Creating the perfect event – an event that participants look forward to, actively participate in, and gain valuable insight from, an event that serves as a catalyst for the business and where you achieve your goals – to create such an event may seem impossible. But with the help of modern technology and some simple tricks you are halfway there – check out our tips to get started!
Cater to your participants’ needs – find out what they think!
A common mistake when planning a conference is that you start from the business’ point of view and focus on what information the management wants to send out, instead of focusing on what is important to the participants and how they can best take in and process the information.
To know this, it’s a good idea to send out a survey before your meeting. Here you can, for example, give some suggestions about what you could discuss during the meeting and ask the participants to say what they think is most important. It’s also a good idea to let the participants share any other ideas they might have, so you don’t miss anything that you may not have thought of. After the meeting, it’s important to follow up with a survey where you ask what the participants thought about the result and ask what they think you could do better next time.
Regular, multi-question surveys are good in order to get a bigger picture of your participants’ thoughts on your event, but we all know that the response rate on these surveys does not always reach the levels we would like. In order to achieve the highest possible response rate and also ensure that the answers you receive are of high quality and relevance, we recommend that you add evaluation questions to the program items. Then, at the end of each session, it is a good idea to remind and motivate the participants to leave their feedback while the session is still fresh in memory.
In order to get the best result, you should craft questions that apply to all sessions and allow the attendee to both rate the session and submit free text feedback; evaluations should address the content of the session, the speaker, and general feedback.
Promote active participation – poll your participants!
What is the purpose of your conference? Are you going to undergo an organizational change where you need to get everyone on board? Is it an annual conference where you are going to look at the annual result and motivate the employees to achieve even more next year? Or perhaps you are hosting an industry seminar to discuss the latest trends and inspire the participants?
Capture the audience’s attention and get everyone involved with the help of live polling. Create a sense of community by letting participants vote on how to get through the reorganization in the best possible way, guess which of your key metrics performed best last year, or rank what trends they believe will be greatest in the industry within the next five years.
Show the answers as bar charts or word clouds on a big screen/live stream and let the audience discuss the results – in this way the participants will not only have more fun during the meeting, but they will also remember the important topics you have discussed and be able to make use of what you have achieved in their work.
Elevate the discussion – let the participants send thoughts and questions to the speaker
In the same way that the speaker can poll the participants, you can also let the audience send their thoughts and questions to the speaker through the event app. Instead of raising their hand and being forced to ask a question in front of the whole audience, participants can easily, anonymously, and conveniently formulate their questions and submit them in the event app.
You can then display the result as a word cloud on a big screen or live stream, to easily and effectively visualize the discussion and promote a more open and inspired conversation.
Create a meeting where everyone can get an equal say, question what is being discussed, and ask about things they do not understand–on their own terms. You will soon notice that the participants become more active and engaged; and the thoughts, questions, and ideas that come in will also become a goldmine for your future events and the overall business!
So why should you poll the audience or allow them to ask questions to the stage?
- It’s a great way to create fun meetings with active and engaged participants.
- You create a democratic environment where everyone can get an equal say.
- By activating your audience, you fight distractions and help them remember what they’ve learned.