Let's Spice It Up: Liven Up Your Sessions

At some point during a weeklong conference, everyone gets exhausted. In this blog, we discuss ways to use audio/visual technology to spice up your sessions and avoid conference fatigue from spreading like wildfire.

Audio - Nothing is worse than when the audio cuts out or when people are struggling to hear. Attendees lose interest and don’t pay attention to what is happening on stage. Audio may seem like a simple, small matter in the grand scheme of your event, but it is a critical factor in your success! Pay close attention to the equipment listed on your bids. Using low-quality microphones will result in sound interference, which can ruin the entire event. While there are many options, our team prefers Shure ULXDs and UR4Ds for event use! After finding the best quality sound equipment, your audio technician should smooth out all issues during soundcheck and ensure that presenters are mic’d properly, adjustments are made for each speaker’s voice and that the sound works with the room’s acoustics. With the perfect audio, attendees won’t get distracted, they will be engaged in whoever is speaking or performing during the session.

Visuals - Your visuals are just as important as audio and they should be effective, while also helping to build excitement within attendees. A projector is a great way to display content. Depending on the size and layout of your space and number of seats in the room, your projector will need to be a specific size so everyone can see. You may even need to consider using two projectors! For example, an event with 500 attendees event could be accommodated with one 32’ screen, but that means you will need a brighter projector. Two 16’ or 20’ would accommodate that same event and could save you money! Consulting with your A/V provider about your event details will allow them to provide you with the best screen size and projector. Another option is an LED video wall. LED walls are bright and clear and can be built into any space, at any size. Uplighting can also activate the space by illuminating a stage backdrop or the walls around the room!

In Between Sessions - With back to back sessions running all day, attendees will start to feel drained and in need of a pick me up! Take 10 minutes to help them recharge. Give attendees an opportunity to network by breaking them into small groups for a short team-building activity, get them moving with some light stretching or help them feel more relaxed with a meditation session! If you want to go a step further, talk to your A/V provider for ways you can use tech to re-energize attendees’ minds. A short silent disco or a light show with music will get attendees up and dancing and ready to go for the rest of the day! Foster some friendly competition with a gaming experience displayed on an LED wall or use the LED wall as an interactive way for attendees to create their own art!

Networking Spaces - At corporate conferences and events, networking is critical. However, attendees who come alone may not feel comfortable networking. During Intuit’s QuickBooks Connect Conference in 2018, QuickBooks created designated areas for attendee networking that simulated places people would naturally meet to have a conversation. Common places like a small park, music lounge, coffee shop and a front porch swing made attendees feel comfortable connecting outside of conference programming. By collaborating with your A/V provider, you too can create these spaces for attendees and add a very effective and thoughtful element to your conference.

Everything listed above is a helpful tool to increase engagement. Another useful tip is to not overload your audience. Information overload can cause an audience to stop paying attention or forget a lot of what was said during the session. By keeping these points in mind and brainstorming with your A/V providers and other vendors, you can create a collaborative and stimulating environment throughout your entire conference.