One of the most important ways you can measure the success of your conference is by understanding the engagement levels of attendees at your conference event. Poor engagement levels indicate that your attendees weren’t actively engaged and therefore, may not have taken on the information you were presenting to them.

There’s no denying that often conference events can be very information-heavy and involve a lot more listening than doing. However, at our events company, we are strong believers in the most successful conference events being the ones that truly consider and optimise the attendee’s experience.

In this blog, we’ll talk you through some of our conference organisers’ favourite ways to enhance the attendee experience at your conference event, improving engagement. From entertainment to new technology, we will discuss lots of ways to elevate your conference event and ensure optimal attendee engagement ensuring you both hit your personal ROIs.

Delegates watching speaker at corporate conferencing event, managed by our conference organisers.

Why Should I Consider Making My Conference More Engaging

Without attendees you don’t have a conference event, therefore, you need to ensure that you’re creating an event that fulfils their personal ROIs.

Attending an event costs time and money for attendees, so they want to be sure that by attending your event they will benefit. These benefits could include gaining more knowledge and insight or creating a larger network.

To ensure you are setting your future conference events up for success, you’ll want to ensure that your conference builds up a group of attendees who really benefit from your conference event.

Therefore, one of the critical things you want to consider when planning your conference event is that you are marketing your event to the right audience. This is because if you market to the wrong audience, they will likely be the least engaged at your conference event, as the event information and topic may be irrelevant or uninteresting to them.

Furthermore, by having engaging, interactive and fun elements to your conference event, you are creating an event that will be talked about, recommended and shared on social media. You’ll create inspired attendees who will immediately want to book to attend your next event.

Whether you’re engaging with employees, consumer audiences, partners or business customers, attending a face-to-face conference is one of the best ways to immediately improve their engagement and ability to retain information. 75% of B2B marketers believe that in-person events are the most effective marketing tool, with over 50% of marketers believe that one-on-one interaction at events helps to build relationships and furthers an organisation’s business goals.

Employees at conferencing event we organised. We supplied all the conferences services necessary to create a successful event

10 Ways To Make Your Conference More Engaging

As you can see above we have highlighted multiple reasons WHY you need to ensure your conference event is engaging. Now we want to tell you HOW to make this happen! As an events company we have been creating engaging, corporate conference events for years, and we know a trick or two to maximise your attendee’s engagement.

Below we have listed 10 of our favourite ways to elevate your conference event and generate more delegate engagement.

1. Immersive Theming

Break the mould with your conference event and add immersive theming to your conference venue space.

Now more than ever organisers are working to create visually inspiring events! Long gone are the days when the most creative decorations in the conference would be a branded T-board. In 2022 we are embracing a new era of creative event theming, regardless of the event.

We have already seen corporate environments incorporate this idea of immersive theming into their head offices, with lots of insta-worthy photo opportunities, colour, cool lighting and carefully created chill-out zones. Therefore, as conference organisers, we believe you should apply this same design principle when creating your conferencing event.

We supply a wide range of off-the-shelf themes as well as having a creative design team ready to design and install bespoke themes. Therefore, our team is able to work with you to curate a conference space that is visually inspiring to delegates.

Often conference events have multiple different areas, therefore, we recommend theming each of these areas slightly differently to encourage the right kind of behaviours from your attendees. For example, in a space where you want to encourage networking, use seating that groups people together. Create open spaces and apply a theme that will encourage guests to talk to one another.

Computer aided design showing circus themed circular bar, food outlets and venue dressing. Created for client.

2. Entertainment

There are so many ways you can utilise entertainment at different stages of your conference event to help engage attendees. Below are some opportunities where you can use entertainment to engage as well as some specific entertainment we think would work really well!

Enterting the event

This is where your attendees form their very first impressions of your event- therefore you want it to be good! Why not consider:

Whilst networking

You want to ensure that entertainment whilst networking is none-intrusive but also encourages conversation, some options we recommend are:

To break up the day

There will be lots of talks and presentations going on on stage throughout the day and we think it’s a great idea to also break up the day by having some entertainment performing on stage. Some of the options we suggest are:

Guests watching projection mapping conference presentation

3. Break Out Spaces

One great way to keep attendees engaged and feeling their best is by creating multiple different inspiring break-out spaces where they can choose to go before or after speeches or presentations.

You can create spaces with big tables and open planning to encourage conversation, or you can create spaces that have informal seating and tables to allow people to write up notes or check in on emails.

