Here’s something you know, yet might consistently ignore: if you want to increase the attendee engagement during your events, you have to make them feel good. Create an inspiring meeting space and let your guests ride the wave of your awesome conferences, workshops, or trainings.
Seriously. Even the best-planned events will fail if your attendees sit around like statues and aren’t engaged. So stop complaining about multiple logistic struggles, sleepless nights, or tons of coffee with sugar. Those are the least of your worries.
If you fail to create an inspiring meeting space so that your attendees could have a positive environment for engagement, you still have lots of work to do.
“What does meeting space have to do with attendee interaction?” you must be wondering.
You see, an environment can have an enormous impact on how people feel, think, and act. According to Mary Jo Kreitzer, RN, PhD (University of Minnesota), room space can influence behavior, motivation, and mood. Moreover, as Kreitzer argues, “The environment can facilitate or discourage interactions among people.”
Provide an inspiring meeting space and you’ll see your attendees engaging and interacting more during the event.
How can you do that? Here are a few tips on how to set up an inspiring meeting space:
Tip 1. Be aware of your attendees’ comfort
Put yourself in your attendees’ shoes. Do you feel like staying in the room (venue) where you’ll run the event? Is the space big enough? Is the air conditioning system working well? Will the attendees have enough light?
As highlighted in the research study Emotion and interior space design: an ergonomic perspective, “A good interior space is about considering all the physical, environmental and cognitive elements and harmonizing them to make it a space that feels right, functionally and emotionally.”
When preparing the venue, always think about the way your attendees will feel. Avoid the venues that may disrupt their experience and provide an inspiring meeting space, always being aware of your guests’ comfort, and ensuring the environment is satisfactory for pleasant interaction.
Tip 2. Set up creative spaces
Help your attendees engage more by harnessing their imagination. How can you do it? Set up creative spaces to encourage your guests to develop and share their ideas.
Invite your attendees to explore their creativity by offering them an accessible, safe, and open space. Also, supply attractive tools (games, Lego pieces, creativity cards, puzzles, etc.) to nudge your attendees into unleashing their creative thinking. As Don Normal notes, “Attractive things make people feel good, which in turn makes them think more creatively.”
Tip 3. Configure spaces for fun and collaboration
Are you creating enough spaces for the attendees to interact, have fun, and collaborate while solving different tasks or talking about common interests? Is the venue inviting people to get to know each other in a more fun and relaxed way, while working together?
A good idea is to set up a coffee lounge for your attendees. Set up cozy chairs in a corner, coffee carafes, baked goods, etc.
“Sounds crazy,” you may be saying. Yes and no.
An interesting study shows that working in a coffee shop environment leads to increased collaboration (subsequently boosting the emotional commitment and the engagement) between participants. So don’t be afraid to provide a stimulating atmosphere and an inspiring meeting space for collaboration and additional interaction.
It might not seem obvious, yet the venue has a great impact on how much your attendees engage during your event. Control the event’s environment and you’ll have access to your guests’ emotions.
By paying special attention to how you’ll configure the space for your next event, you’ll be able to generate more engagement between the participants, thus improving their overall experience. Provide inspiring meeting spaces for your attendees and make them feel relaxed and confident enough to interact and engage more.