Organising a successful conference involves more than just planning the logistics. It’s important to create an engaging environment that encourages active participation from both attendees and speakers. By implementing effective strategies, you can enhance the conference experience and ensure everyone feels involved and valued!
In this week’s blog, our expert event coordinators at Salomons Estate explore three key strategies for engaging conference attendees and speakers: pre-event communication and networking, interactive sessions and activities, and post-event surveys and follow-ups.
Pre-event Communication and Networking
Before the conference even begins, it’s crucial to establish channels of communication and facilitate networking opportunities among attendees and speakers. This can be achieved through the following methods:
Email and Social Media
Send out regular updates and reminders about the conference via email and social media platforms. Provide relevant information such as the agenda, session details, and any pre-conference materials. Encourage attendees and speakers to connect with each other through these channels, fostering a sense of community and anticipation.
Online Forums and Discussion Boards
Create dedicated online forums or discussion boards where attendees and speakers can interact and exchange ideas before the event. This allows for networking and collaboration to start well in advance, generating excitement and building relationships!
Organise informal pre-event meetups or networking sessions in the local area for attendees and speakers who are already in town. This provides an opportunity for early connections to be made and for participants to feel more comfortable and familiar with each other before the conference begins.
Interactive Sessions and Activities
Engaging conference sessions and activities are essential for capturing the attention and interest of attendees and speakers.
Here are some effective ways to make your sessions more interactive:
Panel Discussions and Q&A Sessions
Incorporate panel discussions into your conference programme, allowing attendees to hear from experts and engage in interactive Q&A sessions. Encourage audience participation by collecting questions in advance or using live polling tools during the session.
Workshops and Hands-on Activities
Offer workshops and hands-on activities that allow attendees to actively participate and learn new skills. These sessions provide a more immersive experience and promote engagement through practical application and group collaboration.
Networking Breaks and Social Events
Schedule regular networking breaks and social events throughout the conference to facilitate connections and foster a sense of community. These informal settings encourage attendees and speakers to engage in meaningful conversations and establish valuable professional relationships.
Post-event Surveys and Follow-ups
The engagement doesn’t end when the conference concludes! Following up with attendees and speakers is important to gather feedback and maintain the connections established during the event.
Consider the following post-event strategies:
- Surveys and Feedback Forms: Send out post-event surveys and feedback forms to gather insights on attendees’ experiences and suggestions for improvement. This feedback can help shape future conferences and demonstrate that their opinions are valued.
- Continued Communication: Maintain communication with attendees and speakers through newsletters, email updates, or online communities. Share relevant resources, session recordings, and upcoming event announcements to keep the conversation going and nurture ongoing engagement.
- Networking Opportunities: Provide post-event networking opportunities, such as online forums or networking events, where attendees and speakers can continue to connect and collaborate. This encourages long-term engagement and strengthens the professional network established during the conference.
Engaging conference attendees and speakers is crucial for creating a memorable and valuable conference experience. By implementing effective strategies like pre-event communication and networking, interactive sessions and activities, and post-event surveys and follow-ups, you can boost engagement and foster a sense of community among participants.
Remember, an engaged and satisfied audience leads to a successful conference and lays the foundation for future events.
We have a team of experts ready to assist you! As one of Tunbridge Wells’ top conference and events venues, we provide a range of flexible packages that can accommodate anywhere from 8 to 350 guests.
Our coordinators will be there to help you with everything, from advising on room setup and the number of breakout sessions to planning menus and conducting sound tests. They will guide you through each stage of the process, as our ultimate goal is to ensure that you host an exceptional conference.