6 WAYS THAT YOU CAN INCREASE EVENT ENGAGEMENT
How much thought do you put into curating your event experience?
Recently I was on sunny Gold Coast, Australia attending the Nextra Conference for a client and scouting conference locations for another.
This got me thinking about curating experiences! Theming our events, from the smallest events to the biggest events
Did you know that “Experience” is the highest offering in economic value? Commodities, Goods, Services, Experiences. It’s here that we differentiate!
When people attend events, regardless of whether it's an intimate sit down dinner with your top clients or whether it is a 1000 person conference, we really need to think about how do we curate the experience for the people in the room.
Here are 6 ways that you can curate experiences...
Things to think about are; what type of event we are delivering? Who is in the room? What outcome do we want to achieve?
Events such as a workshop or training seminar will need bright lights and tables. A fundraiser or Gala dinner will need food, drinks, and entertainment. A personal development event must take into account the mental health and wellbeing of its participants and allow time and space for growth and reflection.
What will people see, hear, smell, taste, and feel? Answering these questions enables us to style the room in a manner that gives our participants the best possible experience and gives the organiser the best possible outcome and ROI.
Music is phenomenal for creating atmosphere. Music can lift the mood and also drop the mood. It’s a fantastic way engage our audience; “thinking music” when people are thinking or doing written exercises, “up-beat” music during breaks or physical exercise, a DJ or music act during a fundraiser or Gala, “mood setting” music upon entry to the event and background music to prevent dead air.
Music is also great to facilitate re-engagement with the presenter, turn the music on during exercises and turn the music off to bring attention back to the front of the room. Sudden silence works much better than raising your voice or clapping your hands or even “shushing” the room to get attention.
Something people rarely think about is smell. Have you noticed that wherever you are in the world, Subway always smells the same? That’s not an accident. Subway releases a specific smell so that we always know we are at a Subway. Just like Subway it is possible for us to create a scent for our events.
By using diffusers and essential oils we can create a scent based room atmosphere. Essential oils can increase concentration, memory, mood and lift or drop energy. They are also a great memory trigger. It is possible to have a scent created especially for your events.
Deciding whether or not to cater your event is a big decision. Plus do you self-cater, get an external caterer, or use venue catering? Food can be great way to “bribe” people to come along but it can also make or break your event. Catering adds to expenses and requires an added level of organisation. Another thing to think about is that food can make your audience tired as they will go into a “rest and digest” state after eating. Being aware of this can empower you to make the right food choices and allow for longer break times.
If you choose to cater your event be aware of dietary requirements and cut-off ticket purchase in time to brief your caterer on the number of attendees to cater for.
Finding a venue that will create the best atmosphere for your event outcomes is key. Working with the same venue makes it easier for you, for your attendees and for the venue managers.
However, more and more people are starting to look for unique venues or venue transformations to add an extra “cool” factor to their events? Popular choices are car parks or car dealerships, outdoor movie theatres and theme parks. Think outside the box, if the venue is listed as an “event venue” then it’s not unique.
How do we increase the energy of the room and how do we drop the energy in the room? Creating an ebb and flow of energy will help create an engaging environment. As human beings we can’t always be high energy or consistently low energy. Understanding human phycology and curating the energy flow to anchor experience will ensure that your event is memorable. Plus, working toward our desired outcomes by creating comfort and discomfort can help us and our audience gets the best results.
Trust this has got you thinking about how you too can increase and improve the experience your audience has at your events. As always, it’s a pleasure to share your #Eventologist Journey!