Have you ever attended a seminar or a conference where you’re bored to death? I mean, the place sure is nice and there are a lot of nice lights, facilities, and amenities, but the actual speaker is boring as hell.
They talk on and on and they have little regard for audience engagement. You see the common scenario where people are uncomfortable, fidgety, and they even look at their phones instead of listening to the keynote speaker.
As an event planner, it is your job to make sure that the conference or any event for that matter will be enjoyable not only to your VIPs, but also for the attendees as well.
To help you with audience engagement, here are some useful tips that can help you:
1. Preparation is Key
Back in the day where I had to undergo army reserve training, my commander told us that no matter what, preparation is always the key to victory. That same philosophy can also be applied when it comes to audience engagement.
If you’re the one speaking for the event, you have to prepare ahead of time. You have to know who the audience is, what your main topic is going to be, and in what way you want to deliver it: either educational or for entertainment purposes.
By asking these questions, you are going to be more adept in creating a fun and meaningful event.
2. It Rests in the Speakers’ Hands
If you’re not going to be the speaker and you’re going to hire someone else, make sure that you hire a keynote speaker that has somewhat of a celebrity status or someone who is really knowledgeable about the topic you want to discuss.
Think of them as the star of the show- the main attraction. Getting someone already popular in the field lets you feel easy knowing that they already know how to handle the audience in a way that makes them feel more engaged and happier to participate.
When you have a chance to speak with them, make sure to tell them about your plan. Tell them how many minutes they are given to speak and tell them to make their explanations as short and concise as possible.
If the topic is something that might need some clarification, make it a point to let the speaker hold a Q&A session for more curious participants.
3. Create an Online Poll
People use the internet every day. It is, therefore, a great opportunity for you to create an online poll. Ask for their opinion about the topic before the event so that you can gauge how to best cater to their needs.
Moreover, you could also create questions and people can vote which ones should be answered by the speaker when the event comes.
Doing so will definitely increase guest engagement.
4. Leverage New Technology
In the past, we always used those wired microphones in every event and although they do the job of increasing the speaker’s volume, it is quite cumbersome to pass around if it is time for the question and answer portion.
However, new technology has helped event organizers in a way that will help keep the audiences happy. You can now use wireless microphones that you can easily toss around to your guests so that they can have the opportunity to ask questions as they please.
You could also leverage the use of social media as well by creating unique hashtags that people can use so that their peers will know which event they’ve been to.
Nobody wants a dull event. It is your job to ensure that everything is lively and fun. Increasing customer engagement is easy. You first have to find the right speaker, utilize the internet by creating online polls, leverage the use of new technology, and always prepare beforehand.