People organise events for a variety of reasons: training, networking and bringing people together, to name but a few, and the number of organisers doing so for these grounds has increased in recent years. Choosing the right venue and location are stressful enough, but on top of those concerns there are the challenges of running the right activities and engaging the guests once they come through the doors.
A soul-destroying event could spell disaster for your brand and company, but have no fear. Below are six simple ways you can supercharge your event and keep the attendees clamouring for more:
- Call In Some Content Producers
Content is huge now, so you need to hire some professional content creators to help with the content marketing of your event. This is a superb way to start telling the story of your event, get potential attendees familiar with your brand and, generally, get them enthusiastic for the event. The content contributes to the overall experience of the event. Of course, you’re creating expectations by doing this, too, so you must be sure to deliver the goods on the day.
- Encourage Social Media Use
Social media is another part of the event experience and is a way to generate excitement before the event, during it and after it. An event hashtag is a given, to help promote the event, and that can get the ball rolling, but if you’re the organiser you should keep the momentum going by encouraging discussion on social media. Ask engaging questions or introduce interesting topics, related to the themes of the conference event itself.
- Keep Things Simple
Now, your audience won’t be idiots, but you should observe a simple formula to keep them from dozing in their seats. The content should be valuable to them in some way or have a wow factor that makes them sit up and take notice. It should solve a problem, provide an answer to a question or respond to a theory or need. The content should also generate some form of emotion and be something that they want to later share with others at the event and away from it. Professional content producers can help with all of this.
- Train Speakers in Engagement Techniques
Public speaking is a skill and it takes no small amount of guts for speakers to get up there and deliver their speech or presentation. No one likes to give a tranquilising speech or stare into the eyes of attendees who are visibly bored and have grown irritable, maybe a touch hungry, too, or both.
None of that has to happen, though, if you train speakers in engagement techniques. This gets the audience more involved. The speaker can ask them questions. They can have breakout sessions. They can run activities or workshops that lend themselves to interaction. Boredom shouldn’t be an issue.
- Use audience engagement handsets
Audience engagement system handsets are useful for a simple reason: they include everyone. A lot of events use websites or apps and present polls in which the attendees can take part, but sometimes internet bandwidth issues can disrupt engagement measures like this. A handset offers more reliability and, to a certain extent, equalises attendees because no one has to be tech savvy to use them. Older members may struggle if they were to have to use their mobile phones to participate and would welcome the handsets if this is the case.
- Harness the power of analytics
How do you know if a conference is going well? A real time analytics tool can help you gauge it. Implement one of these tools and you can track how attendees are responding to your social media content. You can also have a look at any online feedback forms guests have submitted during the event. This data supplies you with valuable insight which you can use to make changes to the event as it happens or keep in mind when you hold your next event. No longer do you have to hit and hope or look on helpless as an event goes downhill.
A note on presenting at a conference event
If you happen to be one of the brave souls presenting at an event, consider hiring an expert to help you with your presentation visuals. Bullet points do add structure, fair enough, but they can be a bit boring as well, to say the least.
Meanwhile, there are presentation specialists out there who can design your presentation visuals for you. Shoddy visuals can damage your presentation and your credibility. You want to look like a professional, but poor visuals will let you down. Hiring a PowerPoint pro to give your presentation the TLC it needs to shine and keep your reputation intact.
Whether you’re running an event to train people, get people networking or just bring people together, you can minimise the stress of the endeavour by implementing the tips above. They’ll help you and your speakers to keep the attendees engaged, making it an enjoyable event for them and a successful one for you.
For more details on how to make your next event truly engaging, be sure to check out https://responsecrowd.com
NIEA Sign Ambitious Prosperity Agreement with Belfast Harbour
Environment Minister Edwin Poots MLA has signed a wide-ranging and ambitious three year Prosperity Agreement between Belfast Harbour and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA).
The agreement will see the Harbour commit to reducing CO2 emissions, reducing waste, improving air and water quality and enhancing both terrestrial and marine biodiversity.
Speaking about the 11th Prosperity Agreement signed by the NIEA, the Minister said: “This is a very ambitious agreement which is an excellent example of Green Growth in action where business can grow and prosper while creating tangible environmental improvements including reducing carbon, waste and water usage.
