How to Improve Participants Engagement at your Event

When creating event’s concept, it is very important for the organizer to place particular attention on the event’s environment because this aspect is closely related and influence the participants’ engagement – challenging task particularly for the on-line events

Escapism, or, the feeling of being there (at the place we intend to invite, bring the participant) is the part of the experience that influence the participant’s engagement with event’s content. In context of experience design, escapism is one characteristic that, if organizers dedicate particular attention during the event design phase, it will help them to improve interaction with the audience.

When addressing escapism during the meeting design, organizers need to know that this refers to event’s characteristics that will stimulate active participation during the event alongside with particular level of immersion to the event’s content. To create escapist experience as such supporting the participants to engage with the content, one should consider the following two questions:

  1. What should i encourage guests to do in order to become active participants?
  2. What could trigger, cause them to go from one sense of reality to another and how to make it happen?

Practical example

Nowadays, due to COVID – 19 pandemics, we are frequently participate at on-line events. Webinars, seminars, training where we often witnessed switched off cameras, muted microphones and blank chat box when moderator asks the audience to respond the questions or comment the subject. On this occasion, organizers could asked themselves: what could i introduce as part of the event to make these people get out of their comfort zones, sitting back at home and only passively participate in the event and turn on the camera and stay with me for an hour or so?

Photo by Mathew Henry from Burst

One solution is introducing a quiz – questions related with the main subject of the event as tool for encouraging guests to play and become active participants in the learning process. This format is also called gamification – when people are progressing in their learning towards the desirable goal by playing game and leveling up their progress. For the gamification to be successful, the organizers could introduce small prize or recognition as such encouraging competition among the participants. There are on-line platforms for staging on-line and hybrid events that allows introduction of gamification as part of the event’s agenda as such making the whole event more fun,engaging and attractive. Quiz-polls are also good idea for events with larger audience (more then 50 participants).

Breaks and their potential

Well design breaks are good potential for audience engagement apart of the fact that this is excellent time for them sipping their cup of coffee (or tea). Breaks can be slightly longer and organizers can introduce random networking sessions between the participants or very short yoga class for mindful breathing. Furthermore, breaks could be well used for addressing some topic which is not neccessaraly related with the event’s agenda. “Throwing-in” unrelated content could be nice intermezzo for our brains focused on learning and information during the session before. Worldwide, organizers are introducing short tutorials from professional make-up artist or free advises from professional fitness trainer in the video stream during the breaks.

Escapism is very important aspect in experience design for your next event. It determines to what extent your event’s participants will move from one context (their home sofa, office desk etc.) to the context in which you are inviting them to come (on-line session, venue etc.) and listen and engage with event.

What you are doing to encourage your event’s participants to engage with the event’s content ?