Providing meaningful ways for your audience to engage is how you take your event from ordinary to extraordinary! Event engagement is all about the attendee experience, which is rooted in the guest’s interactions and being immersed in the space, with the goal of leaving them feeling inspired. Event engagements are an invitation for participation, they create a dialogue between the guest and the host, and encourage attendees to engage with the environment, the content and other guests.
Attendees will feel more motivated to participate when your event engagements are unique and meaningful. To create more meaningful engagements at your event, consider the following:
Define the Purpose of the Engagement
Fostering engagement at an event requires intention. Engagements exist for a purpose, they are not just cool to be cool. It’s important to ensure the engagement is intentional and something that your attendees will love to do! Some questions to answer when strategizing your engagement include:
- How will the engagement fit into the theme of the event?
- What is the objective or desired outcome for the specific engagement?
- How will attendees participate in the activity?
- What value will the engagement bring us?
- What value will the engagement offer attendees?
- Is the activity something attendees will want to participate in?
When these questions are answered, it will become clear how the engagement should play out. The engagement, reinforced by purpose, should play into the guest’s interests as well as the goals of the event. When engagements are mutually beneficial to both parties, you have succeeded.
Identify Audience Motivation
Each audience member will engage in different ways because of varying motivations. To put it simply, different people are motivated to participate by different things. Creators, conversationalists, critics, collectors, joiners, spectators and inactive participants all participate but the way in which they participate will vary. This means that there is no one size fits all approach to event engagement. It is beneficial to understand each type of person and provide ways for each to participate in a way that is comfortable to them. When you offer multiple ways to engage, you will empower each guest to participate!
Encourage Participation Through Interaction
A simple way to encourage participation is by inviting people to engage! The guest not only wants to be a part of the experience, they want to see themselves reflected in the experience too. Once the attendees participate, reinforce their engagement through interaction and feedback. When you acknowledge the guest, you will build trust with them. This will promote continued participation from the attendee and from other guests.
This tactic can easily be practiced in virtual or hybrid events by inviting people to participate in the chat. When they add to the conversation, mention the attendee’s names and the value they are bringing to the engagement. When you do this it will create a two way dialogue, give them public recognition and will reinforce their engagement.
Make the Engagement Accessible to All
When creating a meaningful engagement, consider how you can make the engagement accessible to everybody and for every body. Think about how the guests will access your event, will they be on their phone, a computer or in person? Consider what that looks like for each attendee. Think about those who have disabilities, the hearing or vision impaired, those with different cultural backgrounds, belief systems or people who are located in different time zones. Make sure they are able to participate in a way that is optimized specifically for them. The key here is to be as inclusive as possible in these engagements, it may take some troubleshooting but your guests will appreciate the time you took to create a space for them at your event.
Sustainability has become a hot topic, and rightfully so. People today don’t like things that create unnecessary waste. When considering how to create meaningful engagements that are also sustainable, you have to be thoughtful and use smart design. Play around with material items that can be reused or recycled. One of our favorite ways to do this is by creating artwork that lives on long after the event is complete. Or if you are handing out grab bags, make sure the goods are ethically sourced, sustainably made and most importantly something the attendee will actually use! Let’s take care of our planet by considering the environmental footprint of our event activations!
Considering purpose, identifying audience motivation, creating interaction, providing accessibility and practicing sustainability will help you to create meaningful event engagements that will not only delight guests, but also promote your event’s goals. Keeping guests on top of mind in activation is critical. With some strategy and intention it can be mutually beneficial to both you and your guests!
BeEvents is a guest centric design agency. We create events for the people experiencing them. If you need help strategizing your event to maximize meaningful engagement, we would be delighted to guide you!