Contrary to what people believe, business events are not created solely for the purpose of marketing products. For quite some time now, audience involvement has been a crucial game changer for events. With the influence of audience engagement continuously growing, opportunities for networking among participants is likewise being magnified. Event objectives and activities are only part of the reason why people take part in business events. Present-day audiences are also looking forward to expanding their current network with individuals who share their interests or have newfound knowledge and experiences to share with them.
Often times, the networking part of an event is given the least importance. What most brands and event organizers don’t realize is not all participants are comfortable mingling with people they’ve only met for the first time. Interactions simply don’t always happen naturally even during gatherings. Audience networking requires a solid structure and plan wherein the event’s objectives are met while convenience and a unique event experience are being implemented.
Transforming your event into a place where solid interpersonal connections can be built can be tricky, but this blog aims to provide a quick but thorough guide on how you can achieve that. Below are networking hacks you can employ for your next event:
Event venues affect first impressions, and first impressions determine attendee mood
A great venue can spur a positive domino effect from the beginning up to the end of your event. Excellent ambience, lots of room to move around, and locations that are easy to find help entice participants all the more. When attendees find event venues easy to navigate through, this will save them the trouble of having to go over maps or get mixed directions to the location.
Outlining your event’s venue also means choosing the perfect venue that captures what your event is all about. Whether you opt for an outdoor meeting or an in-house gathering in a prestigious banquet hall, rearranging a venue to represent your brand speaks volumes to your attendees.
Introduce your online community to your participants
Having a social media profile for your brand makes it easier to make your event known to your target audience. Let’s say your attendees really clicked during your event and both become avid followers of your brand. Wouldn’t it be nice to be the link that keeps them in touch? Using your event to drive higher traffic to your social media page is genius. When paired with your brand’s event, your attendees are presented with an exclusive community where they can engage and continue communicating with fellow attendees even after the end of your event.
Break your attendees out of boredom
Yes, you have an amazing line-up of speakers, a mouth-watering assortment of appetizers and meals, and a breathtaking venue. Yet, you find participants yawning and staring off into space. If you are an attendee and you are made to sit through several seminars, or left to enjoy the event on your own and without any sort of guidance from the organizers, surely you would feel a sense of dissatisfaction. This is because the event lacks a proactive interaction from the audience. Aside from adding an element of fun, icebreakers are highly effective in making attendees feel more comfortable. Icebreakers can either be in the form of a game, a set of questions, or a creative way of having attendees introduce themselves to each other.
Incentives are great motivational factors
Networking is also a give-and-take process. You can’t take or expect something from the other party without offering something of equal value in return. When trying to persuade an audience to participate in event activities and interact with fellow participants, sometimes the best way to do so is by recognizing attendee efforts and providing them with incentives in exchange for being cooperative. When you allow them to bask in the spotlight, give them the proper credit and recognition for sharing their ideas. The higher the level of involvement audiences invest in your event, the more likely they are to share their knowledge and experiences with each other.
Maximize on shared interests of your attendees
People matching is when you pair or group your event attendees together based on things they have in common such as hobbies, interests, or niche. There are several ways by which you can execute an effective people matching activity in your event. You can have attendees fill out a survey prior to the event to help you sort and group all the answers. Then, on the day of the event, you can have seats arranged based on which attendees share common interests. Another example would be C2 Montreal’s Brain Dating Lounge. There were matchmakers present during the event and they assisted attendees in finding fellow participants who match their areas of expertise and interest. On the other hand, the Micepad app lets you create introductions for both your participants and your speakers. With customized profiles, attendees gain just the right amount of information they need. It likewise helps make it easier for them to find individuals they would want to interact with.
Event Apps customize your event for it to adhere to audience demand
The beauty of using event apps lies in the wide array of networking features you can choose from for your event. For starters, event apps help make communication quicker and easier. There are apps that can be integrated to social media channels, thereby enabling faster exchange of social media profiles among attendees. Some event apps employ QR codes to assign unique name badges to attendees and help them exchange contact information in a jiffy. One-on-one private messaging and group chats drive higher audience involvement and more in-depth networking while your event is ongoing.
Events that highlight the significance of audience interaction become great sources of valuable learning experiences. Next time you intend to hold an event, keep these simple hacks in mind. Who knows, your event might just be the starting point of a massive and triumphant partnership!