The aim of any entrepreneur is to not only get the relevant audience to attend his/her event but to increase attendee engagement. As the host, you face a constant challenge of finding ways to ensure this happens before, during, and after the event. And the fact that attendees are distracted with other happenings (media walls, social media, daydreaming, etc.) makes the task all more difficult.
But that doesn’t mean you have to become an example of a tired conference where the delivery was made to a passive and captive audience. With the right measures, you can encourage dynamic participation to ensure everyone has an unforgettable experience. Here are some recommended measures on increasing engagement at your next conference.
1. Engagement Tech Can Encourage Active Participation
DoubleDutch and similar companies make use of mobile technology to provide a live engagement platform that can turn passive audiences into active participants. For instance, hosts can ignite lively discussions with gamification using points, badges, and leaderboards. Likewise, they can use analytics to suggest the most relevant connections and sessions with smart recommendations to attendees. Moreover, you can encourage user-generated content by having participants post images, posts, and insights about the event.
2. Social Media Plays a Significant Role
Before planning your next conference, think about your target audience, what they expect, and what is the best way to connect with them. Create groups on Facebook and LinkedIn to gain insight into what people expect from a conference in general and what they’re looking to experience at your event in particular. Consider using a social listening software to receive rich data regarding customer inquiries that can be taken into consideration in advance. Also, see if you can get a hashtag going days before the event to create some buzz beforehand.
3. Rely On Cool Swag to Spark Interest
Grab people’s attention at your conference with enticing swag. This means your desk/booth should contain more than just brochures. Some interesting items include selfie-sticks, stickers, pens, bottle openers, branded socks, etc. By giving out some free essentials that the attendees find interesting, you’d be able to drive more engagement. So think about what you can give out that will make people come to you and hear what you have to say.
4. Get Influencers to Speak Out
What is a great conference without some exclusive sessions and speakers with affinity? After all, attendees are there to network, learn, and experience something exclusive. They don’t want to be at a conference where they’re clueless about who the keynote speakers are. So make sure that whoever is delivering the speeches at your conference is not only relevant to your industry, but is also familiar to attendees. The more well-known people speaking out at the event, the more engaging the event is likely to become.
5. Set Small Groups
A large gathering can sometimes be overwhelming for thee attendees. Many individuals dread the feeling of being lost in a big crowd or not knowing anyone. Avoid that from happening by creating small groups consisting of people who are comfortable with each other to help them overcome the awkwardness that could happen at large scale conferences. Interactive small group workshops and different tables for different groups could be a strategy you could implement to keep everyone engaged. Even something as simple as setting chairs in between groups rather than having them stand together could make the audience feel comfortable.
Successful conferences are all about creating an enjoyable experience for everyone. With these measures, you’ll be able to set your conference apart by igniting participation and leaving your guests wanting more.
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