Event Audiences | 4 Low Tech Ways to Engage Attendees
Event Audiences participation is a new way of thinking about conferences that focuses on the top 2 reasons people attend meetings: networking and learning.
The aim is to create an immersive and engaging experience for the audience while achieving the most major objective – the main reason behind doing the event.
While trying to meet the said objectives and create an active engaging experience, it often is suggested that incorporating technology or expensive experiential activation’s is the way to go, while these have their occassions and place, many a times they can be cumbersome, in-effective and out of reach for many, keeping in mind the investment against return idea. We all want to talk about engagement and how we want our audiences to interact with the event, but very little emphasis is usually placed on actually thinking about what one can do to drive home that message.
There are MANY effective ways to get the most out of your participants and inspire them to be more engaged with your organization’s goals. You can do this with little to no technology and actually bypass expensive spends where needed to fine tune as per what is required.
Integrate Storytelling from the Beginning
Set the tone for the entire conference by incorporating an interactive welcome event that tells a story in a creative way. Your goal should be to get event audiences engaged, connected, and interacting with your organization’s brand right from the moment they enter.This could be as simple as a red carpet welcome with the emcee interviewing a few of them, if that works.
The idea is to communicate your idea as effectively as possible and evoke emotion when you reveal your objective. While some decor, design and branding is an absolute essential, the pre-function area can be made engaging enough through spending time and energy to creatively integrate the clients message within.
Utilize a Conference MC/Learning Coach
Cancel your expensive celebrity keynote speaker and invest in a Conference MC/Learning Coach who has the expertise and charisma to deliver your message and get your audience energised.
The session should incorporate themes of awareness and intention setting for the year to come. This will help participants get the most out of the event. Whether it be to retain new information, network better, get inspired, or just break out of their shell – everyone will benefit from this shift in mindset.
Increase event audiences engagement through short burst energisers.
Short burst energisers in between sessions can be a massive value addition to engaging your event audiences. These can be anything, from 10 minute games to something as simple as a breathing session by a professional.
Give Them a (Meaningful) Break!
Destination conferences often aim to pack in as much as possible into the schedule. It’s understandable that there is pressure to make every second count to offset expensive travel costs, but the last thing you want is event audiences who are distracted by their smartphones, hungry, tired, or just plain burnt out from a demanding schedule.
Make your breaks count. Include something active such as an early morning yoga session or meditation room. Set specific breaks throughout the day for rest, relaxation, personal time, and time to catch up on business outside of the conference. This will eliminate distractions when it’s time to learn and network.
Make Your Conference Count All Year Long
Pre and post initiatives can make or break your conference – both for interest in registration and maintaining engagement and ROI year round.
Releasing teaser videos about your conference can add tremendous value to building excitement about the event.
The day before participants arrive, inviting opinions from the audience about what they would like to get out of the event can create engagement before the conference can even start. These of course can be generic in nature but can engage the audience none the less.
Email a video out of the highlights of the conference. This helps reinforce positive memories and create actionable change. You can also use this for those who were unable to attend the event.
You can also encourage participants to engage with speakers and industry experts on social media and send out additional information about their webinars, books, and further courses for a more in-depth learning experience.
Technology, celebrity, and spectacular decor are all fantastic elements to enhance your conference when they are implemented correctly, but they often do not create a participatory experience. We as event professionals want audiences to feel inspired, fulfilled, and come away armed with new information and new friends. Following the Active Participatory model, we can achieve all of this without breaking the bank.