Staying focussed during a meeting, talk or conference isn’t always easy. Your invitees all lead busy lives and there will be a hundred and one things buzzing round their minds while your speaker delivers their content. So what can organisers do to ensure they capture the imaginations of their delegates and keep them engaged during their event? Here at Regent’s we’ve seen every trick in the book – here’s the best of the bunch.
Early buy-in and face-to-face
It’s always a good idea to keep in regular contact with everyone who’s RSVPed that they’re coming. Building anticipation with email and social media teasers is a good way to help build a relationship with guests before the event itself, which in turn will help cement their commitment on the day. If numbers permit, making this relationship as personal as possible is of a huge advantage, as is making sure the person from your organising team your guests have had contact with is there to meet and greet on the day.
Food and drink isn’t just an important way to show your attendees that you appreciate them coming to your event. Organisers should view event catering as the fuel your delegates need to perform their best. Healthy meals with lots of veg and not too many carbs will help even out your guests’ energy throughout the day and good quality teas, coffees and soft drinks at regular intervals will act as a great pick-me-up when sugars are low.
If you’re taking staff out of the office for a meeting, there’s little point taking them to a drab space that provides no atmosphere or buzz. Whether you opt for somewhere green and lush to give your guests space to start thinking outside of the proverbial box, or you choose a venue packed with modern art and interesting architectural features to inspire creativity, just make sure your venue offers something special.
Create a challenge
We all need to be pushed outside of our comfort zones in order to achieve our best. Keeping invitees on their toes with impromptu, interactive elements of a meeting or conference will ensure everyone is concentrating (perhaps for fear of being exposed for not listening!) and is ready to participate at any given moment. Ice-breaker games are also a good way to kick off proceedings as this can shift the hierarchy of a group of colleagues which is great for keeping all parties wanting to prove themselves.
There are undoubtedly lots of things you’ll want to get done at your event, but remember, you’re going to lose your audience if you push them too hard and expect too much from them. Plenty of refreshment breaks, fresh air and networking opportunities will help keep spirits up and ultimately create a more engaged audience.
Save the best until last
There’s no way you can keep invitees engaged if they’ve gone home early. To help make sure everyone stays at your event to the very end, keep back either your best speaker until the last slot, or perhaps offer your attendees a drinks and canapés reception at the end of the day to say thanks for coming. (If your budget will stretch, a goodie bag never hurts, either. Just remember to leave them in view to tantalise your guests!)
What we have to offer
Regent’s is set in beautiful, private grounds within Regent’s Park, giving guests a sense of escapism with the convenience of a tube station a few minutes’ walk away. Our caterers have a wide range of packages that will suit all of your food and drinks needs, plus they are happy to create bespoke menus if you need. If you have any questions or want to contact us to discuss your next project, please give the Events Team a call on +44(0) 20 7487 7540.