“The agreement will see Belfast Harbour aim for a net zero target by 2030, improve biodiversity, improve air and water quality, reduce waste and aim for zero waste to landfill. This Prosperity Agreement will also see a benefit to the marine environment and I am delighted that my officials in DAERA will work even more closely with the Harbour to enhance the marine and terrestrial habitats on their 2,000 acre site.
“Belfast Harbour will invest in environmentally friendly and renewable technologies, develop its own energy, air and sustainable procurement strategies and encourage its staff, tenants and port clients to adopt more sustainable transport and resource usage practices.”
David Dobbin, Chairman Belfast Harbour said: “Belfast Harbour’s commitment to building a truly sustainable, clean, green Port is core to our Trust Port purpose. As we operate, maintain and improve our Port and Harbour Estate, our ambition is to achieve net zero carbon emissions from our operations by 2030, to reduce pollution, and to protect and enhance our natural environment and marine diversity.
“Work to deliver this is already well underway, as we introduce electric vehicles, develop our use of renewable energy, instigate studies to better understand our marine diversity and embed sustainable development across our 2,000 acre Harbour Estate.
“We are delighted to partner with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency as we accelerate and deliver our sustainability goals. We recognise that through coalition and partnership, together we can achieve so much more. By putting people, place and the environment at the heart of our sustainable business model, Belfast Harbour is developing a clean, green port, where people and planet thrive.”
Joanne Sherwood, RSPB NI Director, added: “There has never been a more important time to invest in the protection and restoration of nature. The pandemic has served as a reminder that our economy and the health of society are dependent on a flourishing natural world: decisions taken now will have a major impact for many years to come so we welcome this commitment from Belfast Harbour.”
The Minister concluded: “It is very fitting that we are signing this agreement at the RSPB Belfast’s Window on Wildlife. This is symbolic, and demonstrates Belfast Harbour’s commitment to placing the environment and sustainability at the centre of their business and I am pleased that my Department will be working in an even closer partnership with them.
“Many businesses are already thinking green – they are already doing the right thing and reaping the benefits. We want to work with progressive organisations like Belfast Harbour who are committed to sustainable growth while enhancing the environment.”
Children Asked to Share Ideas for Lord Mayor’s Time Capsule
Schoolchildren from across Belfast are being invited to share their ideas on what should be included in a time capsule which will be sealed by the city’s Lord Mayor, to be opened in 100 years.
The project is part of Belfast City Council’s Decade of Centenaries programme and aims to provide a snapshot of life in 2021 for generations to come.
Lord Mayor Alderman Frank McCoubrey has himself chosen a number of items to include in the time capsule, including a NI women’s football shirt and a special medallion to mark the centenary of the formation of Northern Ireland.
“This year marks a hugely significant milestone in Northern Ireland’s history, marking 100 years since the first Northern Ireland Parliament was opened,” said Alderman McCoubrey.
“While this milestone will mean different things for different people, Council’s Decade of Centenaries programme aims to provide a space to reflect on key historical moments and events from 1912-1922 that shaped Northern Ireland and Ireland.
“And as we look ahead to the next 100 years and wonder what life might be like then, I thought creating a time capsule would be an interesting way of capturing a little piece of history and preserving it for generations to come, so that they might have an insight into life in the city in 2021
“I’m hoping that young people will provide some inspiration as to what should be included; all suggestions are welcome but we would like it to be something that is particularly relevant to 2021 and the times we are living through.”
As a huge supporter of the Northern Ireland football team, Alderman McCoubrey said including the women’s team’s football shirt was an easy decision.
“The achievements of the NI women’s football team in making history and reaching the Euros is something we can all be very proud of,” said Alderman McCoubrey.
“I hope that when this time capsule is opened in 2121 this achievement will be seen as having been something of a turning point for women in sport, and that it is seen to inspire more young women and girls to get involved in competitive sport.”
Belfast City Council was awarded funding from the Shared History Fund, which The National Lottery Heritage Fund is delivering on behalf of the Northern Ireland Office, to deliver a number of projects to mark Northern Ireland’s centenary year, including the Lord Mayor’s time capsule project.
Young people can send their suggestions to the Lord Mayor’s Office via email email@example.com or share their ideas on Council’s social media channels using the hashtag #BelfastTimeCapsule
The deadline for suggestions is 4pm on Wednesday 19 May. All suggestions received will be considered by the Lord Mayor for inclusion in the time capsule which will be stored at City Hall until it is opened in 2121.