These days, many business owners are preparing to host corporate events. While there are many things that can be done to ensure that these events are very successful, determining how to increase attendee participation is one of the best ways to make it happen. With that idea in mind, consider using some or all of the following strategies to optimize participation at your next event:
1. Use Badges.
As noted in “7 Effective Ways to Increase Participation at Your Events,” badges are a great strategy to use. The badges can display a person’s name or provoke a response with an edict like “Talk to me about how to increase your sales.”
2. Build Community.
If you’re serious about optimizing attendee participation at your event, make sure that the people who were invited are continually interacting with one another such that a sense of community is cultivated and sustained. This strategy will help prevent or at least downplay feelings of isolation, anxiety and detachment that result when people who attend an event don’t know each other that well.
There are numerous ways that you can build community, and one of them is through the use of social media optimization strategies. By connecting your attendees through popular, interactive channels like Twitter and Facebook, you give them the opportunity to communicate in an organic, entertaining way. This ongoing interaction will accelerate and optimize the relationship-building process such that the feeling of community is already present and prevalent when the event takes place. The end result will likely be increased participation because people will feel much more comfortable with one another.
3. Do An Icebreaker.
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it’s probably still around because it’s so effective. Icebreakers are a wonderful way to diffuse the tension and anxiety that can result from being in a room with people you don’t know well or feel that you may make a fool of yourself in front of. Luckily, there are hundreds of different icebreakers you can utilize to get people at the event interacting with one another in a fun, disarming way. An example would be a scavenger hunt in which people are divided into teams and must work together to find specific items. The team members will have to work together to complete the hunt, thereby optimizing engagement and increasing the likelihood that they will participate more and more as the event unfolds.
4. Try the “Post It!” Strategy.
This strategy involves handing out pens and sticky notes to event attendees. You will then request that they record one or several subjects that they would like explored at some point during the conference. Then have the attendees post the sticky notes in a highly visible area such as a wall. Next, have everyone read the post its and then discuss the topics listed. This strategy can be particularly effective because people who expressed interest in having a specific subject discussed will be more genuinely interested in conversing about that topic.
5. Make Your PowerPoint Presentation More Interactive.
One final technique you can implement to optimize attendee participation at your event is making your PowerPoint presentation more interactive. This can be accomplished in numerous ways, such as by including a poll that attendees will be able to take as the presentation unfolds. In addition to getting attendees actively involved in the moment, polling them will increase the likelihood that they continue paying attention throughout the presentation so they can see the results of the poll. “Make sure that the poll pertains to a topic or issue that the majority of your audience would be genuinely interested in or passionate about,” said ConBop.
Don’t Delay: Prepare To Increase Attendee Participation Today!
If you’re preparing to host a corporate event, you probably want to do everything in your power to make it a smashing success. One great way to realize this goal is by increasing attendee participation. There are several techniques you can implement to realize the goal. Refer to the strategies outlined above as you get the event preparation process underway!