(And What to Do About It)
As the event planner, your job is to engage and excite your guests throughout the entire event cycle. Virtual events, corporate events, social events, and everything in between need to be fun, provide value and create positive experiences. So, how can you tell if your event guests are bored or are losing interest? And more importantly, what can you do about it? Keep reading. These are the event engagement tips every event planner needs to have on hand.
Identify When Guests Are Losing Interest
Be mindful of how your event guests are acting and reacting from the moment they arrive through to when they leave. And this applies to virtual events, as well. Be observant of non-verbal cues as well as actual hums of disinterest.
- Is there a lot of yawning going on throughout the audience?
- Does the audience appear restless in their seats?
- Are your guests paying attention to the keynote speakers?
- Do attendees seem interested in booths or exhibitors?
- Are guests interacting or asking questions?
- Are attendees on the dance floor or having fun with the event entertainer?
Keep an eye on your audiences to gauge whether or not they are engaging as intended. And if you spot more than a couple of people losing interest, you can step into change things up for better engagement.
Suggest a Break
If your corporate event or conference has guests in their seats longer than you anticipated, suggest a break time. Step in or coordinate with the emcee to announce a break between speakers or sessions, so guests can stretch and refresh. They’ll check their emails and make quick calls. They’ll be able to get some fresh oxygen to their brains and refill their drinks. And they will return more alert, ready to engage again.
Open a Q&A Session
If your event has stage presentations or guest speakers, you might be able to open up an impromptu Q&A session to break up the monotony. If your attendees seem to be losing interest, opening up the floor for audience questions can be a great way to re-engage them with your speakers or presenters.
Take a Food and Beverage Hiatus
If you see that guests are running low on drinks or feel they’re starting to get hungry, don’t be afraid to break for snacks and refills. You might not be able to move up your official meal service too early, but you can certainly provide guests with a ten or 15-minute break to enjoy an hors d'oeuvre or grab a beverage.
Lights and Audiovisual Adjustments
Sometimes, if the lights are dimmed, and the guests are seated for extended periods of time, it can make people drowsy. Make it much easier for them to stay engaged and alert by making improvements to your event brightness and sound aesthetics. Consider bringing the lights back up during breaks and recesses, too, as an added boost to the refresh.
Introduce Upbeat Music
Another great way to get people back on track is with music. Dial them back into having fun again with a popular track or song that gets the toes tapping. Even if your event isn’t centered on a DJ or live band, you can use upbeat music between event segments to inspire a little boogie and excitement.
Games and Contests
Keep some cool swag or prizes set aside for impromptu games, drawings, or contests. If your event guests are looking bored, jumping in to do a quick game or drawing a few random names for prizes can help re-engage them in a hurry. People get excited at the prospect of being a winner, even if the prizes or awards aren’t over-the-top gifts.
Dedicated Networking Breaks
If you’re hosting a corporate event, product launch, or company celebration, consider instituting dedicated networking breaks. Sprinkling a few opportunities for speed mingling will keep the audience moving and talking. And it can ensure everyone meets new colleagues or spends time conversing with other guests.
What are some of your best tips and tricks for livening up a bored-looking event crowd? Keep these insights in your back pocket so that when you encounter a few yawns, you know precisely what to do to get everyone back on track.
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