Keep your event engaging!

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 19th October 2015

If you’re struggling to make your business events a success keep in mind these TOP FIVE TIPS to maximise attendance and keep your audience engaged.

Tip 1:  Create a drawcard

Give your audience something else they can take away from your event, add value!

Whilst you no doubt have a central business message to communicate it’s important to remember everyone loves to have a bit of fun when they attend an event!   Using a celebrity, a musician or a motivational speaker will help to boost your audience numbers and make sure people show-up.

Ciaran Gribbin, lead singer of INXS, at a recent business event for WBP Property

Consider businesses like Rock and Roll Team Building who deliver fun unique high energy music experiences for corporate events.  The business is lead by INXS lead singer Ciaran Gribbin.  They can perform at any size event and offer very reasonably priced event modules.  Or, use an engaging speaker like Lynne Schinella who runs workshops to make long term behavioural changes in your business and can also double as your event MC.  Give your audience another reason to attend!

Tip 2:  Communicate effectively

Keep your event purpose top of mind amongst your target audience!

Ensure your event invitation is well designed.  An image speaks a thousand words so use an engaging image accompanied by a few well thought out words to peek people’s interest.  An interesting contemporary email invitation clearly articulating the purpose of your event is essential to getting you on the road to success.  Online email communication tools like MailChimp are easy to use as well as being low cost.

Your email invitation should link to a website where your target guest can find out more information about the event such as where it is, time, dress code in addition to detail about the agenda and purpose of the event.  Consider how your target guest will perceive the information and consider how they will will answer this question – “what will I get out of attending this event?”.

Finally, send one or two reminders in the lead-up to the event, keep the communication interesting by drip feed information about the speakers and agenda.

Tip 3:  Make it easy to register & reconfirm

Reconfirming their commitment to attend goes along way to guarantee you have everyone in the room!

Use an online registration tool, there are many on the market which are easy to use and either free or available at low cost.  Eventbrite is a good one to consider. Using an online registration system will ensure you efficiently keep track of your RSVP’s and enable you to gather other important information about your guest e.g. their specific interest in the event, or specific interest in your business/product etc.

Ensure sure you also re-confirm with your audience 24-48 hours before the event that they are registered to attend.  This can be done via a simple text message, email or even a phone call.  No-one likes no-shows and it can be costly if your expected audience is 30% down because people just can’t be bothered to attend at the last minute.

Tip 4:  Choose the right venue

Make sure your venue is all about quality and offers high standards of service and exceptional catering. 

A great venue goes along way to ensure your event is a success. It doesn’t have to be five star to be quality.  Hotel chains such as Accor and Rydges have a large range of very affordable hotels around Australia that are great choices for events.

Most importantly, think through the logistics surrounding your event, this is a critical step to success.  Does the venue have enough parking?  What will your audience experience on arrival and who will greet them and where?  Is the venue easy to find?  Every single little detail counts and a well thought through event stands above one that has been pulled together without any thought.

Finally, don’t forget about your presentations and audio visual.  Pay attention to the quality of your on screen presentations, sound, appearance of your stage, lighting etc.  Make your presentations look contemporary and don’t make your speakers experience death by Powerpoint!

Tip 5:  Survey your audience

Feedback!  Everyone needs feedback. 

Make sure you continually improve your business events by surveying your audience after the every single event. The information you will gather is invaluable.

Easy to use online tools like SurveyMonkey are excellent. Consider your guests experience – ask what they liked and what they didn’t like then make improvements for next time and stick to something that works.

At the same time, don’t forget to say ‘thanks for coming along’, everyone is time poor these days so a little note of thanks, again with a powerful image, can go along way!

Nicole White, Freelance Event Director & Consultant 

E:  M:  0412 912 966