When your post-event survey for engagement and value-addition indicates a poor response, it’s time to rethink how to make your conference fun and engaging for your attendees. People attend conferences to acquire knowledge, meet new people, and share their professional experiences. While some conferences can turn out to be boring, you can be a game-changer and make your conference fun with these 10 fun and engaging ideas. Check them out.
1. Ice Breaker Sessions
Most attendees feel awkward when they are in a room full of strangers. You can have an ice breaker session after the event introduction to help everyone break the ice.
Prepare 3 sets of questions such as:
- Who among the participants has gone bungee jumping?
- Knows 5 languages
- Write 5 names of people who have tattoos
Your attendees will have to check with everyone at the conference to understand whose names will go on that sheet. In 15-20 minutes, they will already know a few things about each other.
2. Make it Interactive
If it’s just the speaker doing the talking, the conference can get boring after a while. Instead, make it a two-way interaction, where you ask questions to the participants and let them share their experiences.
Let’s say, it’s a medical conference you’re organizing and you’ve invited doctors to be a part of it. To make the conference interesting, you can have a few doctors share funny experiences of patients that could lighten the mood of the audience.
3. Emcee To The Rescue
One person who can add great value to your conference and maintain the event flow is the Emcee. Since he/she spends the maximum time interacting with your attendees booking an emcee makes a lot of sense.
Attendees generally tend to create a perception of the speaker in the first 15 minutes. If you have an emcee doing an average job, you’re bound to lose out on your attendees’ attention. A good emcee knows what is the objective of the conference and how to impart knowledge without getting the audience bored.
4. Storytelling To Grab Attention
People love branded storytelling. Depending on the type of conference you’re organizing, create a storyboard that will draw your attendee’s attention and create a unique emotive response and recall.
If you’re introducing new technology at the conference, you can explain the concept and usability effectively through a story. Grab your attendees’ attention through a story that’s fun to hear. Be it in schools or companies, the storytelling method always works effectively to create interest and explain the concept at the same time.
5. Breakout Sessions
All work and no activity make your conference dull and monotonous. Organize breakout sessions at certain intervals to help attendees move out of their comfort zone and clear their heads.
Networking is yet another reason why people attend conferences and through activities like human spectrogram or crowd polling, they meet the purpose. Human spectrogram helps you analyze audiences through questions you throw at them and they pick a side depending on who agrees and who doesn’t.
6. Video Montages
Kick of your conferences with a creative video presentation or a montage reel. It should be inspiring enough to latch their minds to your conference. If you’re planning a tech conference for women, you can motivate everyone with their inspiring stories showcasing successful women and their way of life.
7. World Cafe Discussions
World cafe is an interactive way of starting a conversation between large groups, allowing attendees to learn from each other’s experiences. Allocate a topic per table and let the attendees or subject matter experts discuss it for 15 minutes, post which they move to the next table and the process continues. It allows knowledge-sharing and is effective in educational conferences where people discuss how to improve the academic curriculum.
8. Props Over PowerPoint
For a change, keep the PowerPoint presentations away. Different people learn differently. While some attendees will love textual content, many will grasp the keynotes quicker through visually appealing props or handouts. Depending on the type of conference you’re hosting, you could use pictures or props to convey your message throughout the conference.
9. Mood Music
The lunch break or event catering you organized along with a help of soothing music can help shape your attendees’ moods considerably. To help them get back into the conference or take a break from it, entertain them with light music or shake them up a bit till they are active. Once you’ve got their attention, begin the conference from where you left before the break.
10. Give Away Goodies
Most conferences go on for hours or days where attendees get bored through it all. Before you end the conference, host a quiz with questions about the conference. That way, you’ll gauge how many attendees have truly enjoyed the conference or pay attention. You can either choose to give away goodies to the quiz winners or give away souvenirs to all depending on the volume of attendees and your budget.
With these fun ideas, you’re sure to give your attendees knowledge, networking, and memories of a great conference.
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