JUN 2012

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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Woo 'Em Home Planning Directory Planner Resources Meeting Site Showcase 7 Easy Ways To Create Engaging Event Presentations By Terah Shelton Harris Bright eyed and engaged, that's how you want your attendees to be dur- ing presentations. But, while they may come to meetings with a willing mind eager to learn, somewhere during the presentation, their eyes glaze over and their thoughts turn to wondering what's for lunch. "Engaging the audience is of the utmost importance or you'll lose them by the first break," said Joy Brown, manager of the Morehead (Ky.) Conference Center. So how do you keep them tuned into the message? We teamed up with Brown and other conference center representa- tives and found out what they're seeing as emerging ways to woo atten- dees' attention throughout the meeting. 1 Put Attendees In An ENGAGING FRAME OF MIND Right from the beginning of the event, atten- dees should be placed in an environment geared for learning. Kim Inman, vice president of the Columbia (S.C.) Conference Center, stresses the importance of attendees╩╝ environ- ment. "Is it a first-class facility? Is it clean? Is the staff friendly?," Inman asked, noting that attendees will take the message seriously, if the venue is top-notch. "Mike DuBose, a national trainer and pre- 2 Let The Venue Reps Know THE PRESENTATION MUST ENGAGE At the Columbia (S.C.) Conference Center, executive-styled senter, owns the Columbia Conference Center and he spent years in many venues around the world. He took good notes and built the ultimate facility based on comfort, class and elegance with state-of-the-art audio/visual (A/V) because he knows how the venue impacts attendees╩╝ perceptions." Select a venue with skilled A/V techs, Inman says, adding that they should be on duty at all times. Also, select a venue that is comfortable, she adds. "Provide comfortable chairs!" 12 ConventionSouth JUNE 2012 chairs are used in the meeting and training rooms to keep atten- dees comfortable. Clue in the venue that you require the presentations to be exciting and engag- ing, says Brandy Miley, account director at One Century Place Conference Cen- ter in Nashville. "Knowing this informa- tion allows the conference center representative to point the planner in the best direction for their group." Early communication between the planners and venue staff, including the A/V provider, will help layout a plan to engage attendees, said Al Luciano, director of sales and marketing for La Torretta Lake Resort and Spa, outside of Houston. "This communication can make a world of difference," he said. "Understand the meeting rooms╩╝ capac- ity, sound system capabilities and elec- trical requirements in advance in order to execute a flawless presentation." www.con v

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