April 05, 2019 Boring Conference No More
6 ways to make your conference worthwhile going to/more engaging by our Conference & Audiovisual team Paul & Ryan!
According to numerous studies, the human concentration span is no longer than 20 minutes. This means that no matter how relevant or interesting all the talks or speaking slots are, it is impossible to maintain your audience’s attention for a couple of hours without shaking things up a little bit.

So how can you ensure that your conference is as engaging as possible? What can you do to ensure you maintain your audience’s attention, keep them engaged, focused and utterly entertained? At the end of the day we know what when the audience leaves an event on ‘a high’, with a certain ‘buzz factor’, that is where results are achieved, whether leaving a lasting impression, spurring on word of mouth, or fuelling motivation.

Here are the 6 ways you are able to make your conference one to remember!
1.        Bring in the professionals to create a branded audiovisual set-up and experience.

The audiovisual set-up at a conference is often used to bring a brand to life. By audiovisual we mean anything to do with what you can hear and what you can see in the main conference area, breakout areas as well as lunches, coffee breaks and should also transpose to any evening events. So here we are talking about staging, lighting, props, sound, entertainment and the invaluable technical expertise that takes place behind the scenes. Properly representing your brand and shaping how your attendees, partners and sponsors remember it, is not only valuable for engaging your audience during the conference, but the audiovisual experience has the potential to evoke a true emotional connection with your brand.

2.        Don`t make the sessions a boring, lengthy lecture!
Mix it up a little bit. Break up the more informative sessions with entertaining ones so as to maintain crowd focus. If needs be, obtain support or advice on shaping your agenda before publishing it. During the sessions try and find ways in which to create a two way communication flow as this is also key to engagement. Using interactive software such as that for crowd polling for example can really stimulate the crowd.

Here are a couple of types of sessions that you could adopt to ensure your programme is as engaging as possible. A good mix is key:

a.        Short, keynote style sessions
b.        Ice-breakers
c.        Panel discussions
d.        Group Workshops
e.        Speed networking
f.        discussion groups or breakout sessions
3.        Choose the right speakers and moderator!

The speakers could literally make or kill your conference vibe. Speakers should be properly trained in public speaking with a healthy dose of passion and humour injected into their session. But we know this is not always the case. Do invest some time and reviewing speeches with your speakers or bring in support to help them both with the delivery as well as with the presentation. They should get their point across in little time and in the most effective manner using an accompanying audiovisual presentation which ticks all the right boxes. When it comes to presentation, lots of blank space, large attractive fonts and good imagery. Keep it short short, short, engaging and to the point!

The moderator is usually an underestimated role in many conferences. The moderator is not only a person who introduces the speaker. A good moderator can make the conference an unforgettable experience. The moderator also has to coordinate the speakers in terms of how their presentations flow, facilitate the discussion, avoid overlap, help ensure the conference programme stays on track and run Q&As.
4.        Throw in an engaging energizer/ice breaker

Whether your audience are colleagues or do not know each other, a great morning energiser prior to beginning the sessions is a great idea to break the ice and allows the crowd to feel engaged from the get-go, starting off the day on ‘a high’ sets the pace for the rest of the day. Also, strategically placed energisers in between conference sessions is an injection of adrenaline which helps to clear minds for further concentration in the coming sessions.

5.        Conference environment – make them feel comfortable

Here are some ideas:

- Backgroud Music, Ambient Lighting on walk in and breaks, Logo and welcome up on Main Screen
- Greet People as they arrive or enter the conference space. Having a hostess to greet them at conference entrance is great, or use cool audio visual effects… there are also a few cool tech and digital options available today 
- Make sure the air-conditioning system and ventilation is in working order. It can get really hot under the lights, especially for the presenters on stage. Filament lamps dissipate 50% of their energy into heat.
- Get original with your networking areas. Ex: make your coffee break in an intimate area where people can feel at ease speaking with each other and come up with an original idea to get them talking

6.        0 downtime, bring in the good techies = flawless delivery baby!

An audiovisual run-through prior to the conference is absolutely necessary.

- Audio - Make sure everyone can hear everything clearly, from anywhere inside the room. The PA system must be selected carefully depending on the venue, dimensions and number of attendees
- Visuals - Make sure the presentation is visible from everywhere, especially the main screen.
- Lighting - First make sure the stage is well-lit. Create the appropriate ambience, changing it up with lighting at different times throughout the day`s schedule.
- Personnel - Bring in the good techies who know what they are doing, make the persons presenting on stage feel totally at ease and this will allow you to have 0 downtime and flawless delivery without a glitch.  100 points!
Drop us a line on av@jugsmalta.com if you would like us to blow your mind with our conference and audiovisual set-ups