Nothing kills an event environment faster than a room full of yawning wallflowers who aren’t inspired to engage. As an event planner, you’re not only responsible for curating the event environment. You’re also in charge of all the must-have attendee engagement elements and details that inspire guests to get out of their seats. Here are insights to help break the ice, encourage mingling, and invite attendees to do more than just sit there. After all, when they’re having fun, it means the event is a success.
1. Use Event Layout to Your Advantage
Work with your New York venue to create a layout of your event space that is conducive to networking, mingling, and movement. Sure, you might need to have seated areas for presentations and dinner service. But there should also be open areas where people feel comfortable standing and talking. Also, place interactive elements strategically throughout the space, including coffee stations, food lines, and bar service.
2. Choose Your Music Wisely
Selecting the right musical elements for your New York event will make or break the atmosphere. From soloists and chamber musicians as background performers to upbeat, DJ-spun soul-stirrers, stage your music introductions thoughtfully throughout the duration of the event. For example, after a stage presentation or speaker, get the upbeat music going to inspire guests to mingle, get out of their seats, and enjoy the break. And after dinner, guests will jump out of their seats to hit the dance floor with just the right song.
3. Avoid Prolonged Sitting with the Itinerary
Review your event itinerary and look for any prolonged segments where guests are seated. Corporate events and conferences often have stage presenters and special guest speakers, for example. Be mindful to incorporate breaks and entertainment elements in between those speaker moments so guests aren’t stuck in the chair for any prolonged periods of time. The longer they sit, the more tired and unenergized they become. Break things up and keep them moving.
4. Introduce People
If you’re planning a business event that intends to serve as a networking opportunity, you’ll need to take steps to help break the ice with introductions. You can help introduce attendees either as announcements or in casual conversation. And consider deputizing key members of your team to mingle with the crowd, helping to make introductions, and encouraging networking.
5. Provide Networking Lounges
You’ll find many guests don’t prefer the upbeat energy of a large crowd. But you can create networking lounges and segmented venue spaces that invite attendees to gather in smaller numbers to network and converse. Fireside chats and plush lounge chairs provide a more relaxing atmosphere that is appealing to guests who want to step away from the mainstream event excitement.
6. Make Sure the Entertainment Is Entertaining
Here’s the thing. If you’re not doing your homework and booking the best entertainment, you just won’t have an entertaining event. Look for multi-sensory and multi-layered experiences you can incorporate, from the front door to the final farewell. Yes, DJs and live bands are great. But you can also look to other experiential performers, including comedians, magicians, pianists, and artists. Bring in the interactive tech, too, like photo booths, video stations, AR, and VR activities. Use games and contests to get guests out of their seats and eager to explore all the “things to do” at your New York event.
Hopefully, you’re inspired by these strategies for attendee engagement, and you can tap into new ideas for getting guests out of their seats. Boost excitement and energy and ensure every event you curate is an over-the-top success story.
Speaking of fun and excitement, get your tickets now for The Event Planner Expo 2023 right here in New York City! It’s going to be a powerhouse conference for anyone in the events industry. And you won’t believe who we have taking the stage this year as part of our Speaker Series. Learn more about exhibiting and securing your tickets now!