At Eventa we organise lots of corporate events all year round and we always get people asking us for event hosting tips. Recently we had a venue ask us “How do you get people to enthusiastically partake in activities during your events?”
Well getting people to participate and interact during an event can be quite tricky (even professional party planners can find it tough sometimes!) as any type of “forced fun” is usually met with reluctance. However it’s not impossible, so if you’ve done the event budgeting and you’re currently planning an event that requires some audience engagement then there are a few things you need to do…
Allow people to play
Games, people love them. So if you want lots of engagement during your event (and you have money in the budget) then why not set up some games for people to play? Naturally check with the venue first before you start planning but if they are O.K. with it then go mad! You can do all out and book something like laser archery or set-up actual game booths like a Wii or retro arcade racing games. Or it could be something less extravagant like indoor bowling or a coconut shy.
Arrange conversation starters
If you can’t have games then go for entertainment instead but if you want people to get talking then make sure you book entertainment that’s unique, quirky or different; that way people will feel excited and start conversations surrounding what they’ve seen. So think operatic drag singers, fire eaters, unusual dancers or magicians.
Give your guests a task
This is one of the easiest and most cost effective things to do. For example, this can be anything from a quiz, scavenger hunt or a general challenge. The best thing to do is to make this optional so people can choose to participate or not. Worried no one will? Incentivise them with a prize and you’ll see people involved in no time! (For example, one of our favourite parties is our “Murder Mystery Party” where guests try and solve a murder in between courses.)
Mood setting music
If you don’t like the idea of performers or games then at least make sure you have mood setting music. A live band is best but at the very least get a DJ to play some music in the background. Mainly because an event without music might as well be a conference about boredom, not the effect we think anyone wants from their party! At the very least, music can get people dancing which in itself is a form of interaction that you don’t have to encourage.