7 Engagement Strategies to Entice the Modern Conference Learner
by Sue, on October 10, 2018
Think about the last time you were engaged in a particular situation. What made it so engaging? Was it the fact that it was a surprise and it caused you to engage 100%? Was it because you found yourself having fun and learning at the same time, was it simply you are passionate about this topic or was it because you were actively involved through hands on demonstrations? What matters is you found value and that’s what associations need to focus on in the future. How do you create engagement that is valuable and rewarding to your attendees?
Here are just a few thoughts that might help you think differently about engagement.
- Prior to registration, ask key questions that will help you drive engagement onsite; for instance; what is the #1 reason for attending; what is your specialty; what community is most important to you; and/or identify your career stage? The trick will be once you collect this data, you need to use it or why even bother to collect it. For example, if you learn that there are several individuals interested in this field; then create a way for these attendees to connect onsite. Use your influencers to help promote this newly added mini event. Also use social media to promote it and share the results following the mini event.
- Ask attendees to help create a few of the sessions at the meeting by voting on the content prior to the meeting. The more involved one is, the more likely they are to participate and be engaged.
- Make it mandatory that every speaker must engage the audience in one way or another; take a quiz, answer this question, respond to this survey, ask the audience questions. Audience response systems can also help but there are so many different technologies that will help with engagement. Corbin Ball’s tech talk newsletter has some excellent ideas at https://www.corbinball.com/techtalk/236-techtalk-2018-7.
- When attendees pick up their badges, print the members specialty/field of interest in color on the badges so anyone can see the area of specialty or interest.
- Crowdsource content of interest for each community to understand what topics are hot for this special interest group and offer discussions around these hot topics onsite. They could be rapid fire sessions or hot topic sessions hosted by a panel of community members.
- Create a pop up session and promote via the app asking fellow attendees to meet the expert in their field at the “engagement pod”.
- Move the meeting outside or to a location that is stimulating to attendees
Overall, engagement doesn’t have to be difficult. By simply asking attendees a question or engaging them through a quick quiz drives engagement.
I look forward to your thoughts on how you drove engagement at your meeting!