People remember events not much for what they saw at the site itself but for the takeaways or the feelings that are left with them after. Events that involve large groups (as with an assembly or conference) that are unforgettable are those involve collaboration, an exchange of ideas and insights, speaking out and sharing knowledge, or those that have plenty of questions asked and answered.
You can set up a gathering, throw in some standard entertainment, and call it an event. But what will make it more valuable is the impact it makes on the attendees — if it is something that makes them think and discover something fresh about themselves, the people around them, and their environment. As an event organizer, your goal in such gatherings is to make sure people are participating and are engaged to give their share of the knowledge or energy to occasion.
Why Does It Need To Be Interactive?
Meetings that have a light and positive activities are important to the general atmosphere of your event. This is also critical for follow-ups. There are many benefits to introducing lots of interaction in a large group.
For the participants, it helps boost the mood so people are more welcome to new teachings and directives. It also helps foster teamwork and feed the need for learning. If participants are happy and relaxed, they are more open to listening and sharing. Meanwhile, for organizational leaders, fun interaction can mean repeat business. People will definitely tell others how much they enjoyed your activities and this can lead to additional bookings. Positive group activities also have higher return rates.
Here are some tips on how you can make your next large meeting fun and interactive.
- Interactive icebreakers
The moment attendees step in, the right mood should already be set in place. Choose a theme that is both aesthetically pleasing and will help steer their ideas towards a reasonable direction. Turn participants into active and motivated attendees from the minute they enter. So-called “talking icebreakers” are a great way to loosen people up when they arrive. For example, if the topic of the meeting is “nutrition,” you can ask people what their favorite vegetable is and why the moment they step in.
- Cafe set up
You can position several cafe-style tables and chairs all over the room, and then split the attendees up into small groups to discuss specific topics. After a while, ask everyone to switch tables (nobody should be left at the same table) so they can get to meet new people and share insights with them, too.
- Start a digital discussion
One good way to encourage interaction is to start at a venue everyone is likely familiar with — the Internet. When you want to make sure that people will definitely have something to talk about when they meet, you can get a head start by setting up online discussion boards.
Because you will be handling a large event, it will be impossible to get each person’s idea out, but an online board will allow them to post what they think without having to deal with “stage fright.” This forum can start before the actual event and can even go on after when attendees have finally met in person and have gotten comfortable.
- Create polls
Presenting data at meetings can be boring, but you can bring life to it by introducing polls. It is fun to organize activities that seek public opinion. Give guests multiple choice questions before showing the data so they will anticipate the release of the actual result. You can also set up sessions where attendees can vote live to them them totally engaged as the activities are unfolding.
- Get creative
When things are starting to turn dull, sometimes a little dance can help turn things around. Teach attendees a flash mob move at the start of the conference and then tell them to be ready to bust it out when they hear the music play, which can happen anytime. You can give out an award for the best dancers or best, most synchronized teams. This is great activity for attendees to shake out and make connections. Plus, it’s super fun.
To make the onsite experience positive, you have to make sure that all elements of a successful gathering are there. Is the venue comfortable? Do people have enough food and drinks? Are there enough clean restrooms? Is the audio clear? There are the factors that you should consider before injecting these fun activities. If the basics aren’t met, you’ll likely meet resistance — and your efforts for an interactive and lively event will be wasted.