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Reinventing session formats for better B2B event engagement

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At an event, your customer’s perception hinges on how successfully you manage to create a meaningful experience that strays away from what they have already experienced. But simply giving away freebies and changing the aesthetics is not going to influence them. Therefore, you need to constantly innovate the way you deliver an experience to avoid being mediocre. The key lies in getting them to stick around as much as possible. In this blog, we give you a few ways you can deliver an engaging experience for your attendees.

Non-traditional formats

Traditional formats have lost their place on the exhibitor’s floor. Customers want to spend an increasing amount of time on the ‘experience’ as opposed to listening to experts talk. Therefore, there is a need to go beyond these restrictive formats. As an event planner, it is important to know how to places these sessions and make them as collaborative as possible to support a cognitive experience. Using an introductory keynote is best suited for the start of the event, however, a networking open floor discussions can be used throughout the course of the event. Similarly, a guided discussion or a case study-based presentations can be used in the middle.


Attendee-centric session

As it turns out, a number of topics that customers want to talk about are often overlooked. In other words, customers find that many of the topics that are discussed at events and trade shows deviate from their actual interests. Therefore, in order to address issues that customers are truly interested in, they need to be participant-focused. One way of achieving this is to get customers to participate in frequent open breakouts. This way you get them to voice out their opinions and you can collect some valuable insights on what their problems are and what they want.

Sessions based on learning

At an event, customers are constantly looking for a learning experience. Not only do they look for tips to enhance their business but also something that they can add to their belt. Organizing a workshop can prove immensely helpful and increase attendee engagement. This also gives attendees something valuable to take back with them.

One thing that needs to be done before creating a learning-based workshop is to understand who the audience is and plan sessions that cater to their needs. Speak to a small section of your attendees prior to the event to understand what they are looking for. Classroom settings are not always the way to go, but if you plan on using a speaker centric format, ensure that it is interactive and engaging.

Keep them small

Niche sessions are smaller gatherings that cover a very specific topic of discussion. Typically, a these involves an attendance of between 75 to 100 attendees. Going by industry research, this is a small number, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. This means that the audiences are very narrow and have a lot in common and emphasize on higher involvement and productivity. Attendees are usually more satisfied with them because they are specific to what they are searching for.

Surprise plenaries

Planning surprise sessions are not very conventional. Given, this format is not a conventional one but is bound to kindle curiosity and retain interest. Catching a participant unaware can also be used to discuss an unfamiliar, yet important topic. The fact that these sessions catch the attendee unaware of what is going to be discussed makes it easier to get a candid response. This takes away from the tiring, mundane formats that planned sessions follow. Although it is advisable to inform your attendees of what is in store for them, giving them a new way to learn something is part of the event experience.

Great delivery is an integral part of the event experience. Events are gaining significance in the current scenario, and therefore, it becomes crucial to find ways to get attendees as involved as possible. Paying extra attention to how your customers experience your event is bound to pay off in achieving your event objectives.

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