Last Updated on May 16, 2023
Make your next big event unforgettable with these interactive conference ideas
Think back to your years in school. The teacher stood in front of the class, lectured on a subject, you took notes, and then class was over. You also may have taken a nap at some point, too.
But what about the classes where teachers got more hands-on? The classes where your teacher encouraged participation, healthy debate, and conducting experiments. You probably left those classes feeling energized with a much better understanding of the lessons.
Don’t forget how those two different teaching styles made you feel in school as you brainstorm interactive conference ideas for your next event.
It’s too easy for conferences to rely on that same long lecture format. Interactive conferences, however, provide an experience for attendees. They listen, learn, talk, ask questions, network, and get involved in the presentations—before, during, and after.
Digital marketing expert Jeff Bullas has said that “digital interaction at offline events is now the norm, with conference organizers embracing the intersection between technology and audience engagement.” If you want to host sold-out interactive conferences that leave attendees amazed and satisfied, you can’t afford not to incorporate digital and social media into your event strategy.
If you’re under pressure to increase attendee engagement at conferences, see what Everwall can do to keep your clients and their customers happy. Start your social media wall today.
Host industry-leading events with these 10 interactive conference ideas
One of the best ways to bring these ideas to fruition is by using a social media wall, like Everwall. You can place digital displays throughout your conference space and engage your attendees with a real-time, fully customizable social media wall.
1. Get hashtagging
If you’re hosting a big event with many different sessions and events, hashtags can help bring everything together in an organized way on social media. For example, have a unique hashtag for each talk or presentation so discussions can continue online beyond the allotted time. Include the hashtags in conference materials so discussions can start before your guests ever arrive.
2. Improve the Q&A panels
Give your panelists time to prepare and request that attendees submit questions in advance on social media using your conference hashtag or a hashtag for the session. You could also allow attendees to vote up the questions that they’re the most interested in.
3. Use live polling
Your audience wants to interact, but in big rooms with a lot of people, that can feel next to impossible. Leverage live polling technology to let attendees answer questions and provide your speakers with real-time feedback from the whole audience.
4. Speed networking
One significant perk of attending a conference is networking with peers, so make it easy for your attendees to get started. Even before the first session, host a speed networking event that has individuals coming face to face for 3 to 5 minutes. It seems silly, but it helps more people meet in a shorter amount of time and gives them an idea of who they may want to speak with more during the conference.
5. Host a scavenger hunt
Another fun interactive conference ideas is to create a scavenger hunt. Attendees can look for various items or landmarks throughout your venue (helping them take full advantage of all your offerings) and post photos on Instagram or Twitter with a scavenger hunt hashtag as proof of what they’ve found.
6. Make it easy for speakers to take questions
Speakers love to take questions at the end of their presentations, but that usually involves someone straining to yell out a question or you running around the auditorium with a handheld mic. Let attendees submit questions right from their seats and watch them pop up on your social media wall—making it easy for you or the speaker to choose and answer questions.
7. Create discussion tables
Speakers share important knowledge during conferences, but the experience of attendees themselves should be leveraged as well. Divide an audience into groups of about 5 to 8 people and provide each group with a topic to discuss for about 10 minutes. At the end of the time, mix up the tables and topics and do it again. Each group can Tweet poignant comments or ideas that can end up on the social wall for everyone to consider.
8. Award engagement
With Everwall, your social media wall will have a real-time leaderboard of the most engaged attendees. Let folks know that the top 3 most-engaged individuals during the duration of the conference will receive big prizes at the end.
9. Encourage movement
Conferences can be filled with a lot of sitting. Give attendees pedometers and encourage them to walk the venue (and surrounding area) to get a certain amount of steps per day. This can also be an excellent advertisement opportunity for one of your sponsors. Find a way to celebrate the person with the highest step count
Digital is so essential in a successful interactive conference, but it can also be nice to completely disconnect for a bit. Host one session outside that doesn’t involve any electronics. Ask attendees leave their phones and laptops inside and encourage everyone to disconnect and engage in person fully.
People in almost every industry have plenty of conference options to choose from. It’s going to take more than a big advertising budget to sell out your events. Once you have your interactive conference ideas, get to work implementing them. If you do it right, your past attendees will become your biggest promoters and spread the word about how valuable they found the experience.
Use Everwall and start increasing engagement at all of your events, with little tech-savvy required on your part. If you have a web browser, a computer and access to the internet, you can display your Everwall. iPad only? We support that, too. Start your social media wall today.
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