Perhaps the easiest way to involve your audience members at your next event is by offering an engaging program or agenda. If your event marketing plans include interactive sessions, open mic segments, or question and answer round-tables, your audience will be better prepared with the itinerary in hand. At the same time, programs and agendas alone should never be your only method of engagement.
Especially for B2B events, interactivity is extremely important. How else can you open the sales pipeline if not through dialogue? Simply, monologues are not as successful when your objective is sales oriented. A learning environment is particularly attractive because it turns attention from the speaker and focuses instead on the listeners.
Here are twelve tips for engaging your audience:
- Ask powerful questions and don’t be afraid of an answer – let the conversation begin.
- Send questions asked of you back into the audience – recognize your audience’s expertise.
- Brainstorm together with your audience – feed off the dynamic energy of a brainstorm session.
- Demonstrate your product or service – use clients or customers if possible.
- Don’t rely on your own experience – ask the audience for examples that illustrate their individual circumstance.
- While dreaded by many, role playing and scenario problem solving can offer helpful illustrations – and keep the audience alert.
- Tell your audience a true story – stories are easier to follow than abstract theories.
- Leverage web groups, chat rooms and other viral media – this will help extend your event’s reach.
- Demonstrate the day-to-day relevance of your event topic by incorporating recent studies.
- Conduct live event polling – here’s one tool you can use for live polling.
- Provide complex data for post-event reference only – don’t bury your slides in details.
- Socialize – great business products and services will go nowhere without a network of interested prospects.