So much of an event planner's or event management company's day is spent brainstorming creative and innovating ideas on how to enhance an event and attendee's overall experience.
Ensuring your event is engaging for your audience is absolutely imperative, so enhancing their experience where ever possible is key. By introducing creative and original ideas you will avoid any chance of them leaving unimpressed and not wanting to come back for future events.
So how can you enhance the attendee's experience? In this blog, we have created our top 4 tips and best practices to help you do just that. With these hints and tips, you will be sure to see improvements in the attendee’s experience, resulting in an even stronger events strategy and client experience.
A Great Venue Is Imperative
Location, decor, and ambiance speak volumes about your event. All of these elements play an important part in the experience. However, besides looking beautifully traditional or exciting and contemporary for the attendees and their selfies, there are certain factors to consider when selecting your ideal space/venue.
Accessibility – "Can I get there easily" is the first question your attendee will ask when they look at your conference destination. Next question: "Is it a fun place to visit?" It's all about the location, Location, location, location! Firstly, nobody wants to spend an hour or more traveling to and from a venue. For that reason, choose a venue that is centrally located. These spaces are always popular choices for events, especially if they are a stone’s throw away from public transportation. An accessible and convenient location always wins and will only add another positive to the attendee’s experience!
Wi-Fi – Pathable's mobile event app remains one of the few conference apps out there that will continue to work if your conference Wi-Fi goes down. And if you're one of those innovators who've gone completely paperless but your organization is not yet working with our team, your program guide and attendee connections/communications will be held captive until the internet comes back alive.
We don't want that for you. Before you go onsite or sign that venue contract, confirm your Wi-Fi needs through PSAV's handy bandwidth calculator. Then negotiate your internet concessions with confidence. And don't forget, the average attendee now carries 3 devices.
‘Wow’ and ‘Pull’ factors – when your start your venue search – think outside of the box. Hosting an event at a venue that has a ‘Wow’ or ‘Pull’ factor will drum up interest and enthusiasm prior to the event. Rather than booking the same venue for the same event year on year, introducing a new and exciting space that the attendees won’t have been to in the past is golden!
It’s All About the Content and Discussions
Content is everything for interacting and enhancing the attendee's experience. It won’t matter if you use the latest apps and innovations if you don’t have something interesting to talk about and discuss. Make the most of your discussion boards before, during, and after your event to encourage community building and networking. You need to provide your audience with great content.
Think of your audience and what they would like to see and build the content around that. Encourage attendees, speakers, and conference influencers to start discussions about the weather, what to pack, restaurants, and topics that will be discussed at the event. The more relevant and interesting the content is, the more positive the experience will be for the attendees.
Sharing photos and videos from previous events such as sneak peek photos of what the attendees can expect from the event will get them all excited to attend. If you are having speakers at your event, be sure your speakers are engaging and talking about topics that are relevant and based on subjects the attendees actually want to hear about.
Another great way to enhance the audience’s experience through using brilliant content is social media and live tweeting. Share speakers' quotes, photos of what's happening, and retweet your attendees who are using your event hashtag.
A Unique Format and Seating Plan Can Make All the Difference
This may seem like an obvious point but mixing up the format of the event is a quick and simple tip to enhancing the delegates experience. There are so many other options beyond the basic and traditional seating layouts. Unique seating layouts not only enhance the environment and atmosphere of an event but they can also encourage interaction amongst delegates.
Our favorite seating styles are crescent rounds, which means no attendees ever have their backs to the stage but still get the most out of roundtable discussions with other attendees.
Event Technology Tools to Help With Engagement
There are many tools out there to help you enhance audience experience and engagement.
- ‘Pass Me the Mic!’: The mics are swapped out and replaced with soft cube shaped throwable microphone that turns Q&A into a fun game. This technique is also great for cutting down on the time spent passing mics around allowing extra time to sneak in a couple more questions.
- In-App Interactive Polling: Transform attendees in participants by having your speakers build in questions to their presentations that audience members can answer right from their mobile devices or laptops.
- Gamification: To really enhance the attendee's experience, it is also crucial to keep the event fun! Add in some exciting games or competitions to really spice things up and make the entire day a memorable and enjoyable day for all. Combining/introducing a team building activity to the conference is a great way to break up the day. Those attending will appreciate the break in the schedule for some light-hearted fun!
About the Author
Sarah Hill is a content writer at Seven Events Ltd – One of the leading event companies in London, providing corporate event management, incentive travel, conference venue finding services, corporate team building activities in London. She started her career in the events industry almost a decade ago; as time progressed she became an avid event blogger sharing her insight on corporate event planning for several years. In her role, her best dive is corporate event ideas and event management tips.