Major corporate events are a lot more effective when they encourage guest participation. Attendees who work together, network, and share ideas are guaranteed to walk away feeling much more fulfilled and will retain what they learn longer and more accurately.

It can be difficult to get guests to openly participate, but with the following tips from the Event Manager Blog, you can effectively increase participation at your next corporate event.

1. Give guests a name

At a crowded event, make it easier for guests to approach each other by giving them nametags. However, rather than just providing their names, give them space to list their areas of expertise, interests, and what they want to learn about. Like-minded guests will have a much easier time finding each other.

2. Musical chairs

This one is easiest to do if your event includes a sit-down meal. Between courses, announce a seat swap based on an aspect you feel works best. To streamline the process, make two seating charts guests can easily reference and find their new spots.

3. Promote an open forum

Prior to the start of your event, pass out sticky notes and pens, then prompt guests to write down questions they have. Provide a public wall for guests to stick their questions for others to see. As the questions start to pile up, attendees will be able to spot those with similar interests.

4. Let’s see a show of hands

Asking questions that can be easily answered by a show of hands is one of the best ways to promote guest participation. “Body voting,” allows both presenters and guests to visualize response distribution, which can later be examined more in depth when appropriate.

5. Round-table

Open discussions have the unfortunate tendency of being monopolized by one or two participants. As a result, it can be difficult for others to give their two cents. Instead, break down discussions into small groups and designate a hot seat for those who want to speak.

6. Make teams

Post a discussion question and then pair attendees up in groups of two. However, before they get together give them 60 to 90 seconds to come up with their individual responses. At this point, each group should discuss their responses with their partners, allowing for some one-on-one critiquing.

7. “Ignite” conversation

Ignite is a dynamic short-form presentation style that limits presentations to 20 slides that automatically advance after 15 seconds. The ultimate goal of Ignite is to promote fun and entertainment. In the weeks leading up to your event, ask guests to come prepared with an Ignite presentation.

Getting guests to participate at corporate events can be difficult, but McVeigh Global Meetings and Events is here to help. Contact us today, and our collaboration will get guests talking before, during, and after your event.