5 Ways To Keep Conference Attendees Engaged
With all this talk of mindfulness and employee engagement, it’s relatively easy to get caught up in all the do’s and do not’s. The events industry is attempting day-by-day to keep up with the newest trends. The most common is keeping conference attendee’s captivated. So how do you keep conference attendees engaged?
The attention of conference attendees is constantly being challenged by distractions and conflicting priorities. How do you keep them focused on what is at hand? What can we do to keep them until the end? Is gamification and providing incentives the best/only way?
A new way of engaging conference attendees
We recently came across an idea that is not only intriguing but bound to take precedence in the events industry. The concept was presented by Keith Chamberlain of RevvCrew, a management consultant group, during a recent discussion with industry professionals. Let’s take a look at a new way of engaging your attendees:
5 Conference Attendee Engagement “R’s”
Refresh, Recharge, Regroup, Relax, Rejoin
Even at the most important sessions, there is little that we can do to keep attendees off of their phones (and often we don’t want to!). However, it’s more preferable that while they are on their phones they are focused and sharing the content that is being delivered. How can we do this? By giving your audience time to spend on the aforementioned R’s.
Conferences are jam-packed with events and sessions, networking and vendors. Providing time for something unexpected can give attendees a “refreshing” experience. Though it will largely depend on the type of event you are hosting, consider an activity or attraction that is something new. Perhaps a painting session? Or a Zen garden? Something with the intention to relax guests and allow their minds to clear.
Food is a social staple. Conversations are sparked over appetizers and cocktails; it gives people something to discuss. Sustainability has garnered a degree of importance when it comes to food options, but it has to be more than just food. Food is the fuel for the brain and body. By offering F&B options that entice and recharge, there is substance to continue the day. Take careful time and consideration when planning breaks and what is offered. Avoid sugary and greasy foods as they will leave guests feeling sluggish and ready for a nap. You want healthy options if you want to keep conference attendees engaged.
When the majority of the day is spent conversing with other industry folk and gathering as much information as one’s brain can hold, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and exhausted. Allow attendee’s the chance to regroup – check in with work, call home to talk to the kids, look over the session agenda to make sure they’re not missing anything. Allow a set time when these matters can be addressed otherwise attendee’s will make that time on their own.
This goes along with recharging but we believe that relaxation can come while networking. Providing a time where there are no other conflicting events can help lessen the stress of trying to be everywhere and do everything. It’s much easier to relax when in a relaxed atmosphere. Stress can be contagious but so can calmness.
When the time comes to rejoin, the audience will be calm, composed, and can better concentrate on the discussion at hand. Gaining back that focus will no longer be a challenge if the audience is ready for it. Bring it all back to center and remind attendees why they are here: for the experience!
By implementing your version of the 5 Conference R’s attendee’s will have a better takeaway from their time spent at your event. There is a lot to gain by planning for the distractions that are inevitable.
Let us know what you think of the 5 R’s. Leave a comment below.