There are two critical clauses in every event manager’s and planner’s Bible:
1) Every logistical detail must be planned out before, during and after the event.
2) The event must have scope for attendees to have an engaging experience.
More often than so, you can gauge the success of an event from the nature and extent of your attendee engagement. But simultaneously, it is easy to get caught up in designing the event and lose track of creating effective event marketing strategies to keep your attendees engaged. Even if your event attracts around 50 attendees or participants, it is vital for any and every event planner to formalize various strategies and techniques to Attendee engagement and generate positive responsiveness to the event’s content.
It’s pivotal to contemplate upon innovative methods by which you can not only promote your event to mass audiences but simultaneously keep them excited and captured – even before they physically arrive onsite. Using techniques to build solid relationships with your audience is an exercise that guarantees sky-rocketing rates of success, and it can overall facilitate a chain of networking and business development.
The plethora of technology available to us makes it even easier for attendee engagement in the process of an event. It opens up venues to create valuable and attractive content for your delegates, generate buzz around the event and eventually prolong the conversation after the event has ended. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive list of promotional tactics you can use to enhance your attendee’s experience and create a reliable and fruitful engagement plan for your events.
A few objectives every event planner should always keep in mind, before an event, is to keep attendees updated continuously on a wide range of event-related news and promotions and create a space for audiences to interact with each other regarding the event. Some techniques include:
1. Share exciting content and news-shorts about the event through public and private channels.
2. Build networking spaces (chat-rooms) for novice attendees to connect with frequent event-goers.
3. Involve your targetted audiences in the planning of your event, to not only keep them engaged but to also gain valuable criticism and feedback.
4. Inform and leverage your speakers to start dialogues between themselves and their audiences about their upcoming projects. Attendees and speakers can communicate with one another via social media outlets like Twitter chats and Facebook live videos.
5. Design your registration website to provide all access to all your attendee’s needs and essentials. Also, keep in mind to maintain a smart and attractive aesthetic to the website. Your website should be an easy to use one-stop-shop for all your audience members.
6. Promote highlights from your previous events to inform and excite your incoming audiences; furthermore, the clever use of social media outlets becomes a focal space for marketing.
7. By surveying event registrants through specifically directed questions, event planners can gain significant insight into their audience’s needs and expectations. The information received can be further incorporated to tailor future events to boost audience engagement and satisfaction.
8. Post teasers and reveals of your keynote speakers and events, through creative and attractive ways.
9. For those who won’t be attending the event, planners should learn to create more chances for them to attend and participate in these events. A few approaches include offering discounts in return for social-media crowd sharing, exclusive participatory competitions for VIP giveaways and access passes, behind the scenes tours, etc.
During The Event
1. Utilize internal channels of information to bolster social networking and increase the hype leading up to the event. Internal social outlets such as members-only websites, forums, hashtags, event date countdowns, and mobile event app group activity, are ideal for building a sense of exclusivity and customization of attendee engagement. Audiences can engage, not only with the agenda and content of the event but other participants, speakers, and organizers as well.
2. Limit your presentations and content to small chunks of 10 to 15-minute demonstrations, and open a forum for interaction. Speakers should invite participant input and discussion to help maintain a decent degree of attendee engagement
3. Incorporate quirky activities into the event to boost audience experience and engagement. For example, set up a photo booth with props, so that attendees not only get the opportunities to document their experience but also share the pictures using an event-related hashtag and further promote the event.
4. The design of the space and venue also has a significant influence on the overall attendee engagement and satisfaction rates. Event organizers must learn to facilitate remarkable environments for learning and networking; this would involve seating designs and arrangements, internal infrastructure, etc. By altering the literal positioning of audience members, event managers and organizers can yield more cognitive engagement amongst attendees and with the content provided
5. Another feature to take advantage of on social media and internal channels is real-time attendee polls (e.g., Twitter polls). Event organizers and marketing strategists can use interactive question polls and voting systems to attendee engagement and the content provided at the event.
6. Weave in a few energizers through the course of the event. These energizers would include short breaks, upbeat AV content, interactive group activities, etc., and would have to be carefully designed and arranged as per the attendee demographic.
After The Event
An event planner’s work doesn’t end when the event concludes. In fact, it’s only when the event ends, does the job pick up.
While this part only accounts for a small portion of the overall social media updates, the post-event dialogue and promotion genuinely pushes the event’s success rates.
1. Press and Social Media Coverage: Invite journalists and press reporters to the event and cover most of the high-points and personal experiences
2. Post-event polls: Attendee feedback has proved to be vital across all the stages of an event. But a good event manager is distinguished by how they utilize and incorporate the criticism received from audiences. Respond back and reply to attendees for their votes, opinions, and thoughts, and assimilate them into future event plans.