How to create an emotionally engaging corporate event
Chances are, your guests attend several corporate events throughout the year. To make sure that your event is a memorable one, you need to employ the right tools that enable you to create an engaging experience that resonates with your guests.
Emotionally engaging events all have two things in common: they’re interactive and guest-centric.
When a guest feels like they’re part of an event, they form an emotional connection to your brand. The result? Your event lives on in the hearts and minds of your attendees long after the fact. The task that lies before you is this: to make it as easy as possible for guests to interact with each other, and the event itself.
Thanks to digital innovation, creating interactive events that spark an emotional connection between attendees is easier than ever. We’ve put together a roadmap that you can use to plan and execute your most emotionally engaging event yet.
Build anticipation in the run-up to the event
Your event begins the moment you send out your ‘Save the Date’. Your goal is not only to elicit RSVPs but to instill a sense of excited anticipation. From compelling copy and emotive imagery to a superior user experience on your website and event app, all aspects of your pre-event content need to work together to dangle a proverbial carrot in front of guests. Don’t just tell guests about your event; tell them how they’ll benefit from attending. Identify the value proposition that’s unique to your event – this may be a chance to try out a new product, or to meet an industry bigwig – and then present your USP (unique selling point) in the most compelling way possible.
Make it easy for your guests to engage by making them feel at ease
In order to engage with an event, attendees need to feel comfortable. If your guests are preoccupied with navigating an agenda that’s several pages long or are left in the dark as to where to park or find the loos, they have less emotional energy to give to your event. To ensure that your guests aren’t wasting energy on familiarising themselves with event collateral, simplify the process for them.You can make use of an event app which features live updates and notifications, or, ensure that your venue is equipped with clear and frequent signage. Post updates to a digital noticeboard that’s in a central place, or on social media (making use of a dedicated event hashtag). By providing your guests with an easy way to browse event content and keep up-to-date with changes in the itinerary, you eradicate the bulk of uncertainty and stress that attendees are often (unknowingly) distracted by, giving them the headspace to focus on interacting with their peers and the event as a whole.
Take the fear out of participating by equipping guests with a stress-free way to interact
Getting up in front of a sea of strangers drives fear into even the most seasoned corporate event attendees. The result? Guests stick to themselves and are reluctant to partake in Q&As or open sessions. Help your guests feel at ease by giving them a way to interact with the event (and each other) without having to endure a roomful of eyes on them. There are multiple tools that you can employ to give your guests a nudge towards participating, the easiest of which is a mobile app. Attendees already have the device they need to participate easily – they don’t have to wait for the microphone or a keypad in order to relay their feedback.
Equip guests with tools that make creating connections easy
Thanks to our increasing dependence on our mobile phones, the majority of attendees are more at ease interacting via the device in their hands. That said, many guests regard the opportunity to network with industry peers as one of the most valuable aspects of an event. There are several things that you can to do provide guests with a way to converse easily, and as a result, enjoy a more engaging and meaningful experience. For example, make use of inclusive, physical ‘icebreakers’ to provide an entertaining means of interacting, or, incorporate a networking tool within your event’s mobile app. Depending on the type of event you’re orchestrating, you can employ one of these tactics, or better yet, both.
Create an event set-up that caters to the needs of your guests every step of the way
Your corporate event is all about your guests. I may be stating the obvious, but many events fail to take the needs of attendees into account. Before shelling out thousands on an Instagram-worthy living wall or sought-after Michelin-starred chef, make sure you’ve got the basics covered first. These include investing in a robust wifi network, easily-accessible charging stations, and designated quiet areas where guests can check email or zone out for a minute. By creating your event in a way that solves the daily challenges and frustrations of your attendees, your guests feel appreciated and included, making them far more likely to engage.
Extend the longevity of your event by incentivising feedback and further interaction
Just because your event is over doesn’t mean that attendee engagement has to come to a standstill. Capitalise on the momentum of recent interaction by encouraging guests to share their experience on your social channels in exchange for early-bird tickets to your next event, or another brand-related reward. When you show appreciation for the opinions and feedback of past attendees, you reinforce the fact that you value them – which sets your future corporate events up for success.