Think about an event like it were a great book. At the beginning of the book, it's all about capturing attention and sparking the reader's interest to keep turning the pages. Throughout the book, you re-engage the reader with twists and turns in the plot. By the end, the reader feels a sense of accomplishment, entertainment, or value from having read the story.
By mapping or designing your event around the attendee journey in a similar way, you ensure that the attendee stays engaged throughout the event. The only way they can truly stay engaged is through interaction.
Attendees need to interact with event technology, displays, exhibitors, sessions, and most importantly -- other attendees.
If you're looking for ways to make your attendee experience more interactive, then consider capitalizing on the following event tech trends.
Utilize QR Codes to Initiate Participation
QR codes can link to relevant information like phone numbers, calendar details, geographic coordinates, and landing pages. As an event manager use them to initiate interaction with the spaces you design and the people attending.
Some ideas for QR codes
- Allow attendees to quickly check-in to a particular session
- Get session minutes/notes and an evaluation survey sent to attendees
- Personal and exhibitor lead scanning to allow people to track their connections
- Keep track of drink tickets, or experience tickets at your venue
- Set up a scavenger hunt with QR codes leading attendees around your venue or to different exhibitors
Gamify Happy Hours to Encourage Networking
68% of people between the ages of 21 and 30 prefer face-to-face communication and in-person networking over online interaction. Therefore, organizing get-together opportunities at your events, like mixers or ice-breaker sessions, can be instrumental for attendees looking to socialize with like-minded people and find valuable business connections.
The easiest way to get people talking to one another is to use technology to start the conversation.
Consider the following ideas for gamification:
- Host a "Magic Hour" where your event application pairs attendees, or allows attendees to pair up, to have facilitated thought-provoking conversations. Rotate pairs frequently for a lightning-round of deep conversation.
- Plan a game facilitated by your event app, for small groups maybe that's "Two Truths & A Lie" for larger groups maybe it's an Icebreaker Espionage style "assassins" game.
Whatever it may be, play can have a positive effect on making attendees feel more comfortable.
Whether you're organizing a small or a large-scale event, improving attendee engagement and interaction can be difficult. Remember, you don't have to include everything new or trendy in your event organization plan; the tools available to you are often all you need to initiate and encourage participation.
Create Quizzes and Polls
Another fantastic way to amplify attendee engagement is to utilize attendee response tactics like quizzing and polling. Using push notifications, your event app, and live-screens around your venue.
Some audience response tactics to try at your events:
- Launch a trivia game during a happy our, session or specific time. Include questions about the company, the content, or simply just for fun. Attendees love the friendly competition that it sparks.
- Schedule thought-provoking and conversation starting polls throughout the event. Post live-results on screens around your venue so attendees can see what others think.
Incorporate Interactivity in Your Event Design
The most important thing to remember is that interactivity is never an afterthought. Incorporate ways for attendees to connect, discuss and engage early in your event plans and design.