All event organizers want an active audience that asks questions and get the most out of the session. But getting there isn’t always easy. The audience may be too shy to speak up or unfamiliar with the session topics. How do you encourage audience participation and help both speakers and audience have productive experiences?
One way is to increase audience participation with an event app. You can do things like live polling and session rating all in one place. On top of that, Whova is announcing NEW technology with it’s latest “Article Sharing” feature. The best part is, it can help draw attendees’ interests, increase interaction with speakers, and introduce various conversation topics even before an event begins. AND, it doesn’t add work for event organizers.
Article Sharing for Increased Audience Participation
Attendee Martina T. explains how she found the Article Sharing feature beneficial: “On my flight, I was looking up last minute event details and noticed some speakers shared articles in the Whova event app. One speaker posted an article with the latest E-commerce news and another added a link to a debate related to his session topic. I didn’t know I would find this stuff here but it got me interested.”
The goal is always to work towards making each attendee excited about participating. With the ability for speakers to share links to their personal blogs, articles they find interesting, or case studies, the have an organic way to connect with attendees. But Martina points out another benefit of the article sharing feature—it was a good way to spend idle time while traveling to the event.
She also says, “Taking time to read these articles before the conference gave me something to talk about. Because of this, I jumped into a conversation about an article I read on my flight.” After this discussion, Martina T. stayed in contact with this group through the Community Board and joined them for dinner. This extended networking opportunity, not only provided meaningful connections but also gave Martina a contact to work with on a project. Overall, she said she had a very productive experience.
What Speakers Gain From Having an Informed Audience
It’s easy to see how the Shared Article feature is a win for the audience but what does this contribute to the speakers? Steve S., a speaker at a recent event shared a few articles before his session. On the day of, he did a simple live poll to see how many attendees read the content. It surprised him to find more than half were familiar with his articles. In fact, organizers told him they switched the location of his session due to an increased interest in his topic.
Steve S. walked away seeing the value in providing more than a bio or short abstract of his topic. Aside from the results of the live poll, he spoke to a captivated audience that raised questions and highlighted areas they wanted him to expand further.
This goes to show that when given the right materials, attendees are capable of doing more than taking in presentations. All it requires is giving them tools to form opinions and questions that make for dynamic rather than forced discussions.
Event Organizers Win Without Creating More Work
By now, you’re asking yourself “Is sharing articles another task to add to my schedule?” In short—no. When dealing with speaker information, organizers can use the Speaker Center to collect things like speaker biographies and session information. This is also the same area where speakers can upload articles they want to familiarize attendees with.
< Whova’s Speaker Center: Speakers can recommend articles, news, and publications by simply entering the web URLs in the speaker portal. >
Along with speakers, attendees can also upload relevant articles through the app. Just let them know this feature can be found inside the Community Board by scrolling down to “Article Sharing.”
The Community Board is a central place to connect everyone from the event participants to the organizers. Here, anyone can add a conversation topic or social group to get to know each other. It also has built-in features that are commonly used for organizers and attendees’ interactions.
Event Engagement Has No End in Sight
There is a major trend in the event industry space to leverage technology to increase event engagement. And for conferences or events with sessions, boosting attendee participation during the sessions is the important starting point.
You can also discover how other event organizers used mobile technology to boost attendee engagement and participation throughout their events with these 4 real stories!