Meeting and event design is entering a disruptive era. It’s gone from putting the spotlight on the stage – the result of passive and static meetings – to designing interactive and participatory experiences.

Why? On one hand, we know – as demonstrated by the pyramid of learning  - that we only remember between 5 and 20% of any new knowledge that we’ve read or has been told to us. But if we learn something by discussing it, putting it into practice or teaching it to others, we’ll retain between 50 and 90%.  And we’ll remember it for a longer period of time.
 
Hence the design of participatory events, where public opinion and the sharing of information is a growing trend. In this blog we’ve already discussed ways to help your attendees get up and out of their chairs and to share their knowledge.

But it’s not enough to just apply a methodology. The process of having your attendees interact with one another affects the entire design of the event (before, during and after). Take note of these ideas:

  • Know your audience. The first step to being able to encourage participation is to know who your guests are, where they are based, what means they use to get information, if they use social networks or not…This way you’ll better know what types of messages and in what communicative tone are the most appropriate for addressing them.  

  • Say “goodbye” to theory and “hello” to practice. Why do professionals continue going to events, if in many cases, they can follow them from their homes or offices by streaming? Because they are seeking experiences. So forget about conferences based on a PowerPoint presentation and include practical sessions and dynamic activities in which the audience can interact.

  • Create a story for your event. Make the most of the power of storytelling to capture the attention and emotions of your guests. If they see themselves reflected in the story that’s behind the program, it will undoubtedly make them more involved throughout the entire meeting.

  • Keep what they want in mind. How? By asking before designing the event, what type of content they want to see, as well as what they do and don’t expect from this meeting.  If previous editions of the same event were already held, it’ll be very useful to know the opinion of those who attended them in order to improve weaknesses and enhance what most attracted audience attention.
  • You’re counting on them: Let them know. From the very beginning of the event, make sure to communicate – through the presenter or other speakers – what opportunities there will be for participation, such as open discussions, surveys, workshops, etc.
  • Look for an innovative space. Where you choose to hold your event affects your guests. Their creativity and productivity can be stimulated by an inspiring location. So you must find a meeting site that offers flexible spaces that will facilitate networking and provide the latest technology.

    At NH Hotel group we believe in creating inspiring, memorable events that will help you to achieve the highest success. That’s why our hotels are equipped with the most advanced technology to create High Impact Events & High performance Meetings that help transform your business by generating the highest level of engagement with your employees and customers.
  • Encourage their participation. You can reward the audience’s participation by giving gifts, organizing giveaways of products or services from your sponsors, etc.... Sometimes any outside incentive, however small, will be motivating.
  • Extend the conversation. Social networks, webinars, informal meetings ... these serve as the loudspeaker for sharing the participants’ ideas. On Twitter, be sure to create a unique hashtag before the event in order to unify the conversation. And retweet the best ideas. Also, respond if questions or comments are posed directly to the event organizer, whether they’re complaints or thanks ... Another way to feed the conversation is by creating content after the event such as videos with speakers or articles that summarize the best ideas.

You already know that the exchange of information and ideas among participants is one of the primary reasons for the existence of events and meetings. And there are many ways to encourage your guests to interact. Just don’t hesitate to incorporate these ideas from the beginning the next time you are faced with planning an event.

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