READ TIME: 2 minutes
It’s no secret that attendees who are engaged at meetings retain information more effectively than those who aren’t. In addition, engaged attendees are much more likely to walk away from a meeting or event feeling like they gained something of value. However, it is increasingly difficult for meeting planners to create environments that foster engagement. Finding unique ways to get our attendees involved is the key to creating events that are exceptional and keep your clients coming back meeting after meeting.
Four Creative Ways to Create Engaging Meetings
The 8 X 8
The 8 X 8 format involves inviting eight speakers to make some sort of presentation, whether it’s sharing an experience or answering a question, in an eight-minute time period. The idea is that your attendees benefit from hearing from a number of different people in a short amount of time, allowing them to absorb and learn a lot in just over an hour. Short eight-minute presentations are perfect for combating the short attention spans that can make planning engaging sessions a challenge.
Learn Before You Go
Using a Learn Before You Go format can be incredibly useful for meetings that are covering a technical or scientific subject matter. In this format, attendees are asked to learn the specifics of the information before the meeting. Once the meeting begins, instead of dwelling on the details, the presenter can focus on engaging with the audience directly and having insightful conversations about the application of the subject matter.
The challenge with Learn Before You Go sessions, of course, is getting attendees to take the time to learn the information in advance. Offering some sort of incentive is a fantastic way to encourage attendees to do the necessary learning.
Another creative way to encourage attendees at a session to get involved is to hand out clickers, and ask your attendees to click when the speaker shares something they like or agree with or brings up a topic they want to know more about. Not only will this get attendees involved, it can also help the presenter know if they are on-target in terms of the subject matter they are presenting on. Just make sure to prep your speaker for this in advance!
This format will allow you to take advantage of the unique experience and professional expertise each one of your attendees brings to the event. Start by dividing your attendees up into groups of three, and designate two of the people in the group to be “consultants” and one to be the “client”. The client will explain an ongoing challenge they are having to the consultants. Then, the consultants will discuss the challenge and potential solutions with each other, while the client sits back and listens to their thought process and what they have to say. Once the exercise is complete, the roles switch and it starts over again.