August 27, 2019
By Caroline Howard

Events are all about attendee engagement, and planners are constantly trying to come up with new ideas to engage attendees. You can add in-app polling or a social wall, but as the planner, you know it goes much further than that. If you want to really engage attendees and get them talking to each other, about your event, etc., then you need something that really stands out.

Sometimes it might seem impossible to get your attendees talking if the room is stiff and everyone's keeping to themselves. To solve this problem, I've compiled a list of five ideas to incorporate into your next event. These ideas can be customized for any event and be used at any scale.

The best way to understand your attendees is to listen and these interactive ideas prompt your attendees to do the talking, which is good for everyone.

Try one of these ideas to engage attendees at your next event

Comparison Wall

This is a great way to find out what your attendees find important. You could have a comparison wall for anything. For example, if you want to find out what their event "must haves" are versus their "nice-to-haves" you could have a wall just like this one. This is a smart way to get the conversation going about things you might not have realized or may have overlooked.

3-D Polling

Attendee feedback is critical to understanding what your attendees need from you and what they might not be getting. There are plenty of different types of polling options, like in a mobile app or a survey, but this 3-D version gives a unique perspective. By having it be interactive at the event like this, the results are quite literally right in front of you. You can't avoid the results.

Happiness Dispenser

Who doesn't love feeling good? This dispenser idea is perfect for anything, whether it be happy thoughts, statistics, or motivational quotes. Your attendees are sure to love the convenience and creativity of this idea. This is also a strong push for posting on social media, so try including a hashtag and your social accounts on the cards, that way they'll appear in every picture posted.

Conversation Wall

The best way to have a meaningful conversation is to listen. This wall gives your attendees the ability to control the conversation, which is quite powerful. Schedule a time during your event to go through each card and talk about them with your attendees. Your attendees will feel more connected to you and the event because of it.

Question Wall

This is another way to hear directly from your attendees and understand them better. The example below is a creative way to ask questions by having your guests color code their answers which is different than asking open-ended questions. Here you are in control and are asking them to categorize the way things make them feel. This type of feedback may surprise you.

Try one of these ideas to engage attendees at your next event and share the results on social media!

Caroline Howard

Northern Virginia native turned southerner at The University of South Carolina. My skills include planning 4,000 attendee corporate events and then blogging about them. My friends always ask where I am, because when I'm not behind my laptop writing, I'm off exploring new places like Cuba and Spain.
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