Lessons From Bruno Mars on Audience Engagement

2014.08.20_Hands in the air - in concert CC by Martin Fisch, on Flickr

What can Bruno Mars teach us about audience engagement for our ballroom experiences? Plenty. Earlier this week, I witnessed 7,000 participants (from Linksters to Boomers) stand, clap, sing and dance for 75 minutes at his sold-out Denver Moonshine Jungle concert. If you saw his performance at the 2014 Super Bowl halftime, you already know the enormous talent that’s packed into this five-foot tall young man. The dude is a triple threat! Emotional Journeys Improve the Experience  Bruno … [Read more...]

Increase Your Conference Attendee Engagement By Increasing Relevance

So engaged by timoni west

“How can I increase engagement at my conference?” It’s a question I hear a lot. “How can I help my attendees increase their engagement?” What’s my answer? Increase the relevance. Increase the relevance of the content. Increase the relevance of the learning experience. Oh and by the way, what type of engagement are you talking about? The Camouflaged Faux Engaged Attendee As meeting professionals, we struggle with defining attendee engagement. Too often we think that when … [Read more...]

Crank Up Your Conference Emotional Intensity With Bright Lights

2014.04.03_Ah Ha!

Forget about turning down the lights to set the mood for your opening general session. Why? It’s the perfect way to disengage and dial back your attendees’ emotions. If you want to emotionally connect and increase your audience’s emotional intensity, a University of Toronto study says you need to turn lights up bright! Bright Lights Arouse Intense Emotions Conventional wisdom says that sunny days can brighten our moods. While cloudy, rainy days can bring us down. However, this new … [Read more...]

Helping Conference First Timers And Solo Attendees Get Plugged In


Imagine that you're a first-time attendee at a conference that draws thousands. To make matters even more challenging, you're flying solo. No safety net of colleagues to meet-up with every now and then. The Solo Attendee By day, you move from session to session, trying to make eye contact with strangers. You even manage to strike up a few good conversations, but more often, it's nothing more than a "nice to meet you" handshake. Despite your reluctance, you push yourself to attend the … [Read more...]

These Conference Presentation Myths Cramp The Attendee Experience


Most conference organizers see attendees as consumers of the conference’s information. Little thought is given to seeing attendees as active participants in their own learning and experience. 8 Myths That Restrict The Attendee Experience Here are eight conference presentation myths that you should avoid. Myth 1: The lecture or panel best serves all conference attendees. Reality: The lecture and panel are homogenized conference presentations that cause our brains to check out. The … [Read more...]

Increase Conference Attendee Engagement, Intimacy And Participation At Your Next Event

2013.10.10_participation is the new consumption

Have you ever attended a conference by yourself and you didn’t know anyone there? If you have, you’ve experienced a range of emotions from anticipation to anxiousness to concern. If no one acknowledges or welcomes you when you first step onsite, you may feel like an outsider. Conferences can be some of the loneliest places in the world. Tips To Encourage Connections, Intimacy And Participation As conference organizers, it is our job to find ways to encourage participation and foster … [Read more...]

5 Conference Conditions That Lead To Attendee Focused Attention

2013.07.30_ATTENTION !!!!

Note: This post was originally published on July 11, 2011 and has been slightly edited. Attention is a payment of the brain's resources. It requires that we adjust, engage and sustain each of our nine brain areas involved in attention. We must also exclude, suppress or ignore external and internal distracters--and often that's the real difficult part. Ultimately, we need a highly disciplined internal state and the right brain chemical balance to maintain attention. This is why paying … [Read more...]

Designing Education Theaters On The Trade Show Floor

Education on the Trades Show Floor

Attracting and keeping quality attendees on your show floor isn’t getting any easier. The way we, as consumers and businesses, research and buy products and services has evolved — and so must the trade-show experience. The trade show of the future will focus on helping over selling, which is best accomplished by delivering valuable education in the exhibit hall. Programmed presentations in show-floor theaters is nothing new, but in the past, it was typically pay to play. If exhibitors wanted to … [Read more...]