I look back on the halcyon days when everyone in the audience would give you their undivided attention. The days when your computer was desk bound, a tablet was something you took with water and a mobile phone was for making calls.
Now we positively encourage people to text, tweet and interact with us. It also means they are doing email, writing reports, it means we don’t have their undivided attention – we have to work for it!
Our event for some can be an office with free lunch. Who knows they my look up if something interesting happens, though only if it’s of interest.
Now we want interaction, we want to speak to each other and we want our views and voices to be part of the debate, to be included in the action. As a Professional Event Host, I have 3 ideas that might just help to bring your event to life:
Change the Format:
Why have a conventional stage? Why not set the venue so that your speakers work in the round or from different stages in within the auditorium? It helps people to feel engaged and part of the action. Whatever will happen next and from where?
Your audience should not be asked to be silent for more than 15 minutes at a time. Ask them to interact, ask them for feedback, set them a relevant question for them to discuss with each other or at the very least open up to a quick fire question and answer session. It enables people to feel part of it, that their voice is being heard and most importantly it helps people to remember and consolidate your key message.
Short and Sharp:
Keep your keynote speakers to 15 minutes. If they need longer, break their session up so they speak throughout the event rather than for a long time. It will make them feel more like an integral part of it rather than an abstract section and enables them to connect with the theme and key message of the whole event.
There is an enormous investment made in time, money and resource goes into creating great business events. The ones who are achieving the greatest results are the creative, the inspirational and most of all the ones who encourage us to talk to each other and feel part of it.