5 Ways to Keep Your Conference Attendees Energized
Got the Winter Blues? We feel you. When the temperature drops, thoughts of cocooning and comfort food rule. With more people working from home, attending a business event may be one of the few reasons they have to leave the house. But just moving from a home office chair to a hotel banquet chair isn’t memorable or healthy.
As event managers, we know how important it is to create a dynamic environment for our attendees. The more they engage, the more likely they are to find value in the experience. Incorporating movement into meeting design supports that goal. Here are five ways to keep participants energized.
- Make and COMMUNICATE healthy food and beverage choices for participants. Seriously. Just do it. Don’t settle for what’s on the banquet menu. But when asking a caterer to try something completely new, request a tasting if possible. Then — and this is important — explain to attendees why you chose the menu. You can do this verbally before announcing the meal is served or with placards on the table. Let them know if the ingredients were locally sourced, which items are low-fat, low-salt, etc. Labels are invaluable.
- Invite a local tour guide to provide a short walking tour before or after the meeting. A skilled tour guide can enlighten even locals by pointing out architectural details or sharing the history of a neighborhood. Tip: Just be sure to communicate to the tour guide how familiar attendees are likely to be with the area. Are most of them from out of town? Or are they locals? If the weather is chilly, have hot drinks standing by when guests return from their walk.
- Take advantage of breaks between presenters to encourage stretching exercises. Or encourage people to get up and change seats for the remainder of the day. They may grumble a bit, but changing seats just once doubles networking opportunities with those around you.
- Rethink your seating plan. We always like to make sure guests have a place to set their drinks or small plates during a reception, but they don’t always need chairs. Obviously, it’s important to have seating for those with physical limitations, but for the remainder of your guests, less can be more.
- Embrace the outdoors — and do some good. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you can’t offer an optional outdoor activity. Roast marshmallows on the patio, hold a polar dash or an indoor/outdoor scavenger hunt. Distribute branded hats and/or gloves for attendees to keep, or purchase gloves in bulk that can then be donated to a local charity post-event.
Keep moving! And keep Special D Events in mind for your next corporate meeting, conference or event. We’ll stay energized by jumping through hoops for you as our client.