One of the biggest hurdles for many event planners and hosts is keeping the attendees engaged throughout the event. Few things are as frustrating as seeing all of those potential clients and other prospects accessible yet not engaged with the event. Here are a few things that you can do to minimize this and help boost the overall engagement at your next company event.
Don't Split the Space
It's common for event planners to set aside separate spaces for event activities, social connections, and buffets or other food. Unfortunately, this leads to a lot of separation, which can hinder engagement.
Instead of splitting up the event space, try to work with a more open concept, even if you have to use cubicle-style dividers to create pathways. That allows you to differentiate the areas without actually splitting people up. The more everyone stays in the proximity of each other and your event sessions, the greater the engagement you are likely to have.
Consider Assigned Seating
For seminars and other events, give some thought to having assigned seats for the attendees. By instituting assigned seats, you can break up the groups that attend together, encouraging people to step out of their comfort zones and interact more with others.
This can help to increase engagement because attendees will build communicative relationships with others at the event instead of staying solely with their co-workers or others that they arrived with. You can even include some ice-breaking activities if you set up tables for the attendees, that way everyone at the table can get involved and get to know each other.
Start With Entertainment to Get Everyone's Attention
When you start your first session of the event, it's often best to engage everyone with some form of entertainment before you start getting into the educational stuff. That way, you have their attention and they are already engaged as much as possible before you start discussing what you've really brought them all there for.
You can work with an event planning service that will help you with hiring strolling entertainers to spark up the crowd before sessions start, or you can even book a comedian who can perform a routine to kick things off. Either way, the goal is to loosen everyone up and help them engage with their surroundings.
A combination of these tips and knowing what your attendees are looking for can help you to boost engagement at your next event or seminar.