mind when your attendees are planning their calendars for following years.