Great Expectations: Keep Your Attendees’ Attention

Great Expectations: Keep Your Attendees’ Attention

You’ve got them in the door; now it’s time to keep them tuned in. Here are a few ideas to keep your meeting attendees engaged.

In today’s world of lightning-speed information overload and constantly pinging electronic devices, static meeting sessions that drag out over several hours likely won’t keep anyone engaged for long. These four ideas are sure to grab attendees’ attention and create a better and more memorable experience.

Schedule short follow-up sessions. After lengthy seminars, schedule short, smaller sessions with participants and speakers to discuss what they learned. This quasi-social setting will allow them time to download and reflect on the content and encourage networking while staying on-topic.

Stop talking, and do it. Instead of a speaker droning on about a topic, create a hands-on project or set up learning stations around the room. Whether the topic is building a budget or brainstorming a discussion, rather than talking about it, put them to work and capitalize on the face-to-face environment they’ve paid to be a part of.

Try live polling. Want to know if your audience is listening? Ask them a question. But forget “a show of hands,” and have them either text or tweet their answer. A program like Poll Everywhere will provide instant feedback within a presentation in real time. Ask multiple- choice or open-ended questions to inspire lively debate.

Hash it out. Attendees are likely posting their thoughts and photos on social media during any meeting. Give them a head start by providing hashtags to use when discussing topics on Twitter, Instagram or others. Keep the hashtag going after the event to continue the conversation.

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