Event organisers need to keep their attendees engaged all throughout the event cycle – especially during the event. You don’t want to see an event wherein guests are bored and uninterested with what’s happening around them. That’s why you should always observe your attendees. Are they paying attention to your speakers? Are they interested in the booths and products on display? Are they participating in the discussion or networking with the exhibitors and other attendees? But what if they seem to lose interest in what’s going on? Here are some tips on how to get their attention back to the event.
1. Check your audio-visual effects.
Speakers with low volume and poor quality will exasperate your attendees and they’ll find themselves losing interest in your event. In the same way, bad lighting will hurt the eyes of your guests and they would rather not look at your stage or booths if that’s the case. Make sure your audio-visual equipment is all working properly. Add some groovy music to cheer up your guests and add some drama to your lighting to spice up the mood in your event.
2. Conduct live polls.
Keep your attendees engaged by having them answer live pools about relevant or exciting topics. Make your event interactive. Attendees want their voices to be heard. Let your speakers ask them questions that they can answer from their mobile devices and flash their answers on the screen so that they’ll also know what others are thinking.
3. Have games and contests.
Games and contents are always guaranteed to liven up the mood. Offer exciting prizes from your exhibitors and sponsors. This will also help promote their brands. You can also gamify your event to make it more fun! For example, you can have your attendees participate in a treasure hunt wherein they would have to visit every booth to look for the treasures that you’ve planted.
4. Optimise the use of your software.
If you’re using an event management software, you can use it to engage your attendees. Remind them about their scheduled meetings, get their feedback regarding the sessions, and allow them to customise the event experience according to their personal agenda.
5. Be mindful of the time.
Did your event start on time? Are your sessions taking too long? Make sure you start and end on time so that you’re living up to your attendees’ expectations. Don’t keep them in a session too long because they’re bound to doze off and their minds will begin to wander somewhere else.
6. Tell your speakers to liven up their talks.
Your attendees will really lose interest if they sense that the speakers are not up to the task. The amount of energy that speakers bring into the sessions will directly affect the energy level of the attendees. If you have a lively speaker, then the attendees will be all ears during the entire session. You can also ask your speakers to let the audience share what they’ve learned from the session.
7. Hold Q&A sessions.
Another way to keep your attendees engaged is by holding a Q&A session. This will give them an opportunity to ask burning questions on their minds and to get to know the speakers better. This is another interactive approach to retain the attention and maintain the interest of your attendees.
8. Make break time fun time.
You can introduce creative breaks in between sessions wherein attendees can do something fun together. You can ask them to complete puzzles, paint, or draw what’s on their mind. Make sure you provide them with the appropriate materials for this fun activity. You can post their finished artwork and puzzles for other guests to see.
9. Serve food and drinks.
Maybe the reason why your attendees are losing interest is that it’s time to eat. Don’t let your guests go hungry because they really won’t be able to concentrate when their tummies are rumbling. Make sure food and drinks are available and serve snacks in between meals if it’s a long event.
10. Allow opportunities for networking.
Using the data that you’ve gathered regarding your attendees, you can group those with the same interests together and provide opportunities within the event for them to interact and network with each other. Your attendees need not just listen to your speakers all the time. Give them time to meet other attendees and your exhibitors. Make sure there are spaces for networking wherein they can talk comfortably with each other.
In event management, engagement is the name of the game. It is especially important to keep your attendees engaged because this is where you all meet face to face. This is a decisive opportunity that you shouldn’t waste. So, better make sure you have your attendees’ attention all the time.