How to create engaging conference content

Anyone planning a conference, corporate event or meeting knows the importance of keeping delegates engaged. We live in an interactive and stimulating world. Events should inspire us.

But, how?

Conference content can often be overlooked during the event planning process. Whether it's a last-minute change of speaker, subject, or presentation style - there are a number of factors that can lead to delegate disengagement.

Sound familiar?

We've created a foolproof guide to creating conference content to engage delegates and deliver business messages.

Conference management will never be the same again!

The problem

UK research suggests that one the biggest factors that cause events to fail is a lack of effective communication. Another major factor leading to unsuccessful events, according to Eventbrite, is a lack of creativity.

From an over-reliance on Powerpoint and uninspired delivery, to bland content and a rushed pace - there are many ways that a lack of effective communication and creativity can turn conference content sour.

Spark your creativity with our best tips, tricks and ideas to keep your audience engaged and your conference successful:

1. #socialmedia

The entire world uses it every single day, so it makes sense to use it's magnetic pull for an event, right? Right.

Social media is a tool that is:

  • Interactive
  • Easy to use
  • Lots of fun!

What better way to get delegates actively engaged and involved with your conference content?

Along with it's promotional power for pre and post-event purposes, social media is a surefire way to ramp up your conference content and get people talking.

Here are some of the best ways to use social media during your event:

  • Live feed: ensure delegates remain alert with a live social feed to encourage interaction throughout the day. From live polls to Q&As, competitions, updates, and activities - a live feed can provide a base for all digital activity throughout the day. As well as providing engagement and entertainment, this will give delegates a voice, and reassure them that they are being listened to.
  • Photo opportunities: with 24 million users, Instagram is one of the most popular social media networks to date. Use this to your advantage! Aesthetically pleasing decor makes for the perfect Instagram post - so not only do you have delegates, but promoters too! Create intended spaces and unique content to impress and surprise delegates. So much so that, well, they HAVE to share it!

2. We need to talk...

Whilst speaker slots may be an essential part of your conference, they don't have to take up the entire event. There's no bigger killjoy than to have to sit and listen at all day. No interaction, no activities, just talking.

Fostering communication and encouraging connections is a guaranteed way to create a positive atmosphere that puts everyone in an open and receptive mood.

Plan quality time for delegates to talk, network and engage with each other. From attractive chill-out areas to small group seminars, mentoring, ice-breakers and workshops, this is a crucial part of your conference management.

Check out our Ultimate Conference Checklist for more expert conference management guidance.

3. Work the room!

Let's face it, the reliance on Powerpoint has led to a growing dependency on slides to do your talking for you.

The fact is, they don't.

Even the jazziest graphics won’t distract from the fact that you're reading information from a screen. Even worse, your audience is likely to get distracted if you're repeating what is right in front of them.

Mix things up, get excited, move, walk, pace – work the room. Encourage audience participation, play with their emotions. Surprise them, make them laugh, cry, shout for joy. Approach themes from unexpected angles and keep your audience guessing. Do away with boring infographics and use slides to support your talk, not the other way round.

4. Feet not seats

Get participants moving!

We all know that sitting in one position is bad for our health and wellbeing. Use interactive activities and use various spaces throughout the day to ensure your attendees move around and have some fun.

As well as keeping everyone engaged, networking opportunities will be boosted whilst stimulating those all-important feel-good endorphins.

5. Refreshed and rejuvenated

Your entire event should prioritise your delegates. Nothing is more important than their experience, as this is what they will associate with your brand.

What would you expect, or want, from an event as a delegate?

From versatile food options, to water supplies and thoughtful heating control - it's important to create a comfortable environment for delegates. Even with the best programme in the world, if your participants' needs are neglected, this will be highlighted in the feedback.

Think realistically about the pace of the day. Slide-based presentations work better if they are shorter and lead to a more in-depth discussion. This can be achieved through interactive methods such as seminars and Q and As.

Similarly, lunch breaks too late in the day can ruin the flow of the entire programme. Early lunches however, are guaranteed to result in a sluggish and unproductive afternoon. A rhythmic pace with a variety of activities, adequate coffee breaks and a refreshing, tasty lunch is the balance that should be aimed for.

To find out more about how we can help you with your conference management, contact us today.