Boosting Participant Experience At Events?Feb 10, 2017
The quality of your participants individual experiences determine success of your events and create a potential audience for future. So, as an event planner, one of your objectives is to provide personalised unforgettable experiences for all your participants and increase their active involvement in your events. But how.?
This is one of those questions, which many look for the answer. Below you will find some suggestions.
Have you ever fallen asleep during a conference? Or just slipped out for more coffee to stay awake? Or answered your emails? Off course you have! We all have. And it really is not to offend the speakers or the organisers. It is just very hard for us all to concentrate for more than 15-20 minutes without getting engaged and involved.
But, if you make sure to activate your participants, they will also be able to contribute to the content with all their knowledge and experience and then the experience and learning will be more valuable to both participants and organisers. Because scientists say that, learning through activities is more efficient than learning by only passive observation. That way your event will be more successful and your participants will come back year after year.
A group discussion gives everyone involved a voice. Whether the discussion is meant to form a basis for action, or just to play with ideas, it gives all members of the group a chance to speak their opinions, to agree or disagree with others, and to have their thoughts heard. It allows for a variety of ideas to be expressed and discussed. It also encourages those who might normally be reluctant to speak their minds or it can open communication channels among people who might not communicate in any other way. Eventually, all these effects create a full involvement experience for your participants and a sense of being a part of your event.
Workshops are great opportunities for tasting the real feeling and improving participant experience. A workshop environment brings your participants into playground and gives them a chance to be a part of the event. Each participant learn by touching, feeling, and even tasting their experiments. So, a workshop can be a good tool for improving participant experience. What you need to do is increase the number of workshops and workshop experience of participants.
Video, audio and virtual spaces that capture the key ideas and takeaways of an event that's already happened mean that event planners can offer something additional and powerful to the hosts of industry functions — the ability to allow participants to re-enter and re-deploy their learning and insights in the future. Drones and drone-inspired technology may also help remote attendees experience the event online, through interactive and immersive first-person views. If you add some hi-tech gadgets into your events, it will not only spice up your event but also increase participant experience and will lead to a rise at participant numbers in future events.
Social Activities & Games
Social activities such as ice breakers, gala dinners, daily tours or games bring participants together and increase their feeling of connection with your event. Moreover, these kind of activities convince participants that, they were valued and cared. As a result, those activities create distinct, memorable moments which will lead to a positive image about your event in participants minds and generate a will to attend your next event too. These activities can also help to build social groups among your participants.
Sometimes small gifts may act as a reminder of your event and cause your participants feel connected. Personalised gifts, such as a hat, a pen or a keychain with a participant's name on it, may cause your participants feel happy. This is a well known but not so successfully applied technique though. The secret lies behind the fact that, the gifts you plan to give your participants supposed to be long life objects which will not be thrown away soon and something that would be kept around.
Paying attention to participants
Another useful technique which will make your participants feel special is to care their private requirements or their personal preferences. For instance, if you provide vegetarian meals for your vegetarian participants, most probably they will appreciate this a lot. It also works for religion related requests such as providing a praying room etc.
Send personalised mails and pictures
Another way of creating a pleasant event experience can be taking pictures of participants and sharing them on social media as much as possible. Because everybody loves being popular on social media. You may also print your participants pictures on your event daily newspaper, if you print one.
As a last suggestion, you can also send thank you letters to your participants for their attendance. After all, they made your event big. But if you are able to send personalised hand written mails that is priceless. At least, your keynote speakers and key figure participants should receive a hand written thank you letter. That really helps for increasing the number of participants at your next event.
About the Author
Posted by Erkan OGULGANMIS
Erkan OGULGANMIS Graduated from Army War College, completed MA degree in Ankara University on Global & Regional Studies, studies law in Istanbul University. Works in MEETINGHAND Online Solutions Co. as Business Development & Sales Manager.