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How to Keep Your Event Audience Engaged

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We are living in a time of content overload where more information is generated each day than one can consume in a lifetime. On top of that, the mode for information consumption has shifted towards a preference for engaging two-way dialogue, as opposed to just being fed with content and not having the opportunity to interact or find out more. It is vital as companies or brands with business objectives that your messages cut through the clutter and reach its intended audience in a way that resonates. So how is this done at events?

 

Involve and immerse the audience

In order to engage guests in a dialogue, interactive and immersive experiences are a must. With so many event invitations floating around securing RSVPs has become more of a challenge, so even your invite has to inspire.  Although email is the most common channel, direct mail is now seen as prestige and invitations do not just have to be 2D, My Private Chef has sent ingredients in test tubes that contained the key ingredients from the special dinner to synchronise with the event theme of “Travelling with Time and Space” with their top clients.

At the event itself we hope for audience interaction but sometimes they need a helping hand, here is where technology can really help.  Polling applications and Q&A tools such as Pigeonhole and SpotMe give audiences the confidence to speak up without having to raise their hands or step up to a microphone.  Live displays such as word clouds mean you no longer need to opt for a static backdrop but can pick one that evolves with the discussions on and off stage. In addition, different delivery format such as debates, fireside chats or user generated topics will also help to increase the audience engagement.

Communication is not limited to words however, at My Private Chef we frequently embed storytelling into our menus and food too as our chefs work with specific ingredients and dishes to complement the event theme or brand message.

 

It’s obvious! Don’t state the obvious

When people have given up their time or even spent money to attend your event, it is important to deliver real value in the content.  This means not repeating received wisdom or quoting old sources.  You need to tell new stories or at least tell old stories in new ways to surprise and engage your delegates, and keep them off their cell phones!  And one other tip, no matter how talented or experience your speakers that is no excuse not to rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!

With a team boasting over 40 years’ of conference and exhibition experience collectively, My Private Conference can happily assist with speaker engagement and management. This can include identifying and engaging the right speaker for your events; reviewing the speaker’s content and drawing out the most relevant knowledge and messages to add depth to your event.

Here is My Private Chef & My Private Conference founder Crystal Chua’s top tips for better event content:

  1. Plan ahead and rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.
  2. Pair the right speaker to the right content; just because they have the top job title doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the top speaker.
  3. Timing the content over lunch or dinner is intricate. To avoid distractions and maximise attendee engagement, it is important to design a menu that is not distracting and conducive to the content delivery schedule and channels.

When done correctly, the benefits can be immense. Enjoy a greater reputation as a host of engaging events that will drive RSVP rates, improved clarity and recall rates of your intended messaging, and naturally, conversion rates for the business.