5 tips to keep attendees engaged at your next event
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Attendees are demanding more from the events and conferences they choose to attend. They are eager to learn new things, want to be actively involved in the event and engaged throughout the whole program.
So, event professionals have to be more and more creative about how they structure their event program to meet the attendee demands. Here are five ideas that will help you keep your attendees engaged at your next event.
1. Make the most of your event moderator
Can you believe that less than 20 percent of event professionals involve their event moderators in pre-event planning? Moderators can play a huge role in engaging the audience and facilitating good discussion — and ultimately make a major impact on the level of attendee satisfaction in the program.
Bring your moderators into the event planning process early. Get their thoughts on flow and format for the session. Make sure your moderators understand the overall goals and objectives of your event — this will help them facilitate the attendee learning process.
2. Ditch the presentation format and go conversational
We've all been there. The drone of a presentation with way too many slides.
Switch up the format of your session and go for a more conversational setup style. I love to see onstage interviews, fireside chats, panel discussions and "ask me anything" sessions on agendas. The key here is to empower your attendees and make them an active part of the session.
3. Give your attendees a voice
We all know how difficult it can be to get attendees to leave the comfort of their chair and walk up to a microphone to ask a question. It can be painful.
Flip the switch and give attendees a voice by utilizing technology tools for live polling and Q&A sessions. Slido is one to consider (and one of my personal favorites) and can be customized based on your event needs. Be sure to brief your moderator on how to use such platforms in advance.
4. What about a small meeting?
Depending on your specific event needs and goals, you may want to consider producing a small meeting — on purpose. Smaller meetings can focus more on the individual and present more unique bonding time.
There is also more opportunity for feedback and engaged conversation. As a result, attendees may feel more involved, engaged and productive.
5. Offer 1:1 sessions with your speakers and experts
Let's face it, speakers and experts are a huge draw for an event. The more high-profile speakers you have, the more attendees you are likely to see onsite. Wouldn't it be great if you could offer attendees the chance to sit and talk 1:1 with them? I know the attendees would love it.
Set up a way for attendees to book a 1:1 meeting with a speaker. Give them a chance to meet the experts, ask them questions and get advice about business issues they are facing. This takes a bit of coordination and commitment from your speakers, but the feedback from your attendees can be extremely positive and add another valuable layer of benefit to your event.
I don't need to tell you how important attendee engagement is to your event program. You know that already. There are lots of ideas out there about how to encourage audience engagement. Try at least one of these ideas at your next event and let me know how it goes.
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