Note: This article was originally published by Wisconsin Meetings, written by The Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor's Club team.
Attendance and engagement are magic words to event planners. Your ability to attract attendees and generate engagement can make or break an event. Here are a few ways to make sure your next event is as full as it is fascinating.
Location, Location, Location
First, determine if the venue has the right layout and capacity for your attendance goals. The Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor’s Club is the largest convention hotel in Madison with 27,000 square feet of recently renovated meeting space. Our flexible meeting space is perfect for any event from large conventions to small strategic planning sessions.
Next, consider the accessibility and desirability of your event destination. Madison, Wisconsin is among the top event destinations in the area, and we’re right in the center of it all. Our hotel is steps away from Capitol Square and dozens of restaurants, parks, shops, and more.
Create Engagement By Design
Put engagement at the heart of your event strategy. Before the event, allow attendees to submit questions or goals in order to give your presenters the opportunity to address them directly.
Keep in mind, presenters aren’t the only ones sharing knowledge. Make sure you provide opportunities for attendees to share their expertise with each other by hosting discussions in person and online. Use hashtags and display them prominently to promote more conversation. It’s a great way to get real-time feedback too!
The dining setup you choose also has a large stake in attendee engagement. Look for “festival style” dining with stations instead of a regular buffet; it’s great for conversation starters and getting people moving (an award-winning chef doesn’t hurt either).
Get Down With Downtime
Contrary to popular belief, downtime is actually a continuation of the event, not an interruption.
Don’t feel like you have to program every minute of the day. Instead, view the in-between times as an opportunity for attendees to interact in small groups and process what they’re learning together.
Make sure your event venue has plenty of space and soft seating to encourage attendees to cozy up and chat. At The Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor’s Club, guests can enjoy our on-site restaurant, Starbucks, bar, or open lounge space in the recently renovated lobby. Plus, there’s plenty to explore within walking distance.
Work With A Great Venue And Support Staff
Nothing disrupts attendee engagement like a technical difficulty. Make sure you partner with an event venue that you can depend on, like The Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor’s Club.
We have knowledgeable IT and AV support staff on site and at your service. Not to mention, our experienced event professionals will work with you every step of the way. Our team of experts can help you increase attendance and engagement to make your next event a success.