In the era of ‘experiential marketing’, traditional event models that focus on a one-way information dump to a passive audience are becoming a thing of the past. No longer are people willing to mute their presence and listen to lengthy presentations without their voices being heard enough.
Having a 10-minute Q&A session after a tedious, 40-minute information briefing is nothing close to making your event interactive and memorable, and neither is a full-on interview session going to give you the best shot at keeping your audience interactive throughout the event.
Here are some tips to generate the right kinds of interaction to keep your audience on the edge of their seats and to ensure you get your message across with impact.
Empowering Your Audience
Giving your audience a say in event production is vital to their engagement. Today’s experience-driven audiences want to participate in events not only as attendees but also as contributors.
If content marketing is about storytelling, then you should enable your audience to be the narrators of the story. But how do you make them feel included in the story while maintaining ultimate control over your event?
Simply ask them for opinions and content input before and during the event, for example, by open discussions, survey technology, or informal workshops. This not only breaks the barriers between you and your audience but also creates touch points for debriefing and tweaking. This also enables you to adapt according to their needs and maximize the event’s results. Loosen your control and let them take the reins even before the event begins!
Nudging The Right Way
Now you have given some power to your audience but you wonder what you can do to make sure you are giving out the right kind of power and that they are using it in a way that will contribute positively to your event. Here are three ways you can use a small nudge to get big results.
- Audience engagement tools – What if no one asks questions during Q&A session? Use Q&A tools to easily gather the best questions from the audience whenever they feel like asking—even during the event.
- Social networking – Cleverly utilize the resources afforded by social media with microblogging. Providing concise content—often with images uploaded in real-time—enables you to communicate and connect with your audience in a quick and personal manner.
- Event gamification – Step up your engagement with gamification. According to the researcher Jane McGonigal, games can “level up” participants’ event experience by producing greater productivity and optimism. Add some special perks to make it even more attractive and exciting!
Creating Networking Opportunities
Events are not just about educating your audience and marketing your product; they are also about networking. According to career and workforce expert Dan Schawbel, 86% of millennial audiences see networking opportunities as an important factor when attending an event.
To make your event more interactive, you should devote more attention to creating networking opportunities for attendees. Host an after-party, plan a lunch and invite VIPs. These are great ways to get engaged with attendees and promote your brand—and even acquire some sales!
Continuing the Conversation
Don’t let the vibe die when interest is at its highest. Continue building momentum when memory is still fresh. Event planners often underestimate the importance of post-event activities. They are not only a reality check that helps you align with more targeted event strategy at your next event; they’re a great way to promote brand awareness and retention.
To make your event truly interactive, you should keep the interaction high even after the event in order to deliver a thorough, consistent event experience. The basic follow-up work can be thank-you emails and surveys asking for feedback. To level up your post-event work, you can utilize social media platforms, forums, and informal meetups to continue the conversation.
Deciding where to host your next event? Contact Eaton House today at +852 3971 8999 to learn how we can help you ace your event!