Engage everywhere: Fun ways to get event attendees exploring

Alex Calton

You’ve got it all planned out – the guest speakers, the swag, the entertainment, a packed out venue. And when it’s time to go live, you’re ready for action. But – sigh – your guests are seduced by the glow of the bar and games area, and it looks like they’re not leaving anytime soon. What a kicker.

Planning what occupies the venue space consumes so much of our time, so it’s important that on-the-day engagement strategies don’t get neglected. Your agenda is a menu, and it’s up to you to make sure that every dish is sampled.

So how do you get high area coverage and prevent missed opportunities for your brand, sponsors, and attendees?

Here are our 8 picks to send the step count surging… 

#1 Gamify event checkpoints with a bingo card

Select locations, signage or points of interest and create a branded 3 x 3 grid. Place QR codes around the event that correlate with each point. Once the grid is complete, the person can digitally submit their completed bingo card for free swag.

#2 Social treasure hunt 

Loosely following the concept of the bingo card, set objects to or tasks for people to complete and post the results on social media for the chance to win a prize. This will not only get them moving around the venue, you’ll also see a lot more user generated content, while giving them a fun way to share their experience on LinkedIn.

Here are some examples to inspire you…

  • Get a snap in front of the welcome sign
  • Let’s see your lunch – show us what’s fueling you today
  • Your favorite speaker of the day 
  • Grab a selfie with a new contact you’ve made
  • The most random thing you’ve seen today 
  • Cheers! Share the tipple you’re winding down with after the first day

#3 Pop-up performances/guest speakers

Event apps have the power to keep attendees actively involved with your event. To keep the buzz alive, you can promote ‘surprise’ acts and speakers throughout the day. This will give people the opportunity to discover something new they wouldn’t have otherwise included in their agenda.

The spontaneity of a pop-up is a great way to create FOMO, as well as helping steer attendees to a particular event location when there are quieter periods in the day, and keep footfall flowing.

#4 Lunch and learn

While most people will opt to visit a food vendor, the promise of a free lunch is an enticing offer for anyone. If you have a particular sponsor or guest that’s drawn the short straw for positioning or distance in the venue, encourage them to hold a ‘lunch and learn’ offering free snacks or a limited lunch menu free of charge. For a small additional cost per person, you can provide an incentive that helps boost numbers, and fast. 

#5 Offer wellness and recharge areas

Depending on the size of the venue, it could be beneficial to have a wellness area at opposite ends of the event (or more if needed). This could include things like healthy snacks, water refill stations, sofas, gaming systems, phone charging etc. They provide a little bit of calm and a chance to mentally unplug from the event for a short time.  

#6 Use push notifications

Include an option for guests to opt-in to push notifications on your event app. This will enable you to remind them of where they need to be and when, ensuring they don’t miss anything they’re interested in. 

#7 Close with a big hitter

By ending with a well-known name, you’re more likely to keep attendees present for the duration of the event and prevent them from leaving early. 

#8 Create a map

An all-singing, all-dancing interactive map would be a great option if the budget allows it, but a more cost-effective solution could be to simplify, label, and brand your floor plans – that way you’re already utilizing something that exists. Winner!

So there you have it, our pick of the most interesting ways to keep your attendees on-the-move. 

Check out the case study for our latest event with IGEL to see more about how the planning process unfolds. 

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