Combine fun with focus at your event
How do you bring the fun into your online event without losing the focus on your key messages and it becoming a distraction?
Clients have really had to step out of their comfort zones when transforming their face-to-face event into an online event. Conferences, awards and meetings, which may have been delivered the same way for years, have HAD to evolve to survive the transition. Moving to online has, in some ways, been like breathing fresh air into the same old tired event format. Now is the perfect time to guide your client that smidge further out of their comfort zone!
On our previous blog, Are your audience in the room?, we shared some ideas about how to maximise your platform and use third party apps to really engage your audience with the content.
Now, why not sneak in some fun elements for your attendees too?
If your attendees are having fun, it is more likely that they will stay engaged for the duration of the event. And fun doesn’t need to mean you are taking the focus away from your key messages – there are ways to combine them both effectively. Here are some great ways to do this!
During the pandemic technology has developed at a rapid pace, so the ideas below really only scratch the surface. Some will require more investment while others are free.
Most people love an element of competition and can make even the most switched-off attendee alert again.
Previously associated with event apps, gamification has evolved into the online event world as well. Grab audience attention and get them involved with some simple, effective ideas.
- Wheel of names. Use these for presenting essential information in a more engaging way to adding some fun with prize draws
- Why not use a quiz to introduce a new topic, gauge knowledge levels or just have some fun? Accumulate points throughout the event and end with some recognition. Crowdpurr has numerous quiz and trivia options that your delegates access via a web-based app
- Set up a game of virtual bingo. See who can call ‘House’ first with a bingo of company values/industry acronyms/get to know the leadership team or just something more lighthearted. Try My Free Bingo Cards to customise to your theme or message
Lots of companies which offer gamification tools and apps will be have a cost associated, however many will have free entry-level options as well.
The power of social
Pretty much everyone is on social these days and most events have a hashtag. Why not capitalise on this?
- A social wall, such as SocialWallPro, can be embedded into your event platform so people can see the tweets and posts generated during the event
- There is also a leader-board option so you could offer prizes for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place tweeters
- You can apply filters around hashtags, media and retweets to tailor what the app counts towards the tally
- Brand and customise your wall from the variety of templates and displays to choose from
- Analytics are provided post-event so you can measure your engagement
SocialWallPro has various options and packages available to suit the complexity and budget of your event.
Let’s get visual
Involve your delegates in making the most of visuals and imagery. This also adds a real element of fun to the event and if people are having fun they are more likely to be engaged.
- During the breaks why not open a photobooth – participants can create photos and gifs, branded, use e-props etc. Photos and gifs can then download and to be used on their social media, which in turn further increases the reach of your event
- You can also use participants' photos to produce a mosaic of an image pertinent to your organisation, i.e., your logo
- We have also used a live scribe to record the content and discussions at an online event. The scribe shows their work periodically through the event with the final artwork shown at the end
- Bring a whiteboard into your meeting and get creative - Miro provide easy collaboration tools for your audience. We used Miro recently to showcase where our delegates were joining in from, which worked really well
Learn something new
Involve your audience with a hands-on activity. To give you a flavour of what can be implemented, we have delivered events incorporating some of these options:
- Escape rooms - the team took part in an online escape room recently and it was a huge amount of fun, real team bonding stuff!
- Mindfulness or yoga - take some time in the programme to concentrate on wellbeing
- Cook-alongs - you can send out recipes or food hampers in advance and then cook along with the chef
- Dancing - gets the blood flowing and gets everyone out of their chairs! As they are in the privacy of their own homes people are more likely to jump around with no-one watching
- Gardening - send out some seeds and pots and have a gardening expert talk about the power of plants
- Singing - similar to dancing in that people will be more likely to participate with no-one watching! Remember to mute though!
- Tastings - wine, cheese, chocolate. You name it we can arrange it - from high end to high street
Power up your platform
We have all been on a wide variety of event hosting platforms, but after a while they might start to look a little samey. Also after a year of online events people are starting to crave seeing people again so wouldn't it be wonderful if you can replicate that online somehow?
Step into the world of AI and VR... you can set up virtual meeting rooms that look like meeting rooms. You can brand them, have outdoor space, reception lobbies signposting the different elements of your event. These options take your event to another level for the delegate experience. This really is at the higher end of your budget but might be just the thing your client is looking for.
As you can see there really are endless opportunities to be creative whatever your budget from low-spend gamification options right through to a super souped up platform interaction!
It really is an exciting time to be working on these events and seeing how willing the clients are to step outside the box. If you would like a chat with one of the team about your next event (online or in person) and suggestions we have for combining fun with focus at your next event please get in touch.