hether you’re an HR manager planning a one-day event, or a conference director overseeing your multi-day annual meeting, you know the importance of planning a strong closing session that leaves attendees walking away feeling good.
That’s true whether you’re an association putting on your big annual extravaganza or a corporation planning a learning event or sales kickoff for employees. The way you end an event will influence not only the attendee survey, which many organizations use to gauge effectiveness, but also the overall enthusiasm of attendees who may or may not want to attend another event with you in the next year.
Here are a few ideas you can use to end your event on a high note:
Provide Solid Event Takeaways:
It seems obvious, but many events leave attendees “hanging,” in the sense that they don’t summarize what participants learned by the time they leave. Indeed, many attendees walk away from events feeling overwhelmed with information. So, providing a quick takeaway of some kind – one that sums up the presentations and information – can be super helpful for those who don’t have the time once they get back to work the next day or day after. What does this takeaway look like? Some organizations moderate a session that wraps up the day’s or the week’s main points and includes Q&A. Other organizations provide a digital toolkit that they email to everyone– one that includes summaries of key presentations and helpful practical next steps for implementation that attendees can use right away.
Do Giveaways or Raffles:
Rather than load up attendees with take-home bags of ‘stuff’ upfront, one thing event planners can do is give attendees a reason to stick around until the very end. One way to do that is to do a raffle. Encourage the attendees to drop in their business cards or enter their information at a central location, and then tell them to come by for the end-of-the-event giveaway. Winning big prizes such as an Apple Watch, iPad or a Swell bottle or even a pair of high-end headphones, can cost little in larger scheme but provide a lot of fun and enjoyment to help wind down your event. Two tips: First, make sure to have a number of items to give away and make it exciting by providing different rounds, perhaps leading up to a grand prize (to make it suspenseful). Second, hire a great MC – maybe an outgoing salesperson, or even someone with media experience. The more energy, the better, and attendees will walk away remembering the fun – and what they learned.
Hire an Energizing Final Keynote Speaker:
It probably goes without saying, but there’s nothing worse than attending a long day meeting – or even a multi-day event and then having to hear a dull speaker who, at his best, can be compared to watching paint dry. Ideally, what you want is a speaker who moves attendees through emotional storytelling or who demonstrates some type of skill that leaves attendees in awe. The best ones ignite the imagination of participants and uplift them by revealing some aspect of the human spirit. How do you find these speakers? It’s always helpful to view them first on YouTube or other channels. Take note of their audience connection and reaction and anything else that connects with you personally. Chances are, if what they’re saying on video connects with you, it will connect with someone else.
Why Book High-Energy Speakers for Your Event?
We at the Washington Speakers Bureau have a number of energizing speakers that can help you end your event on a high note. For additional speaker ideas, check our Collection of High-Energy Speakers, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for the latest videos of our speakers in action.
For a customized list of speakers who can help end your event on a high note, contact WSB today:,
This post was compiled by WSB's team of writers.