get people actively involved in your next meeting or event

How to get people actively involved in your next meeting or event

Meeting and Event Apps:
Hosting a meeting or event is a big deal. Planning and organising, promoting, facilitating and engaging in post-event activity can all require a significant investment in time and money. So when it comes to the ‘big day’ or night itself, ensuring that your delegates are fully engaged and getting maximum value from their attendance is paramount.

Setting clear objectives, doing your research and tailoring your content accordingly is a great start, but in this brave new world of technology, there is so much more that can be done to promote audience participation, encourage engagement and create a real buzz around your event.

Enter The App…

Meeting and Event Apps are by no means ‘new’. For years event managers have been able to provide delegates with apps pre-filled with meeting notes, schedules, downloads and more, but these facilities are the tip of the iceberg.

Combining apps like these with user-generated content, often the holy grail of marketers, really can super-charge your event – here are just some of the best ways that meeting and event apps can help transform your event from mediocre to memorable…

Live Polling

If you’ve ever sat and watched a gameshow on TV, you’ll likely have seen audiences clutching little hand-held devices that enable them to answer simple questions asked by the host, with results then displayed on a live screen.

Similarly, there are a number of excellent apps including Meetoo and Whova that can be downloaded directly to attendees’ own devices that will enable them to actively participate in meetings and live events.

These can be used to conduct live-polls or ask single or multiple-choice questions on the topic at hand – keeping your event or meeting relevant and participants energised throughout.

Real Time Slide Sharing

Presentation-heavy meetings and events can often leave your audience distracted – usually through taking notes or concentrating heavily on the screen behind the speaker. Common practice is to supply attendees with handouts or ‘packs’ either during or following the event, which can be cumbersome to carry around or easily misplaced.

To combat this, use an app to instantly share slides with participants – giving them the confidence to listen and engage freely, without worrying about whether they will be able to remember the content later.

For large audiences too – sharing slides to tablets positioned on cabaret-style tables will also enable attendees to participate without straining to see.

‘Live’ Networking

Populating meeting apps with attendee details, including Linkedin profiles, will enable your delegates to familiarise themselves with others in the room, drive networking opportunities and forge connections – something that will continue to add value even after the event is over.

Social Media Wall

Social Media Wall, Event AppsDisplaying a social media wall is a great way to encourage interaction and generate a buzz around your event – both for those in attendance and for those who couldn’t make it.

These can consist of single or multiple screens that display posts, including text, photo and video, in real time (although you can set a ‘delay’ in order to moderate posts if need be).

They work through hashtags that participants need to tag all of their posts with, so part of your event promotion should be centred on a unique hashtag for attendees to use.

Be sure to include this on any event materials before and during the event – it’s also useful to use your hashtag as the wifi code for example, so that it’s always front of mind. And make sure, too you’ve been offered enough bandwidth by your venue if you’ve a big meeting.

Live Q&A

Drive debate and discussion during your meeting or event. Allowing attendees to ask questions for hosts or panels to answer as well as asking for live feedback can strengthen your offering an enable attendees to feel as though they are actively shaping and influencing ‘their’ event.

You can also display answers to Q&As visually, in the form of charts and graphs on the day, as well as download into Excel spreadsheets for analysis after the event.

Gamification

This is a popular way in which to incentivise attendees at conferences, meetings and events to fully participate. Using many of the concepts mentioned above, delegates can ‘earn points’ by visiting exhibitor stands, attending breakout sessions, contributing answers to polls, sharing photos or using event hashtags on social media.

You can keep track of scores and display on a live leader board to create a sense of competition between delegates as well as, depending on how you organise it, promote teamwork and collaboration. Check out Kahoot! For Businesses to add a game show feel to part of your next meeting.


Many of these apps can be scaled up or down to suit your meeting or event set-up, with many offering one or more elements for you to tailor to your needs.

For further insights into how you can integrate apps such as these to encourage people to become more actively involved in your live event, give us a call on 01787 378422 or contact us here.

