Five Ways to Involve the Audience in an Event

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Most events are intended to be educational and informative for the audience, but that doesn’t mean they need to be boring. It’s not always possible to make the topics more interesting — so you need to make the presentation itself more engaging to keep the attendees interested. One way to do so is to position the audience at the center of the action. Here’s how:

  1. Incorporate a Twitter Wall. Create a display wall that shows live tweets from audience members during a presentation. Event planners can capture the value in these discussions and share them with attendees so that they can get more out of the sessions. Choose a hashtag that’s relevant, but short. Also, make sure your audience knows the hashtag so you can essentially put them to work for you. Include it on documents, banners, the event agenda and your Twitter account.
  1. Challenge your audience with a quiz. Instead of talking to your audience and showing a few slides in a presentation, have your presenters participate in a quiz where audience members can answer questions via social media. Issue one or two questions per group session and provide the answers at the end of the day. Make sure to offer a prize for the audience member who scores the highest.
  1. Do some role playing with audience members. Role playing can be an effective way to communicate important topics at your event, such as portraying conversations with customers or presenting how-to’s and best practices. Get the audience involved by bringing them on stage to participate in the discussion. Have them relay the top questions their customers ask – then offer answers. Or, get their input on often-heard sales barriers and provide ways to get around them. Whatever route you take, make sure their participation doesn’t require any advance preparation. You don’t want to catch them completely off guard.
  1. Create a presentation scavenger hunt with clues. A scavenger hunt is an extremely versatile game to play with event attendees. Mention a clue periodically during different sessions and give the audience time to explore the answers when you take breaks. Follow up with another clue in subsequent sessions until an event participant reaches the final goal and earns the prize.
  1. Take a poll and present the results. No matter what the topic, professionals across many industries want to know their colleagues’ opinions on trending developments. They want to hear about the experiences of others and get feedback on where they make improvements. You can ask for a show of hands, but audience members will respond to a more high-tech approach. Have them post their comments on social media and make sure to present the results at the end.

Can you offer additional tips on how to involve your audience in an event presentation? Have you used any of these ideas and got rave results? Please let us know. 

For a complimentary 30-minute consultation on how to build your brand and inspire an audience through events and communications, please contact Brian Duffy by calling 630.427.4235 or by emailing bduffy@onesmoothstone.com

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