We would also suggest ensuring there are complimentary drinks and snacks delegates can help themselves to. These spaces will be the spaces where delegates take time to collect themselves before the next presentation as well as catch up with other delegates so they need to be comfortable and welcoming.

Branded Conference Event Production we created for a private client in Milton Keynes, UK.

4. Event Technology

There are so many ways you can incorporate event technology into your conference event to encourage engagement. From Apps to interactive maps, live streaming to live poles, Q&As and digital business cards.

The best way to centralise all of this technology is through an event app. These can be custom-built to ensure they offer exactly the services you want. Furthermore, they are an excellent tool you can use post-event to monitor and track engagement at your conference event.

In this app you can add in the running order of the day, allowing attendees to highlight and add to their personal agenda the talks that they would like to attend. You can also build in an interactive map of your event, letting attendees see what is going on and where to ensure they don’t miss anything.

Our partners who build our event apps are also able to incorporate digital business cards into the app, allowing attendees to scan another attendee’s QR code to save their information for conversations they may want to have together in the future.

Furthermore, with the opportunity to submit questions through the app and vote on live polls, attendees will be able to easily engage with multiple different elements of your event.

Event technology services for conference events.

5. Fun Catering

Running a full-day conference event means that at some point your attendees are going to be hungry and want something to eat. Why not use this as an opportunity to dive more engagement by offering some fun and creative catering options for your guests to experience.

Whether you opt for a variety of different food trucks offering a wide range of different catering, or perhaps some engaging dessert options such as candyfloss machines, rolled ice cream or even bubble waffles.

You might also want to consider having mixology-style mocktails on offer at your event, allowing your guests to shake their very own mocktails to enjoy.

Caterers setting up for delegates meal at conference event.

6. Fun Networking Opportunities

One great way of creating a fun networking opportunity throughout your event is by creating a leader board to track the top networkers at the event. Using your event app we can create a digital leaderboard at your event showing who has networked the most throughout your conference event. You could then look at rewarding the top networkers with prizes.

Another great way to encourage networking is by allowing guests to create a list of attendees they would like to network with through the app- almost like a professional Tinder.

You can also incorporate teamwork and team-building challenges where attendees are put into different groups and set tasks they must complete with the top team winning a prize.

All of the above ideas are great ways you can encourage engagement and networking throughout your event.

Delegates creating giant domino structure as part of a team building activity planned by our conference organisers.

7. Engaging Visuals

Please please please let’s not just rely on bog-standard PowerPoint presentations as visual aids throughout your conference event.

There are so many ways you can incorporate inspiring and engaging visuals throughout your conference event that will elevate your attendee’s experience. Some of our favourites include:

  • LED Screens with state-of-the-art videos
  • Interactive screens where attendees can control what comes up on the screen
  • Tap screen maps
Julia Charles Event Management Attending Saudi Entertainment and Amusement Expo and Summit.

8. Relevant Guest Speakers

One of your goals at your conference event should be to inspire and motivate your delegates, and what better way to do this than by booking an inspirational guest speaker.

Consider choosing someone who is either relevant to your industry, or someone who has achieved something incredible in their field of expertise. This is important as you want your attendees to really connect with the speaker.

Ensure that the guest speakers’ presentation is very visual, showcasing their achievements. Additionally, ensure you leave plenty of time at the end of the talk for there to be a Q&A so attendees can ask the guest lots of questions.

War Veteran Ben McBean featured as a Guest Speaker at this large scale company conference organised by our conference planners.

9. Interactive Elements

Plan your conference venue space so that there are plenty of interactive points throughout the event. Whether that’s QR codes to access exclusive information, immersive spaces to walk through and take pictures of, videos playing with headphones connected for guests to listen in on or entertainment for guests to engage with.

These need to be spread across the whole of your conference venue space to ensure that at each point of the attendee’s journey through the conference there is something that they can engage and interact with.

Interactive touch screen technology and simulators book as part of a product launches event technology solution.

10. Competitions and Giveaways

As mentioned above there are many ways that you can incorporate a competitive element into your event and they are a great way to drive engagement.

Take a look at your conference event and see what behaviours you want your attendees to exhibit and how they match up with your ROIs and then look at how you can build competitions around these to encourage that behaviour.

This is a great engagement opportunity for both the conference organiser and the attendee as both targets get something out of it and who doesn’t love a competitor!

Above we have outlined just a few of the tools we use to create an engaging and successful conference event which we hope you will find useful when organising your own engaging conference.

If you would like help organising your conference or would like to speak to one of our conference organisers about how we can drive engagement at your conference event then get in touch with our team.

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