Lights… Camera… Distractions?
Imagine your event draws a big crowd, everyone seems excited, and the night starts well. But as the event goes on, your audience seems to grow bored. Sound familiar?
Event management is like juggling five balls at once–you have so many moving pieces, and if you drop one ball, you might lose the audience’s attention as quickly as you’d gained it.
So, here are a few tips to keep your audience engaged at your next event:
ONE: Find the Right Venue
If you’re hosting a one-off event, you likely don’t have a regular space for your event. You might need to book with a pre-existing venue, but don’t just automatically pick the cheapest (or most flexible) one you find.
Whova lists 10 factors to consider, but we’ve narrowed it down to five:
✔️ Is the venue in a good location?
✔️ Does the venue have the capabilities you need? (E.g., Does it have built-in A/V equipment?)
✔️ If you need tables and chairs (and other amenities), does the venue have those available?
✔️ Are the room’s acoustics good? (Otherwise, the event may seem too loud.)
✔️ Does the venue have the right architectural look for your event?
(Check out a few more tips from Whova here.)
Next, you’ll want to…
TWO: Make Sure Your Equipment is Safe
Picture this: you’re hosting a large outdoor concert, thousands of screaming fans enjoying the evening, when a disastrous wind storm suddenly hits. The stage wobbles back and forth until it finally collapses in on itself, endangering the lives of people at the front of the stage.
Unexpected tragedies can strike any event production, including yours. And it’s your responsibility to watch out for the health and safety of your audience.
Not only will it keep people out of harm’s way, but it will also keep them engaged with your event! After all, if people sense that your equipment setup is less than secure, they will be too distracted to enjoy the evening fully. Some of them may even leave out of fear.
Your equipment setup must not only be safe–it must also look safe to the audience.
So, be mindful of all safety hazards, no matter how minor: are there tripping hazards? Fire hazards? Unprotected cables? An unsafe stage setup? Something else?
Consider working with a production labor team that can ensure your equipment is secure.
THREE: Smooth Transitions
Another way to keep your audience engaged is to ensure smooth transitions during production.
For example, if you’re hosting a theatrical performance, do you have a labor team at the ready to change backdrops quickly and correctly?
For the audience to fully immerse themselves in the event, the scene needs to change promptly without drawing much attention. The transition must happen quickly and efficiently.
Or, when you’re hosting large-scale events or even fundraisers, make sure you have qualified professionals on hand when something goes wrong. Whether your technology is having problems–or you need new cables connected at the last minute, or you find out about a safety hazard, or something else–make sure you work with an experienced team of stagehands who can fix the problem fast. That way, people don’t become distracted, or can at least forget about the distraction quickly.
And, one final tip…
FOUR: Make Sure You Have Quality A/V
Your event lighting and sound needs may differ at each venue, but as Zoe Audio / Visual points out, you should always work with a professional A/V team. Running a sound board is much more complex than just adjusting a few volume knobs, and your event is only as good as what your audience can hear. Skilled sound techs can capture the perfect tone for each speaker and get the volume just right, not to mention adding different effects (e.g., reverb or delay) to elevate the quality of your production.
And if you want to add captivating visuals to your event, quality event lighting can go a long way! Lighting done right can add variety to your event, help keep your audience’s attention, and help capture the right mood so that your audience is intrigued from beginning to end.
We hope you find these tips helpful as you plan your next event. If you want an expert production labor team at your next event (to help with A/V, set construction, mobile staging or something else), get in touch with us!