Top 9 Tips on How to Engage Delegates at Your Conference
Events Industry is already a very competitive field and it takes a lot of effort to be successful and ahead of your competitors for longer than just couple well organised conferences.
Increasing delegates engagement is essential for effective events as it takes a lot of time and energy to plan a conference and so naturally you want to get as much out of the event as possible. A more experienced event organisers already have a fair share of experience in the field and know how important it is to make sure your guests are engaged and for newer people in the industry, we’ve put together a few tips to guarantee a success at their next event!
Here are our top 9 tips on how to do so:
- Engaging environment
It goes without saying, one of the most important aspects is selecting the right venue for your event!
You want your delegates to be filled with energy and excitement during your conference and dark dingy rooms will not do the trick here. Try picking something a bit more interesting, whether it’s a modern conference venue with a unique feature or events venue with historic accents, or just a bright airy conference room with enhanced lighting features, we hear certain shades of mood lighting can be very effective when it comes to enhancing attention!
- Welcome process
So, as we all know first impressions really matter. The way your delegates are welcomed to the conference venue, will leave a lasting impression, so it’s very important that your greeting and their registration is relaxed, friendly and most importantly fast! If hosts/hostesses at the desk are stressed, your guests will just absorb the feeling, which will have a lasting impact for the rest of the day and no one wants that! Friendly, relaxed and efficient welcome is the best start!
- Add diversity to your event
In this modern age, diversity is key! Don’t forget to include speakers from minority groups, bring a taste of inspiration! Especially to the panel sessions. The biggest mistake and a magnet for backlash and criticism is if all your panellists are the same character just from a different company. Can you remember the heavily criticised panel at Davos when the panel about women in business consisted of 4 white male panellists and the only woman there was a moderator! VERY bad decision… Embrace diversity, it will only add value to your conference and delegate engagement!
- Know your delegates
As we all know, knowing your delegates is extremely important. Before the event try to get to know your delegates. Learn what company they come from, their position, what their company does etc. You can then steer them in the right direction of speakers and exhibitors who might be a good match for networking and this way not only you are encouraging engagement, but you also earn their respect as a resourceful and prepared events organiser!
- Communicate your message with interesting content
Whenever possible try to make your presentation as engaging as possible. Use of visual effects in the presentations is always good – videos, photos, gifs etc. Videos are especially useful at the start of the event as it can easily grab the attention of your delegates. It is important to ensure that the balance is right, you don’t want to have too many videos teaching your delegates the information, it can distract them from the overall message.
- Make it fun
It is externally engaging if your conference has interactive elements. There are a lot of different ways to make it much more fun – create a quick energising activity or an ice breaker activity where all your delegates can feel more comfortable around the people they are, include short and sharp competitions with a prize, add casino tables during drinks reception. All these little touches will make a huge impact on your event and their energy levels will be raised.
- Get your delegates involved
It’s important that you hear participants opinions and their views. Let your guests ask questions, take part in votes and comment on the presentations! In this digital age we recommend using online platforms. This way you allow your guests to use their own devices and keep their anonymity. There are several digital event platforms available offering voting and Q&A sessions, it’s a great way to increase delegate participation.
Social media channels are a great way to share opinions, so make sure you have the correct #hashtags in place. I can’t stress enough how important social media is for events and delegates engagement! If all done well, it can very easily create a community out of your event!
- Pick the right host
By using a professional conference host, you can benefit a lot. A professional host will help to increase delegates engagement in the event. It’s also been known that running stream sessions in different rooms with different hosts helps to keep your guests engaged, especially in the second half of the event. Delegates walking to the next room can even improve their brain activity and regain their energy for the rest of the event. By having different hosts, you can provide a change of pace and tempo and keep your delegates alert and prepared for the next session.
- Send a “thank you” email
Once the dust is settled, but the momentum is still going, sending thank you email is a great way to keep the engagement going. Try to make the email as personal and relevant as possible, use their name and talk directly about the event. By doing so you are increasing engagement even after the event is over. An email will remind them of your company’s event and what they have enjoyed and learned.
If you are looking for conference venues, training rooms or lecture theatres for your upcoming events, look no further! We have a great variety of London event venues, with unique meeting rooms and exhibition spaces. At our conference centres we will make sure you are well looked after by our fantastic events team!
At Cavendish Venues we are committed to exceeding your expectations, and with over 93% repeat business we know we're doing something right!