23 Mar Tips To Get Attendees To Interact At Your Events
Getting people to come to your social or corporate events is only half the battle.
From there, you need to figure out how to encourage them to interact, to do more than just sit back and listen, to truly engage.
The bottom line is, for your event to achieve any type of memorability, you’ll need to get attendees to interact with one another and engage with the content you’re presenting.
While that’s easier said than done, we’ve been in event planning in NJ and NY for a long time, so we know some of the tricks of the trade that get people mixing, mingling, and engaging.
First off, don’t wait for the big day itself.
In order to get people to want to do more than just sit there and listen, you’ll need to start the process long before the actual day of the event, no matter if it’s a conference or a more social affair. You need to hook them in early on.
So, if you’re preparing for a large-scale event, you could start smaller and host scaled-down versions to start building some hype so that, when the big day arrives, the guests will feel more connected to the material and it will be easier for them to engage.
This approach allows you to start building anticipation for your bigger event before it takes place, and that’s key to increasing interaction at the event once the wheels are actually in motion.
Pre-event events allow attendees to meet and connect with other attendees so that they’ll be more inclined to continue their interaction the your event, rather than having to initialize it on the big day.
Don’t forget social media.
Then, there’s social media, which can do wonders for attendee interaction. You can do pre-event work, such as creating a hangout to build anticipation or asking for input from your target audience about possible guest speakers, topics, etc. They’ll be far more likely to engage with the material if they’ve had a say in its inclusion.
You can also use social media to get post-event feedback or to increase interaction during the event. For example, you can create customized hashtags and then reward certain attendees’ related tweets throughout the event.
No matter if you’re building anticipation or getting feedback for next time, it all helps. On top of that, people who can’t attend in person will have a chance to interact and engage in the event as well.
And social media isn’t the only new technology you can use to increase audience interaction. You can use apps and smartphone games to solicit input and get feedback during and after the event as well.
In our experience as NY / NJ event planners, phones can be one of the biggest distractions at corporate or social events, so if you can turn them into one of your most effective event weapons, go for it.
Some other icebreaker ideas…
You can create Q&A opportunities, which naturally encourage audience participation, or break the big group into smaller ones so that it’s not as daunting for attendees to mingle.
Or try creating more relaxed, lounge-like areas somewhat removed from your event with plenty of space for people to discuss ideas and make connections comfortably. You can even use games in these areas to encourage interaction.
Then, if you have speakers, make sure they’re present in these spaces when they’re not speaking so attendees will be more encouraged to reach out to them.
The point is, if there’s no place quiet enough to talk or if each attendee’s personal space is so cluttered that they can’t comfortably interact, then they probably won’t.
The same goes for time as well. You may want to create time slots solely for attendees to interact, or you can break the ice by having a casual post-event celebration in a more intimate setting, whether it’s a local sporting event, a nearby bar-restaurant, etc.
About Us: Absolute Events by Corrine has been a leader in meeting & event planning in NY / NJ for years. Whether they’re corporate or social events, destination or local, or anything in between, Absolute Events by Corrine does it all so that our clients can be guests at their own events.