Recent surveys underscore the need for conference planners to raise their game with content and experiences to replace audiences lost to pandemic-driven behavior changes and economic headwinds.
In this post we’ll review 4 event design ideas to maximize understanding and impact.
#1) Unlock the magic of speaker panels
Done right, speaker panels can help grow your audience several ways. The trick is to lean into a panel’s strengths.
To make the most of these strengths, use panels to tackle recent, unsolved issues, or share best practices from different cultures, regions, age groups, ethnicities, and strata of society.
Here’s a pro tip. More panels means more speakers, which means more promotion of your event through each speaker’s followers, subscribers, and channels.
#2) Make the audience a bigger part of the content
People who enjoy conferences have pent-up demand for networking, sharing, and receiving mentorship. What this means in 2022 is designing shorter one-to-many sessions, and increasing interactive content. Perhaps include more birds-of-a-feather gatherings, self-organizing interest groups, and sub-conferences bookending or within your event. Allow would-be organizers to gather registrant votes to make rooms, tables, and lounge areas available for them to convene.
Boost audience participation. Perhaps tout more contests (e.g., creative solutions for X, best anecdote about Z, nominations for person-of-the-year, etc.). Mixers, mixers, mixers. You can gamify this with a scavenger hunt to meet 10 people who have the same job title as you, or 5 different job titles to learn new perspectives, etc.
#3) Go global for speakers and attendees
Your attendees are looking for novelty and relevance. International presenters increase the prospect of newness. They also attract international attendees, by increasing expectation of relevance to their region and interests. Putting more globally diverse presenters on stage is a good leverage for marketing to global attendees. Grow your market, your prestige, and knowledge sharing with international talent on stage. Wordly lets you put a multilingual group of speakers on stage, and be understood in 20+ languages by the attendees.
#4) Design the kind of event you most want to attend.
If you love it, add more of it. If it bugs you, take it out. Focus on giving attendees every kind of activity they find valuable. Err on the side of more value. Good luck!