The Secrets Behind Conference Engagement

by Adrian Segar

So you’re holding a conference. How are you going to get your audience tuned in and engaged?

I recently shared my thoughts on this topic on an episode of the weekly #EventIcons interview with good friend and host Brandt Krueger. Our hour together was packed with useful information, so feel free to watch the whole thing (scroll down to view the video) or check out the timeline below for the main themes we discussed.

Enjoy!

3:00 Adrian tells the unlikely story of how he got into the events industry.

8:10 What would Adrian be doing if he wasn’t in the events industry?

9:10 The one driving passion shared by so many event professionals.

10:10 Why event planners and stakeholders should care about engagement.

11:20 Why traditional meetings don’t meet attendee needs very well.

12:10 How building participation into meetings creates engagement that significantly improves learning, connection, and outcomes.

14:20 Why lectures are so ineffective.

15:50 How to work with speakers and attendees who are introverts.

18:50 How to create a safe environment for attendees to share, learn, and connect.

20:15 An explanatory journey through the stages of participant-driven and participation-rich meetings that use the Conferences That Work model.

26:30 The positive aspects of supporting engagement at events, and the neglected need to evaluate events’ long-term impact.

29:10 The value of incorporating white space into events and several ways to do it.

34:50 How to work with speakers to make sessions more participatory.

37:20 How to market participant-driven conferences.

42:30 Three examples of simple participation techniques you can use to improve meetings: body voting, large facilitated fishbowl discussions, and The Solution Room.

50:30 The biggest mistake meeting planners make when attempting to improve participation and engagement.

54:30 Where to find all kinds of ideas about meeting design — and Adrian’s next book on crowdsourcing events.

The Secrets Behind Conference Engagement – #EventIcons Episode 70

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A belated thanks to @ASegar for a great chat yesterday. If you plan conferences – his book + blog are among the best.

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