10 Ways to Beat the Mid-Conference Slump

10 Ways to Beat the Mid-Conference Slump

Picture it: Your conference is moving along great, your speakers have been amazing, and your attendees seem engaged. You break for lunch, everyone comes back for the afternoon session... and all of a sudden the energy in the room takes a nosedive. You catch attendees dozing off, or staring at their phones, or starting their own conversations which distract the people around them.

Our bodies naturally take an energy dip after big meals and/or in the middle of the afternoon, so it's only natural that you might run into these kinds of problems sometimes - no matter how high the quality of your content. But there are ways you can combat this energy dip and get your attendees excited again! Here are 10 ways to beat the mid-conference slump:


1. Start off your afternoon session with an interesting story or an attention-grabbing intro.

By starting off strong, you set the tone for the session and encourage listeners to give the speaker their full attention from the jump. High-impact lighting and concert-level sound can also help to make an entrance or event intro really pop!

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2. Add some humor!

Don't be afraid to incorporate some light-hearted, appropriate jokes to entertain your audience and help them to stay engaged.


3. Mix up your pacing and your tone of voice.

Speaking in monotone will make your attendees lose interest in the content very quickly, so make sure that you're allowing for some fluctuation and some changes in pacing to keep your audience interested. (For more tips on how to succeed as a speaker, check out our related blog post: How to Help Your Speakers Give Their Best Presentation Ever)

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4. Take a break and encourage your attendees to get moving.

Whether you lead them in some stretches and light exercises or just give them an opportunity to wander, getting the blood flowing can do wonders for a waning crowd.


5. Serve healthy snacks during breaks.

Sweets and sodas can cause a spike in blood sugar, which is typically followed by a steep drop, leaving people feeling low on energy. But low glycemic foods that are high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats release sugars more slowly, giving your attendees more sustained energy.

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6. Keep the event space cool.

An excessively warm room can be enough to lull your audience into a post-lunch state of drowsiness, so make sure that the temperature remains at a comfortable, slightly cooler level.


7. Never read a slide.

Besides the fact that your audience is capable of reading slides themselves, your slides are meant to be supplementary to your talk, not to be redundant & reiterative. They are meant to provide a visual aid in order to clarify the content of what you are speaking about. Watching a speaker simply read their slides encourages the audience to read for themselves & to tune the speaker out, so make sure you're using your slides wisely. (For more tips on creating presentation visuals and slides, check out our related biog post: Ten PowerPoint Tips)


8. Keep things interactive.

You could have an activity for your attendees to take part in, or give your attendees a chance to participate in the conversation around your talk. You could poll them using open-ended or multiple choice questions, ask them to vote on a certain topic, or even have a fun quiz! Polling apps like UMU allow your attendees to respond using only their mobile devices - no clickers or special hardware necessary! (Learn more about audience participation methods here: The Evolution of Audience Participation)

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9. Switch up your display graphics.

You can shift the tone or add energy to a space by incorporating more active motion graphics or brighter, more colorful artwork into what's being shown on-screen in the afternoon.


10. Incorporate a live feed!

Get attendees excited by incorporating live feed - of a guest speaker, a satellite audience, or even another conference or event - into your presentation! Live streaming can be quite simple these days, and is a fun way to pique your audience's interest.


For more tips on how to keep attendees engaged at your next conference, click here: 7 Ways to Increase Audience Engagement with AV

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Event Trends: LED Walls

Event Trends: LED Walls

We talk a lot about LED walls, but the technology behind them is constantly evolving - as are the ways they're being used! LED walls continue to become even more malleable and are providing even better visuals. They're also being used in highly creative ways to create a more comprehensive event experience! Here are some of the ways LED walls are becoming one of the biggest trends in event production this year:

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Quality

LED walls are being designed with increasingly better pixel pitches, meaning the LED pixels are closer together, creating a higher quality image. Here at The AV Company, we've recently upgraded our LED panels to a model with double the pixel pitch of our original video panels - and we're really excited about it!

Video panels offer crisper & brighter images and take up less space in your venue than a projector & screen. They also don't require an area of unimpeded space in front of the screen - as a matter of fact, they actually make great backdrops for your speakers, without sacrificing a high-quality picture.

Paired with powerful visuals, LED walls create an impactful first impression, doing the jobs of both a video display & set decor at once.


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Capability

One valuable feature of LED walls is their modularity. LED walls are often made of up panels that are a few feet wide, and they do not have to be configured in one solid rectangle. Most LED walls can also be arranged in a curved or even serpentine formation! There are many possibilities for how they can be arranged, providing you with the ultimate flexibility in your set layout and allowing you to create a display that is truly unique to your event.


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Additional Uses

These days, LED walls are being used not only for primary screens & staging, but also as a source for video content in secondary event spaces like lobbies & exhibitor spaces. LED walls make great displays for event schedules, maps, sponsorship placement, et cetera. If you can keep the high-tech vibe & stunning visuals going throughout the entire event space, you'll create a more immersive & memorable experience for your attendees.


LED walls are continuing to evolve to better meet the needs of event planners & coordinators, and we look forward to helping you harness the power of these exciting tools to create more engaging events!

Stay tuned for more profiles on event trends in the coming weeks!

Click here to learn more about our LED walls!



The Evolution of Audience Participation

The Evolution of Audience Participation

Getting your audience involved in your event doesn't have to be complex or difficult, and it can be a great way to keep your attendees connected to & engaged with the content. And audience participation has come a long way! As new event technology develops, participation methods have become more effortless and often integrate devices that the audience is already familiar with (and possibly carry around in their pockets). Let's look at how audience participation tech has evolved over the years!

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Say you wanted to pose a question to your audience.

The old school method would be to ask the question, and either call upon attendees who had raised their hand or have attendees line up at a microphone to give their answers. These days, there are apps like UMU which allow attendees to type out answers on their mobile devices. Not only is this a way to gather more information in less time, but it also allows event team members to review the answers in real time and pick out the most relevant or interesting responses to share with the audience.

Or say you wanted to take a poll!

In past years, you might have rented & passed out dedicated "clickers" or response devices that relayed answers back to a receiver and, depending on the software that accompanied the clickers, the answers might be displayed in a clunky fashion or in small type in the upper corner of the content window. Today, there are a variety of economical polling apps that can also be run from attendees' mobile devices, with easy-to-read results displays that can be pulled up in a browser.

Perhaps you wanted to do a giveaway at the end of your event.

Apps to the rescue once again! Instead of using physical raffle tickets, you can use an app like UMU to collect entries and randomly select as many winners as you like.

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Recent participation technology also opens up doors for new types of engagement!

Social media integrations are a great way to playfully engage your audience, whether it's by displaying relevant social media content on-screen, creating an event-specific hashtag to create collections of shared images, or sharing scannable QR codes that connect users to fun activations to encourage sharing! (Check out how UVA is using their 3D CavMan activation at recent events!)

If your event spans multiple locations, you can also use two-way live streaming to encourage live audience participation between locations! We recently worked on an event that was being simulcast between two different cities, with speakers presenting from both locations and large audiences attending each. To bring the energy back up after breaks, we set a camera on the audience and each location did the wave as the other watched, getting everyone pumped up for the next session. It was lots of fun, and the audience loved it!

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New audience participation tech can improve your attendees' experience and encourage them to get more involved in the event. The more involved your attendees become, the more connected they feel and the more impactful the event will be. For more tips on keeping your audience engaged, check out our blog post: 7 Ways to Increase Audience Engagement with AV.