Bored attendees stop attending. In other words, they are mentally absent, no matter whether they decide to leave early or hold back yawning until the event ends. At best, they will leave your events unmotivated, uninspired and uninformed. Your event will sink deeply into oblivion. At worst, they will never attend your next event.
That sounds terrifying, but fret not. These 5 tips will ensure the most engaging and memorable experience for your attendees at your next event.
1. Capture the Attention with Originality and Bizarreness
“There’s nothing worse than being ordinary”, quoted Angela Hayes in American Beauty. This holds true when it comes to hosting an event. An unexpected twist in your event concept will keep the attendees alerted about what we have to say.
Originality and bizarreness can come from uncommon venues and captivating décor to mind-blowing banners and unconventional agenda.
For those who are going to jump for a fresh venue, make sure it meets these 5 factors for choosing the right venues.
2. Insert Humor, Visuals and Media
What is the secret to getting people engaged and excited about any topic? Laughter. Video. Music.
Most of your audience are not interested in attending a boring lecture. They want to be wowed by compelling ideas and will leave your event remembering only the most remarkable content.
Kickstart the event with a witty icebreaker game or a funny video. Further liven things up by adding appropriate background music.
For speakers, no matter what kind of content you are presenting, you should seriously consider inserting a fair amount of visuals and media to the daunting and exhausting long presentations.
Here are a few alternative tools other than the old-fashioned PowerPoint to pep up your presentations:
Haiku Deck gives you built-in access to a wealth of free art.
Prezi brings your presentations to life with eye-catching custom animations.
Projeqt lets users craft rich “projeqts,” by pulling content from a range of sources such as Flickr, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube alongside your own computer.
3. Encourage Attendees to Talk
Never ignore the power of asking questions and letting people talk! It is the most potent weapon to engage the audience. If your events are small enough, it is the best to ask all the attendees to introduce who they are and why they are there. That will keep them from getting distracted and stay focused on the event goals. Likewise, encourage them to voice their opinions during the event.
If your event is huge, arrange like-minded attendees to sit together for activities such as games, mini-presentations or Q&A sessions. This setting will also facilitate networking among the attendees.
However, the timekeeper will need to monitor the time wisely to ensure you won’t run out of it in case some guests like to give a long speech.
4. Give Them Breaks
Everyone has a limited attention span and needs toilet breaks. People sitting still for too long at a time become bored and irritable. Hence, it is important to provide sufficient breaks even if all attendees are scheduled to be in the same room for successive sessions.
If possible, do a rehearsal with all the speakers to avoid long-winded speeches and lengthy presentations (especially ones without visuals and media) before the event. Set a strict timetable for your event and inform all speakers beforehand that there is no flexibility to overrun.
You can also use breaks for refreshments, networking opportunities or merchandise sales.
5. Invest in Inspiring Refreshments and Goodies
Average food will bore but great food can inspire. Regardless of how much you attempt to distinguish your event, many will just remember the food. After sitting through presentations and networking all day, a nice hot beverage and chocolate muffins can make all the difference.
Finally, when it comes to the end of your event, don’t miss the chance to excite your attendees with thoughtful and interesting goodies. Avoid the generic and tedious bags of corporate key chains and dull cookies. Put your thought into it and think about giving them what they will keep and find useful.
What do you think?
Do you find these tips helpful for your next event?
If you have any other ideas that you think might be fresh, leave them in the comments section below so others can learn from you!
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