Our Top 4 Tips to Engage Your Audience at Your Next Event

published on 01 April 2022

Attendees look for events that will actively involve them. Here are our top 4 tips to engage your audience during your next event.

A business event typically revolves around its speakers.

And speakers perform their best when their audience is fully engaged throughout.

You may be under the impression that audience engagement only happens when something happens in a given moment.

However, attendees are always looking for events that will actively involve them and help with their learning.

Here are our top 4 tips to engage your audience during your next event.

1. Use Icebreakers

Using good icebreakers at the beginning of your event can do wonders.

Because they offer a valuable first impression; they set the tone, boosts audience engagement and helps people to network.

However, you can’t just think of an icebreaker straight off the bat - there are a few things to consider first:

  • What’s the goal? Understand what you want your icebreaker to achieve; do you want to help people get to know each other or to engage with speakers?
  • Simplicity is best - the more simple an activity is, the easier it is to do and more likely your audience will participate
  • Be sensitive - always remember, people have different views, opinions, values, beliefs and experiences so always be considerate, and put yourself in the shoes of your audience

Once you know what you want out of your icebreaker it’s time to put it together.

A few examples include:

  • Storytelling: People can learn a lot from stories, plus they love them. 0 
  • Introductions: This helps your audience get to know people in the room 
  • Polls: These work particularly well to engage larger crowds, i.e. “How energised are you feeling right now on a scale of 1 to 10?”
  • Share Expectations: This will ensure your event is finetuned to what your audience wants and they’ll be more engaged if it meets their needs. 

2. Ditch PowerPoints and Presentations

Typically, business events will have a presentation format, where there is a lengthy speech in front of projected slides.

Doing this is the opposite of keeping an audience engaged - they’re just going to feel bored and minds tend to wander when trying to stay focused on a monologue.

As such, you should encourage speakers to ditch the PowerPoints and get in their bodies and out of their heads.

Sounds weird, I know.

But physical audience participation will help to keep engagement high throughout the event - think about those who talk with their hands and are expressive with their body language. Perhaps even do a little dance on stage or give your audience a stretch break - they will definitely feel the difference rather than just being talked at.

3. Be More Conversational

Following on from our previous point, to keep your audience engaged switch to a more conversational style.

Ultimately, you want your audience to feel included and empowered to take part in the event.

After all, this is when the magic happens and learning spreads.

One way to give your audience a voice is using Q&As throughout the event, encouraging your audience to actively take part in the discussion; speakers can ask members of the audience what their thoughts are.

On the other hand, consider an “ask me anything” segment at the end of the event, where people in the audience can ask speakers whatever questions they have.

Doing this will give people a deeper understanding into topics that may have been unclear during the event itself. 

4. Consider the Environment 

If you didn’t already know, the environment where your event takes place will contribute to how much the audience will engage and participate.

Starting with the basics, evidence suggests people will perform better when simple needs are met, such as a warm room (but not too warm) and if there’s snacks and water available.

According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, these are the elements necessary for happiness, and the more happy your audience is, the more comfortable they will feel to relax and open up during the event.

The Takeaway

The key takeaway here is that you can effectively boost audience engagement during events by actively involving them - the event is for them after all.

Of course there are many other ways that you can increase engagement, but these 4 tips above are a good place to start and create an epic event experience that benefits both parties - you and your audience.

To learn more, get in touch with us today.

This blog was produced in collaboration with OTL Creations and HAR (UK)

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