How to: Plan an Engaging Forum Event
Five Forum Pointers
Next month, we’ll be attending the revered Communications Directors Forum. A highlight in the UKSV team’s calendar, the forum gives us the chance to meet with leading communication professionals across the UK. We’ve been busy preparing, setting up meetings, as well as creating new materials to wow and inspire those in attendance.
Of course, at UKSV we’re no strangers to forums so, in anticipation for the 22nd and 23rd November, we’ve put together a checklist of what all Communication Director’s need to consider when putting on an engaging and awe-inspiring forum. In no particular order, here are our five forum pointers…
No 1. Venue
Key to any successful forum, set your event off on the right foot through careful consideration of its venue. Make sure to keep in mind location – where are your target delegates coming from? Is the venue convenient for them to travel to? Are there nearby transport links or does the venue have free car parking?
Think about space at the venue – can it accommodate your estimated number of attendees? Does it provide the option for ‘break out’ rooms if required?
Furthermore, what facilities does the venue offer? From toilets, to equipment, and catering – what can the venue assist you with?
Many hotels have specifically designed rooms along with basic facilities which are an ideal starting point for conferences. Most importantly, make sure to conduct a site visit. This will give you a real understanding of the venues’ capabilities. From the reception and service of the staff, cleanliness of the venue, to visualising how the logistics will work for other vital elements of your event.
No 2. Set design, Audio & Visual
No matter how spectacular your space is on its own, it’s key that it also communicates your own brand and values. This is where set design comes in. Make sure to utilise your brand identity when designing the stage platform, backdrops, and speaker podiums.
Large LED screens can be a versatile and powerful element of your set design. Providing compelling visuals and a useful tool for engaging presentations. Compliment this with quality audio systems to ensure those presenting can be heard. Also, utilise audio systems with carefully chosen music to create an immersive atmosphere throughout the day.
No 3. Quality speakers
Choosing the right people to speak and present is pivotal for ensuring your forum is informative and rewarding. Before you contact any speakers, survey your target audience to gain an understanding of the subject matter they would find most valuable. If there are specific representatives of your company who need to communicate with your audience, consider speaker coaching to ensure they’re comfortable, confident and captivating.
We also recommend varying content and formats – try a mixture of talks, interviews and videos to keep your audience engaged.
No 4. Interactivity
To keep your audience involved and invested throughout the forum, make the event as interactive as possible. Workshops and ‘break out’ sessions placed at strategic points throughout the day will keep your audience immersed and involved with your content.
Don’t forget to make it fun! Using ‘gamified’ elements, like token collecting and the chance to win prizes, will keep your audience motivated and provide a talking point long after they’ve left the forum.
No 5. Social Media
Social media can be the most powerful tool for your forum. Make sure to set up hashtags so people can connect through Twitter and Instagram during the event. This is not only a useful way of monitoring feedback and engagement with your forum but also helps promote the event and communicate your messages to an audience beyond just those in the room.
Installing a large ‘Twitter Wall’ using an LED screen will encourage those in attendance to post on social media and get their own tweets displayed to those in the immediate audience. Delegates can feel more part of the day and recognised for their contributions as their tweet appears.
So, there you have it, our five forum pointers. If your company is planning a forum and you need any further advice or assistance, get in touch. We work to create truly engaging live events with atmospheres that drive deeper connections. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org