5 Ways to Make Your Corporate Event More Engaging
1. Mix up the Presentation StylesAsking an audience to sit through speech after speech can be mind-numbing. There are lots of ways to mix it up so the audience stays fresh and engaged. One great way to make presenters seem more natural and relaxed – and make their content more memorable – is to turn speeches into conversations. Use a host to interview your presenters or have them be part of a panel. And include storytelling when possible. People respond to stories they can relate to. The classic narrative structure – an engaging story with a beginning, middle and end – helps people understand the world more easily. Another trend is to use shorter, faster-paced presentation styles like TED talks. This helps each presenter sharpen their focus and tighten their message.
2. Use a Meeting AppMost corporate event planners agree that mobile event apps increase engagement… and yet nearly two thirds of event professionals are still NOT using event apps! Don’t make this mistake. Today’s meeting apps are dynamic, flexible and a green alternative to all those printed programs and collateral. Better still, they help you connect with your audience before, during and after your event. It’s important to keep in mind your event goals and objectives, your meeting format and your attendees to decide which app is right for you and your event. Just about all apps will integrate social media and offer key features such as wayfinding, speaker profiles, schedules, polling, photo sharing, ticketing and more. Most even allow for customizing so it becomes a value-added benefit for both you and your attendees.
3. Produce Better VideoVideo content is an important element in your business meeting agenda. It provides a rhythmic structure to break up live presentations and injects emotion. It’s one of your most effective communication vehicles when done properly. But your videos must tell a good story. Here are a few tips to keep the video on-point:
- Think more about the message delivery rather than trying to include a lot of content in a single video. Consider breaking up longer videos into a series.
- Keep the length appropriate. With attention spans shorter than ever today, even good videos lose their luster after several minutes. The efficacy of a brief, entertaining and engaging video always trumps epic snoozers.
- Interview real people. People respond to best practices shared from peers. “Day in the Life” video profiles and interviews with your constituency that tell a great story can truly inspire people to act.
- Keep it light. Funny, entertaining videos are often the most talked about. If you’ve got executives willing to laugh at themselves, shoot it! Spoof videos that communicate a real message, while getting some laughs, will have a lasting effect.
4. Customize ItCustomization is gaining ground in the meeting and event industry, and fast. There’s now a stark generational gap between Baby Boomers and Millennials, who outnumber Boomers by more than 20 million. For the first time in history there is a huge population of savvy consumers that grew up with technology who don’t just view customization as special, but expect to be able customize everything including their event experience. And not just young people respond to customization, it’s a growing trend that impacts your bottom line because greater engagement and interaction with your attendees leads to a greater return on your meeting investment. Here are a few ways to better personalize your next event:
- Use your data. Customize your registration to gather fields that can be used to personalize experiences for attendees such as birthdays and company anniversaries that can be recognized during your event.
- People love choices. Allow them to personalize their experience by choosing breakout sessions relevant to them, or even consider offering different types of seating in sessions or activities to choose from.
- Crowd sourcing is another customization touchpoint that is gaining traction. Don’t just assume what type of content your audience wants or needs to hear, ask them. Rather than relying on post-conference surveys on what was liked and disliked, survey your audience prior to the meeting to decide which keynote speaker they’d rather hear, what type of entertainment to offer, which off-site event they’d rather attend, etc.