The best events are those where people learn something new or explore something that they had never known or done before. If an audience doesn’t take back something valuable then the event is just another fleeting affair, a few hours that people have spent at a place without being benefited in any major way. Events can become extremely focused on the purpose and there may not be any value addition of any sort. That is not desirable.
The need to offer something of value brings us to the importance of education at events. Education doesn’t have to be academic or very technical. Education can pertain to a certain skill, knowledge of a certain product or concept, spreading awareness or just shedding light on something that is widely misunderstood. It can be fun, interactive, competitive or optional. But there should be some activity that focuses on imparting education at events.
How to facilitate education at events?
There are many traditional and several unconventional ways to impart education at events. Have you ever been to an event hosted by game developers or software companies? The developers would always want the audience to test the games, software and to provide valuable feedback or outright criticism. The tests and trials are encouraged to get the people engrossed so the audience is captivated and involved. But it is also about educating the audience, obviously about the product in context. Through such exercises, developers gather invaluable insight and they can use such revelations to make better, more relevant products that meet the expectations of the target audience.
There can be simple activities like quizzes, debates, interactive game shows or some riveting discussion. No method is redundant as long as it is effective at imparting education. There could be some prizes, badges or medals of honor and any kind of memorabilia to make the event more fun. Everyone likes certain tokens of appreciation.
The only objective is to pick a subject or topic that is relevant to the hosts or organizers of the event. Irrelevant topics or subjects will contribute nothing significant to the end purpose of the event. The activity should also be planned bearing in mind the age and demography or profile of the target audience. Tech wizards will not be attracted in the same way as marketing professionals. Writers need to be enticed in a different way than gamers.