Conference attendees may often attend several business events across the year. To ensure that your upcoming conference stands out and leaves a lasting impression, we got some expert tips from the professionals! Dee Nicholas and the team at CIS Event Management have been creating exceptional event experiences for over 10 years all over Australia. We were thrilled to catch up with Dee to get her top tips on how to increase delegate engagement and how to provide your guests with a truly memorable experience.
What do your attendees want? Just ask.
Don’t take a stab at it – go straight to the source to find out what is going to excite and delight your attendees. Engagement, education and networking are all important but a pre-event survey is a great way to identify what your staff want to see in terms of relevant content. Post event surveys from previous events are also a great way to identify any improvement areas (and these can be administered fairly easily through an electronic system such as Survey Monkey).
Create a comfortable environment
Add a personal touch to your conference set up with comfortable lounge areas. Couches and coffee tables help create a relaxed environment for your delegates to unwind and refresh pre and post conference and on breaks. Free Wi-Fi, charging stations and a range of industry relevant magazines are some great added touches that your attendees will appreciate.
Creating an amazing ‘offsite’ event experience at a local landmark venue can be a really exciting addition to a conference. Where delegates have travelled overseas or interstate, it is a nice touch to include an ‘offsite’ event at a different location that showcases local culture and flavours.
Boost team morale by including interactive team building activities throughout your conference. There are so many unique options these days and by surveying your delegates pre and post event, you will be able to identify what style of activities best suits the group demographics.
Conference programs can be pretty intense for delegates (‘information overload!’) so it’s always a great idea to add an outdoor component. Whether you choose to organise a team challenge in a local park or if you are able to host your working lunch outside – your delegates will be reinvigorated by the fresh air. For something different, why not schedule some ‘walking meetings’ as part of your program (this is great for short sessions with small groups or one on one meetings).
Inspire your delegates by including collaborative feature art piece such as a mural or a mood board that delegates can contribute to throughout the conference. Get the creative juices flowing by leaving art supplies, textas, fabrics etc. for your guests to make their mark on.
Food stations and buffets are a fantastic, social way of dining that will increase interaction. Add a little fun to your catering with food station themes or elaborate styling features. Don’t forget when selecting your menu to keep healthy options in to avoid the mid afternoon slump.
Mix up your format
Break up back to back presentations and encourage conversation with some different program formats including panel discussions, live Q&A sessions, debates or ‘fish bowl’ group discussions.
If you want your next business event to make an impact, contact the team of business event professionals at CIS Event Management today.