Nicky Redmond, our conference specialist, talks about the benefits of creating an interactive conference to motivate and inspire delegates so they get the most from the messages being delivered. She also looks at how building trust in your internal communication agency and fostering close collaboration with the client makes for a great outcome.

It's nearing that special time of year when conferences planning and preparation is ramping up as September draws ever closer. We’re often asked to support with all aspects of conference communication and delegate experience, and we’ve recently completed two European conferences in Berlin and Amsterdam, for which we provided full conference production and for different reasons we were drafted in for support.

Both clients wanted their delegates to leave their conference with knowledge, inspiration and the momentum to act on key messages and drive these forward within their business areas.  They both wanted to impress upon their attendees from all over Europe the need to learn from each other and to share information and inspire their teams at home. But both events required something extra to bolster engagement and to be different. That’s where we were called in.

The first action was to gather the key information from the client, rationalise the importance and relevance to delegates and review how best these messages could be delivered to be impactful and memorable. Working closely with my clients and deep diving into their subject area afforded me a greater appreciation of the challenges they faced, the needs they had and the actions necessary.

As a result, for both of these events we recommended an activity that related to their theme, reflecting the messages, but which would be interactive, challenge their thinking, and push their exploration to a different level. For one of the events, which had a ‘connect and transform’ theme, we used LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® as an innovative device to generate discussion about a business process and to promote consideration of new possibilities through a hands-on activity.

Both conferences went really well. Without doubt, the element of interactivity engaged the participants and while these activities may have required thought, consideration and an element of faith in us, the results, output and delegate feedback made it all well worth the effort.

Conferences require so much effort and time. Both from those setting up the events, and from the delegates sacrificing time to attend. This is what makes it so important that you don’t default to the audience sitting in a room with lights dim and death by PowerPoint (yes, that still happens – although not at our events!) – it’s a sure-fire way to kill off any inspiration.

Our clients are delighted that our collaboration has led to greater motivation within their teams. Our ideas and interactive recommendations met with some initial scepticism, but through their trust in our experience, it paid off for them.

We’re now working on an event in Barcelona and developing some rather cool ideas, which I’ll share with you soon!