Choosing guest host or speaker for event

How to choose the ideal host or guest speaker for your event

When it comes to hosting an event, whether this be an award ceremony, conference or other, having the right host or guest speaker can make all the difference.

If you get it right, the results can be electric. If you get it wrong, your event will be remembered by everyone for all the worst reasons.

Celebrity Speakers & Event Hosts

Using a big-name ‘celebrity’ of screen, stage or business excellence as a guest host for your event certainly adds an additional hook for attracting delegates. But with speakers of this ilk often entailing a substantial investment, it’s important to ensure you not only choose the right person, but that you get the most out of their involvement.

So, what are our top tips when going through the selection process?

1. Consider your audience.

Are your delegates evenly split between male and female? Is one age group more heavily represented than another? Do the demographics of your event attendees lend themselves to a particular type of host? Keep all of these in mind and, book the best person for them – not just because the CEO or MD is a fan.

2. Seek advice and suggestions from a trusted agent or booker.

Being a famous TV actor or business guru doesn’t make someone a good awards host or speaker. Get some testimonials from those in the know to ensure your ‘special guest’ doesn’t fall flat.

3. Ask the agent about their relationship with your chosen host

Agents are numerous and some will offer faces just to appear bigger and more capable than they really are. The best agents are trusted by the artists and genuinely earn their 20%. Don’t assume that because someone is on their list that they know them well.

4. Don’t just go for the ‘biggest name’.

The most expensive name or biggest celebrity isn’t necessarily the best fit for your event. Their presence in the room is what your people will take away with them, so don’t be afraid to go with lesser known personalities, if feedback suggests they can bring something special to your event.

5. Write a brief.

Prepare a comprehensive brief and make sure that every single one of your requirements are detailed in any agreement or offer.

Celebrity Event Hosts

The guest host with the most!

6. Speak to your guest host or speaker before the event.

Arrange a briefing call with the celebrity / speaker / host a week or two before your event. Any earlier than that isn’t worth it as it won’t remain fresh.

7. Learn from your guest host

Work with and take advice from the talent you’ve booked. You may organise one event per year, but they are probably doing this all of the time. Take into account their feedback on what works and what doesn’t.

8. Longer doesn’t = better

In our experience, longer on stage doesn’t necessarily mean better value. Think of it along the same lines as ‘quality not quantity’. Take advice from the person you’re booking and what works best for them.

9. Look after your host

Almost goes without saying. Make them feel looked after from the moment they’re on site. Even the most seasoned of performers can be as human and vulnerable on stage as the rest of us.

10. Say thank you!

Finally, make a point of following up with a personal thank you for a job well done. The best gigs aren’t forgotten in a hurry and it works both ways.


Having helped major brands and small businesses plan, host and capture their corporate events for over 25 years, we are well-placed to advise you on how to turn your plans into a memorable occasion for all involved.

Let’s talk on 01787 378422, or drop us a line here.

Choosing a venue for your company conference

Company Conferences: Tips for choosing the right venue!

Have you been tasked with finding the perfect venue for your company conference?

It can be difficult to know where to start can’t it?

There is so much to consider; from the location of your venue, to its size, the facilities available and those  all-important ‘extras’ that make a conference truly memorable.

Having planned and managed a multitude of conferences and events of all shapes and sizes over the past 25+ years, we wanted to share with you some of our key points to consider when sourcing the perfect venue.

Conference Style

Think about the style of conference you wish to put on, as this will lead you in your initial research. You will want to choose a venue that ‘fits’ with your company image and projects the right impression – whether this is to employees or external delegates.

Ask yourself:

  • What’s the objective of the conference?
  • Would you like to encourage networking at the event?
  • Will you require break-out areas for meetings or workshop sessions?
  • Does the building and interior match your company persona?

Location of your Venue

The location of your venue is of course one of the first things you will need to decide on, as this could significantly impact on the number of people who are able to attend. This is especially true when it comes to national conferences that will be attended by people from across the UK or even abroad.

