What comes to mind when you think of a corporate event or meeting? Maybe it’s awkward, boring sessions where someone talks at you for way too long. Maybe it’s swag bags full of branded pens and notebooks that will get shoved in a desk drawer as soon as your back in the office. Maybe you think of typing tons of notes, only to forget or ignore any of the information discussed. We’ve all been there, and these types of situations are, unfortunately, all too common at corporate meetings and gatherings. With that in mind, it’s no wonder that employees, guests, and meeting attendees tune out and aren’t really engaged at these types of corporate events. If you want to host an event that attendees will actually benefit from, remember, and enjoy, then you have to kick it up a notch. We’ve got some tips to help you boost engagement and success at your next corporate event.
1. Use live polls or chats.
Almost everyone has a smartphone nowadays. Chances are they’re probably pulling it out to check Facebook or email during your presentation anyways, so why not make the most of it? Having a live poll during a corporate meeting, presentation or training event, gives attendees something other to do than be passive listeners. It can provide in-the-moment feedback for speakers and presenters and allows audience members to weigh in or ask questions without being disruptive or put on the spot. Plus, it can even provide valuable insights and ideas for your next event, social media, or blog posts.
2. Give virtual event bags.
Does anyone actually need more branded tote bags, pens, and notepads? While these are common items in goodie bags and at vendor booths during corporate events, fundraisers, and conferences, they’re likely just causing clutter on attendees’ desks (or being thrown in the garbage can). Plus, you can’t really track the ROI of the swag you’re distributing. Why not try “virtual” event bags with online/digital promo codes, gift cards, sponsors, and more! Not only is it less wasteful and more sustainable, but it also allows you to see what items attendees are clicking on, encourages engagement on your online platforms, and integrates more technology into your team meeting or corporate event. Plus, attendees will appreciate something a little more unique and useful than another notebook.
3. Plan games and contests.
Everyone has a little bit of a competitive streak in them. Tapping into that can help increase engagement at your event. Who doesn’t love winning a prize of some kind — even if it’s just bragging rights? Getting people active via a game or contest of some kind encourages them to listen, network, and interact with other attendees. For example, you can give everyone a bingo card with common industry buzzwords or phrases they’re likely to hear during the event or put tables in teams and have them complete a variety of fun scavenger hunt-type tasks throughout the event with prizes for the winning participants. Plus, these hands-on, fun activities can create some photo-worthy moments, which can then be shared on social and encourage engagement that way.
4. Partner with influencers.
Almost every industry has influencers and thought-leaders of some kind. Invite them to speak or participate at your corporate event, conference, or meeting. They’ll likely bring a wide, engaged social and in-person audience that will naturally boost engagement at your company’s event. Plus, they’ll offer a unique point-of-view and valuable insights that will get people talking and keep them interested.
5. Allow time for collaboration and discussion.
As you’re planning the schedule for your next company meeting, conference, or corporate fundraising event, be sure you’re leaving time open for discussion and collaboration among guests. Everyone needs a break from sitting and listening. Small group discussions, team-building activities, and one-on-one sessions or demonstrations encourage networking and mingling, allow guests to get involved, and are oftentimes more valuable and productive than large group presentations.
6. Be engaging.
No one likes to be the first one to talk or break the ice. The best way to encourage engagement is to actually be engaging. That process starts long before you even schedule a corporate event, and continues long after the event is over. It’s up to you, as the meeting planner or host, to get your guests excited, interested, and participating, and to hold that engagement throughout the process. You can do that through a series of emails, social posts, advertisements, push notifications, and other marketing tactics. Depending on the type of corporate event or conference you’re hosting, you can tag and feature guests, keynote speakers, presenters, and donors across social channels and marketing materials to help encourage comments, shares, and likes. As more people start to tune into what you’re saying, be quick to respond and keep the conversation going!
Planning a corporate event in Southern California?
If you’re gearing up for your next corporate gathering in the Anaheim area — be it a company training event, team meeting, holiday party, or conference — we’d love to be a part of it. Our flexible meeting space convenient location just moments away from some of SoCal’s top destinations — including Disneyland® Resort and the Anaheim Convention Center — make us the perfect meeting location for you and your guests. Plus, we have all the audio-visual equipment and catering options you need to make your event a smashing success.
Want to learn more? Connect with one of our awesome meeting planners!
PS: Ask about how you can get a free Disneyland® Resort getaway, just for booking a meeting with us!