How to Make Your Event Interactive

Audience participation is key to any successful event

Springtime is typically our busiest season. Outdoor concerts, graduations, corporate events and we even take on the occasional wedding if our schedule allows it. As one of the largest event providers for New Hampshire we’re constantly looking for ways to make each event a success. Time and time again, we’ve found that the key to a successful event is an engaged audience. Below are some tips to add spark to your event.

Social Media
Set up your event’s hashtags well in advance of the event to promote the event, generate excitement and more importantly make sure that it’s not already in use. For example, while #hpevent might be the go-to choice if your company’s name is Holiday Pictures, you might be aghast to learn that the hashtag is associated with Harry Potter, Hewlitt Packard and even dance competitions. With some quick research and a little creativity, you can generate a hashtag that guests will enjoy using and you can track the specific hashtag in real-time using free resources like Tagboard.

Remember: even the largest corporations with boundless access to consultants and experts aren’t spared from major PR gaffes. Look no further than the latest controversies surrounding Pepsi and Nivea that angered enough consumers to blast the brands on social media. Your event producers or live event production company should be well aware of your hashtag to advise on anything you may have overlooked and they may even offer insights into keeping the hashtag alive post-event.

Technology
While Audience Response Systems (ARS) and Text/App Polls can be fun to integrate into your event, don’t rely on your guests’ smartphones to give your event a sense of participation. If your budget allows, consider renting an interactive touchscreen or several of them. Not only can it serve as digital signage for you and your sponsors, but touchscreens have limitless potential: surveys, registration, pictures, schedule, trivia, information and beyond.

Just be careful that the touchscreens don’t detract from your speakers and message. Your event professionals can work with you on its placement to ensure the technology serves as an enhancement. Should technology like a touchscreen not be possible for your event, consult with your event professionals on alternative ways to promote guest involvement. For example, they can help you set up a text number for crowd polling to gauge levels of understanding or opinion polls.

Face time
No, not the smartphone type of Facetime. Real face-to-face interaction. After all, what’s the point of organizing an event if people aren’t going to talk and listen with one another? Simple solutions: discussion table sessions, breakout groups with facilitators or even the old-fashioned practice of passing a microphone around for audience questions. If for whatever reason, your event cannot accommodate any of these experiences, then carve out time for lunch or dinner.

Remember: No successful event has ever taken place where guests just sit back and listen for 4 hours straight. In working with your event professionals, they’ll help you find the perfect audience engagement solutions that are tailored to your needs.