22 January 2020
In today’s media driven environment, sitting through traditional speaker focussed events just doesn’t cut it anymore. Before you know it, your attendees can mentally check out—a loss for them and for you.
It’s vital to use strategies that engage your attendees so they get the most out of your event.
Here are five of the trending methods event planners are using to engage their attendees.
1. Event gamification
Event gamification taps into our desire for competition and rewards, taking an otherwise boring or dry event and turning it into something exciting and unique.
For example, you might incorporate competitions, points systems, rewards or prizes, or problem-solving tasks into some items on your event agenda, or to the event as a whole.
Far from being just meaningless fun, gamification can dramatically help attendees to learn and retain information.
One study showed attendees only retain about five per cent of the information conveyed through traditional formats like lectures and presentations. In contrast, events that incorporate gamification have a retention rate of 80 to 90 per cent.
What is more, gamification appeals to multiple learning styles, so attendees can benefit regardless of how they best absorb new information.
One example involves event scavenger hunts in which teams find their way around a local destination using written clues and GPS coordinates. Along the way they get to use problem solving, navigation, and cooperation to complete their mission before returning to the event location.
Icebreaker games can be used to welcome attendees and warm up the conversation among attendees. They can involve assigning small groups to discover shared interests or hobbies, relate their best team building experience, or collect points for every contact collected or connection made with others.
2. Event apps
One of the easiest ways to engage attendees is to use a mobile event app.
For example, typical event apps use private messaging and public discussion forums to encourage members to collaborate, provide personalised agendas options and reference materials, as well as allowing attendees to take notes, provide live-polling feedback, and instantly share their ideas—all from their mobile device.
Of course, you will need to ensure that your wi-fi network is robust enough to handle the number of people you expect to attend.
3. Networking opportunities
Networking provides attendees new opportunities and resources while helping to build their confidence and self-esteem.
Speed networking activities, for example, use the classic speed dating model to create an opportunity for your association’s members to network. Event apps can allow them view other attendees’ free/busy time and arrange to meet up.
Another winning strategy is to organise lunch tables by topic, encouraging attendees to sit at the table containing the topic most applicable to their personal interests.
Providing a comfortable lounge area where attendees can enjoy coffee, snacks, and charge their devices can be just the environment where conversations and connections are made.
By giving attendees more opportunities to network, they’ll be more engaged in your event overall.
To engage your attendees you need more than good event content. Why not explore how to use gamification, the latest event apps, and up-to-date networking strategies to help your attendees get the most out of your event.