Original Blog Credit: http://bit.ly/2z51vGW
When planning a conference in your industry, there will be many different factors that will figure into its success. Some are obvious. You’ll want to choose an event venue that has enough space for all attendees, speakers, and vendors. The location should have ample lodging for out-of-town guests, and it should have a variety of dining options too. The event will need to include thought leaders in the industry, relevant vendors that offer products and services attendees will be interested in, and a variety of attractions that will keep everyone engaged.
So how can event organizers facilitate active engagement? To answer this question, we thought it would be a good idea to cite some tips that some of the leading marketers have written about recently. In order for an event to be successful, organizers will not only have to promote interactivity during the event, but in the months before and after it as well. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind from the experts themselves:
Engagement Begins Before the Event Even Starts
Thomas Pauly wrote a blog post for Certain.com that discussed how event planners and marketers should consider what they do before an event as this will influence how excited people are. He suggests that those in charge of marketing and planning should first construct a blog post to introduce people to the event. This allows prospective attendees to learn important event information and begin sharing that info with others. Another way, he writes, to create engagement pre-event is by starting up a hashtag that can serve as a hub for content about the event. Finally, organizers should keep room design in mind to promote engagement and encourage participation.
Facilitate Stronger Audience Interaction
The basic PowerPoint presentation is not going to cut it in 2017. Audiences are looking to be wow’d. sli.do audience specialists suggest that event organizers hire a professional moderator to keep things flowing and act as the go-between for speakers and audience members. Another point to consider is eliminating the presentation altogether and, instead, going with a Q&A and interview session. Finally, some event organizers are increasing audience interaction by using tools that gather questions so there is never an awkward pause during a Q&A. Collaborative post-presentation sessions are also becoming increasingly popular as they enable audience members to participate and discuss what they heard and saw.
Continue the Conversation after the Event
Once the conference is over, the discussion doesn’t have to end. Jenny Stanfield writes in EventManagerBlog about the importance of keeping the excitement and conversation going after the event. Organizers can make sure the event goes on by applying parts of the discussion to social media and creating a Google Hangout or informal meet-ups inspired by the main event. Stanfield also suggests that organizers create a contest pertaining to the event, asking participants to talk about what they liked and how they used what they learned in their own profession.