Points to consider:

  • How convenient is the venue for those attending by car or public transport?
  • Is there ample free parking at the venue and if not, is there parking nearby that’s convenient?
  • Is there accommodation nearby if not on-site? Again, asking the venue for advice may yield a special relationship with an outbreak hotel that could work in your favour.
  • If guests are likely to be staying overnight, are there any activities or attractions nearby for them to make use of?

Building a relationship with your venue

To you and your group your event is a special day. To the venue, often as not it’s just another booking – so complacency can take the upper hand, even if it’s not meant to.

Ask the venue sales team for their ideas, what’s worked well for other customers – make them feel valued as part of your success. Pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with the lunch, the space or the flow of the event is a good conversation to have – and may soften the response when you’re also seeking concessions.

Ask:

  • To sample menus ahead of agreeing to what is offered. The demographic of your guests will have an influence on catering
  • About the handover process from sales to the people operating your event on the day
  • To see the banqueting order ahead of the day and check it absolutely thoroughly to ensure that your instructions have been taken forward

Company conference venue tips

Conference Venue Layout

Many venues offer a range of room types for hire, with the suitability of these depending on the size, style and agenda of your conference – another reason why it’s important to work out what you want from your conference before your go venue-hunting.

Ask:

  • What is the comfortable capacity of the rooms you’re looking to hire? Maximum capacities can sometimes be over-stated by venue sales teams.  You’ll want to ensure there is enough space to do what you want to do, whilst maintaining comfort levels for your guests
  • Can the venue offer you a better deal if you hire a number of rooms and/or spaces at the same time?
  • How much ‘floor space’ is needed and do you require additional space for storage, dressing rooms or staging areas?
  • Is the venue accessible for wheelchair users and those hard of hearing?
  • Does the venue have an outside space? This can be especially important for summer conferences.

Facilities/Equipment needed for your conference

When sourcing a venue for your company conference, this is often the hardest area to navigate. Not having the right equipment or having to make use AV facilities provided by the venue that aren’t quite up to scratch, can ruin all of that hard work you have put in to producing your videos or presentations.

Think about:

  • What audio visual (AV) equipment might you need?  And can the venue or their preferred supplier provide these for you? Can they also provide technical support?
  • Do you require any podiums or stages to enable attendees to see and hear any presenters clearly? Venue stage blocks can often look tired – so make sure you see them in advance.
  • The quality and bandwidth of the wifi – and how many people may be sharing it with you at the same time. You’ll also want to ensure the network is secure and consider having your own SSID if you’re going to be a demanding user.

Venue Availability and Time of Year

If your conference is seasonal or taking place at peak times of the year, you may need to book it considerably earlier than you think! There is nothing more disheartening than finding a venue that ticks all the boxes, and then discovering it is fully-booked. Once you have determined availability, there are still some factors that may impact on the success of your event at the location itself.

Consider:

  • If you are flexible on days of the week? You may save if you opt for the beginning or end of the week.
  • If venue has multiple room options or additional space for hire (including outdoor spaces), are these going to be occupied at the time of your event?
  • If so, is this likely to have any detrimental impact in terms of parking, crowding, traffic etc?
  • Are there any other events going on in the surrounding area that will likewise impact on your conference – a competitor company perhaps, or a big local event?  

This post is by no means a comprehensive look at everything you need to consider when looking for a conference venue, but we hope it will get you off to a good start.

Even after you have chosen a venue, there is plenty more for you to think about including: who will be responsible for ensuring the conference runs smoothly on the day; if using multiple rooms, how will guests be ‘moved’ from one to the other; and who will ensure that any videos or presentations are set up and ready to go?

This is when hiring a professional events management company can often come in handy. It’s then up to people like us to answer all the questions you haven’t even thought of yet and to ensure that the vision you have for your company conference is going to match, or exceed, the reality.


Our events management team is here to help you source the perfect venue for your upcoming conference or event.

Taking time to fully understand your requirements, we will not only scope out all of the potential pros and cons of selected locations, but ensure that we ask all the right questions to ensure that your event is a huge success!

Call us today on 01787 378422 to sound us out or leave some details on our contact form and we’ll get back to you!