Trendy ways to keep audiences interested and entertained
When it comes to conferencing, don’t you think the U-shape layout, peppermints and coffee breaks are overused and boring? What makes your conference different from the rest?
In a world where generation Y is the up and coming generation – the ones who will dictate the business world much sooner than we realise – we need to consider that the generic conference setup is not necessarily how they would want things to be done. In fact, with technology and instant gratification playing major roles in the direction things are going – conferencing styles and options included – we might just have to relook a few things before planning our next conferencing events. Sometimes it is good to shake things up a bit and it might be a good idea to find some new ideas on how to get people’s attention, how to encourage new ways of engaging, learning, collaborating and networking at a conference.
Today, face-to-face interaction is more important than ever. The usual presenter VS audience setup is so last season, which is why we love the idea of campfire sessions. It starts the same way as the traditional presentation with a speaker presenting an idea to his audience, but after about 20 minutes, the focus shifts to the audience and the presenter rather becomes a facilitator, inviting comments, insights and questions from the people in the room. This is a great way to learn and to share experiences – the perfect start to a very positive networking session. Other ways of engaging your audience is to integrate real-time polls into the conference content, to let guests take part in scavenger hunts (ideal for exhibition halls), to host offsite events afterwards that will keep attendees engaged after hours and to keep your conference cosy in order to have guests stay on-site between sessions.
If you’re looking for a great icebreaker, the Human Spectogram might be your answer. It involves voting with your feet with the facilitator asking a couple of questions and individuals have to move to certain areas in the room to indicate their answer. This is a great technique to gather some interesting insights about the audience fairly quickly and it poses as a fun and enjoyable method for individuals to get to know each other.
If you’re tired of speakers running around in circles and never actually getting to the point, lightning talks should definitely be incorporated into your next conferencing event. Speakers are given a limited amount of time to make their presentation, with or without slides. If they do use slides, it usually moves forward automatically to keep speakers to their allocated amount of time. This presentation method not only saves time, it also helps speakers to rid their presentations of any nitty gritty nonsense and to cut to the chase and it helps to keep the audience’s attention.
These are but a few ideas for your next event. Let us know how it went!