7 Must-do’s when Planning an Engaging Interactive Conference
Making sure that your audience stays engaged throughout a long conference with a whole heap of speakers can become very challenging. When you have a room full of highly intelligent managers and business owners the last thing you want to do is present them with the world’s Nr.1 snooze fest!
Most attendees come for the conference to listen to the speakers; their main aim is to leave your event feeling enriched and motivated. When the conference is boring, one-sided and uninformative you can definitely expect negative feedback and a bad turnout the next time you host an event. To avoid a bad reputation you have to ensure that there are a lot of interaction between the speakers and the audience.
To make it easier we have created a guideline of 7 tips you can apply to create a successful interactive conference.
1. Curate Speakers Carefully
Make sure you do research about your event theme and who would be proficient and well-known speakers. When, for example, the main theme is Global warming. Choose speakers from all aspects of the Global Warming spectrum e.g. a farmer/gardener who has been effected by Global warming, an activist and a well-known environmentalist professor from a prestigious institute.
Find out if there are some speakers or celebrities that attendees would love to listen to or better yet, who would attract more attendees. Also remember that even though some experts are extremely knowledgeable they may not be the best public speakers. Get recommendations for speakers from other event planners or event attendees.
Having a wide variety of speakers will keep your audience engaged and will evoke opinion and questions. When an audience has to listen to the same type of speaker over and over again they will wish that they stayed home and watched some action movies instead.
2. Give Speakers a Checklist
Even the most experienced and charismatic speakers need a bit of guidance sometimes. You will get the best out of your speakers when you treat them like royalty. When you’ve confirmed all speakers for your event send them a special thank you letter also attaching all other information of the event like location, will they need accommodation or transport, any special dietary requirements etc.
Most probably you will be paying a large amount to all speakers and this gives you the right to set up some ground rules and expectations. Make a short list of a few things that you will be expecting from them without making it sound like they don’t know what they are doing.
Checklist example to ensure speaker is interactive:
-Speaking time limit (Bare in mind that you will grant sought after and experienced speakers more time
than the more low key speakers)
-Plan your speech in such a way that audience interaction is provoked (Let us know if you’d like us to
print out worksheets or any other interactive activities, for audience members)
-You are more than welcome to add in a few humorous sentences
-Available for your use: Projector, Laser pointer pen, Laptop, Sound system, Stationery etc.
Providing speakers with all of this information will make them see you as very organized, punctual and professional, not to mention that they will know from the get-go that this will be a high quality event. This will most definitely ensure them giving you and the audience their best! When your speakers know exactly what you expect from them, which in this case should be to ensure interaction between themselves and the audience – you will most definitely have a successful interactive conference!