If your meeting or conference doesn’t interact with your participants, your message will not connect with them. They come and go without any added value. In this case, they might just stay home or use their time wisely elsewhere.
I cannot repeat often enough that scripting your event as a story that is incomplete without the participation of your attendees or visitors is a key event planning element if you want to successfully connect with them. By including them you make them reflect your event message more closely and achieve active engagement with your product, service, or a problem you are tackling with your session.
The Activation of Your Attendees’ Minds Will Lead to an Action Afterwards!
This can be anything, from recommending your service to buying your product to sharing their event experience and spreading the word. But it can also be negative statements, you might lose them to another competitor who appealed more to their needs and made them feel more important, or they might continue a bad habit that you actually wanted to change with your meeting.
Now, it is in your hands to influence this action and make it your desired outcome.
How Can We Do This?
1. Showing alternative ways of doing things, e. g. raise awareness of plastic use and how to avoid or reduce it, is often supported by role models like famous athletes or movie stars to satisfy the customers’ need for self-identity. Now, we might not have the budget for those high-class performers. Take a look at the closer surroundings of your attendees. Which other figures (real or virtual) might have an influence on them? Can you maybe even create your own role model to start a new movement?
2. Placing product in the consumers’ hands and encourage them to witness these within a context of a memorable brand experience can establish a connection between the product and a positive emotion. Thus, every time the person feels this emotion he or she might be reminded immediately of your product. Or chooses your service to feel the same emotion from back then.
3. Surprising or provoking your event participants by placing your product/service/message into an unusual or contrasting context can be the eye-opener the team needed to understand the message and benefit of your company’s service. It may enable them to finally sell the service successfully or understand the bigger picture that makes them identify with your company in the long term.
4. Involving attendees in the process to creating a solution for a problem themselves and relating to their needs instead of top-down or from speaker to audience makes them embrace the final solution much more because they were part of it, they understand it, they feel proud to implement a solution that they came up with. Empowering your audience will lead to positive effects long after the event is over.
5. Last but not least, strengthening relationships and future success by facilitating networking as much as possible during your meeting doesn’t only manifest messages in attendees’ minds but can also lead to surprising new ideas that you might have not thought about before.
But valuable networking usually doesn’t happen by itself. Here is a quick guide to make networking happen:
Structure sessions that encourage networking. Ask your speakers to include tips or small networking games that make exchanging for the audience and getting to know each other more effectively.
Implement (technical) tools in your conference to stimulate networking. Create shared platforms that foster community building before, during, and after the event; provide apps to easily connect or check basic information about other attendees.
Offer spaces, lounges, and entire areas at your venue that are primarily designed for networking. Have informal setups with different seating options for quick or long conversations; influence the atmosphere with suitable light, sound, and useful material your attendees could need to exchange ideas and be inspired.
If you are professionally planning your next event, you don’t leave networking to a ‘may’ opportunity. You make it happen and take an active role in creating connections. Inviting your guests is only the first step.
And always remember: our brains are designed to remember stories, not data.
You have a story in mind but are still looking for the right venue or need help with creating the perfect setting for it? We are here to make your event planning smarter, more efficient, and create your personal event experience! Get in touch now and benefit from our international event expertise that lets you focus on your core strengths again.