You spent hours preparing and hosting a great event to attract the ideal viewers. Your event ends, but sadly you’re not done! Do you know why? Because there’s more to do to ensure you reach your goals.
Top event organizers (like you!) know that early involvement is important to the event’s success and potential future events.
So, in this blog post, we bring you answers to all the questions that event planners might have. From the moment your audiences register and up to the moment they attend, we’ll explain how engagement matters to you and what event engagement strategy you should follow.
What is Event Engagement?
Nearly 80% of all marketers rank event engagement as the biggest KPI of event success in their companies, and 1% of B2B marketers also believe that. Successful events attract the attention of their audience from the start and remain steady.
An event can be deemed successful if a sufficient number of events are completed. But is it correct for an organization to declare something successful based in part on size? Is there any value in terms of quality as well?
A successful event puts a smile on faces, gives the guests goosebumpy experiences, and provides something entertaining, educational, and fun. It’s all about engagement.
What is audience/ attendee engagement?
Attendee engagement is measured in sessions attended, meetups held, connections made, social media activities, and the adoption of event apps.
How Do I Increase My Event Engagement?
When it comes to managing events, there are several stages. A seasoned event manager will notice changes and prepare accordingly. Take a look at these points:
Leverage user-generated content through social walls
- By establishing social media accounts (i.e., event page) or community channels, you can increase your event engagement level.
- Impressive visuals from the previously organized event can encourage new connections.
- You can also add new connections if you set up a feed of your previous event and embed it in your supported partner and sponsor’s web pages.
- Quality Images embedded into a social network.
- The larger the followers, the better.
- Quality graphics for social media accounts.
- Get shoutouts from influencers (someone who can have a solid impact on your right audience). It’s always good to outsource if you need to increase event engagement.
Adopt an event app to be in touch with the audience
- More than half of event planners employ event-distributed apps with a high-performance rate.
- Some of the free event apps for top event planners are Eventbrite, Eventable, and Event Genius.
- Once the attendees sign up for an event, these social media platforms help maintain a connection with them throughout the event.
- Event managers can easily register, add and send invitations to attendees without any hassle.
- Event apps allow users to check out schedules, interact with each other, and share their experiences and knowledge on social media.
- Event planners can also use event apps to monitor the success of their events and improve upon them by adjusting schedules and other event-related details.
- Event mobile apps can even be used to set up surveys among attendees to get a clear picture.
Create online live polls and Q&A sessions
- Live questions or Q&A sessions on leading topics.
- Display responses and results from these sessions on a social wall on each occasion then. These social media displays are very effective and proved to be very engaging users, as attendees feel appreciated to watch their names and answers publicly appear on a big screen.
- Plus, if you can look at some event management software beforehand, things might be different.
- The final stage of keeping your attendees engaged is to request feedback.
What Are the Three Stages of Event Engagement?
Online presence, audience retention, and future event success are all influenced by levels of engagement. Essentially, the more engaging an event is, the higher the likelihood of attendee satisfaction and participation in a similar event journey in the future.
Right now, we have three primary areas for communication to improve event engagement: Before, during, and after events.
Before: How to Boost Event Engagement?
Pre-event engagement requires the planners to create anticipation. Event managers need to build interest across all channels by gradually revealing details, including event name, location, or theme, via multiple media channels. (Creating hype at least a month before)
Remember, your overall event engagement depends on attendee participation, and you need to keep in mind that an event is not something linear; it can be multi-directional. Try not to overwhelm the target audience with an excess amount of information at once.
Information can be gradually revealed about the event through different promotional channels before an official announcement is made.
During: Strategies to improve engagement.
Event planning must be a clear-cut and straightforward process with high-energy entertainment or a group icebreaker, depending on the size of your audience.
Pay attention to the excitement of the attendees during the experience and their participation in the process.
After: Why is post-event engagement meaningful?
Most times, the purpose of an event is to get leads and network with new people. So even though your event is complete, you just have to go back on track to complete your objectives – either making sales or generating interest.
10 Simple Ideas to Keep an Audience Engaged After an Event
Engaging events generate ample content that can be used to nurture leads. The event creates various ways to reach out to potential leads after your event ends, and some of the exciting ways are given below:
#1) Don’t underestimate the power of email
Whether it is a virtual event or an actual event, emails are your key tool in getting new prospects to return after visiting an event.
Use event-driven software that integrates your existing CRM. It helps to reduce your workload by 70%
Send a thank-you letter / sorry we missed you or a no-show message to nurture them throughout the campaign.
Show your prospects that you value them and turn them into potential attendees.
#2) Share and reshare your event content
If you hold virtual events or hybrid events, you’ll have countless minutes or hours of captured footage that could be sliced into bite-size chunks.
Find the best clips at your event, include them in your email messages, or post them on your company’s Facebook page or website.
You can also create infographics, memes or share inspirational quotes. Get insights from analytics-based analysis and discover the best piece of content to share, whether it’s an excellent presentation that got loads of likes.
You have a valuable asset after this event, and you need to reuse this content as frequently as possible.
#3) Send a post-event survey to collect feedback
Work on post-event engagement strategy: Create and send a survey following the event within two business days. Use the results from your survey to get an understanding of how your guests perceived the event.
#4) Get your sales team to make a personal connection
Sales teams can make a personal connection to prospects and leads post-event feed through emails and calls.
They recap the main takeaway (about your event), such as, “I would like to thank you for attending our exciting keynote last Wednesday. We were very excited to be part of your event, and we love seeing people walk out with great handouts. We are pleased that you were one of them.”
A quick note from the event staff can make attendees feel valued and appreciated by thanking them for their time.
#5) Create and share more than just your event (sell your words)
Your company blog is a perfect place for you to show off your event. Share your success stories, photos, and video via your website blog and social media, using call-to-action graphics or videos.
#6) Event hashtag and event leaderboard promotion
Make sure that your event has a specific hashtag that attendees should use at the event or online. This will help you to build a buzz about the event and
Edit the best parts of your event into an accessible video and post testimonials to YouTube as well.
#7) Hold a follow-up event to encourage networking
Many event attendees often do not feel like they know anyone at the event. If you can give people an opportunity to connect with someone else, do it, and you will find many people will accept it. Consider all the connections to professional services and organizations you will create.
#8) Show appreciation to attendees with an exclusive offer
Exclusive offers could range from pre-order privileges to discounts or bundle deals. Give your audience a limitless sale offer or 50% off on passes.
#9) Hold a friendly competition for your event on social media to keep the moment
Popular suggestions include photo sharing contests, photo captioning competitions, raffles, and tagging friends.
Offer prizes and incentives to encourage attendees to participate in social media contests such as raffles, tagging friends and sharing the page, posting with friends, or reposting the most popular comment.
#10) House all your content on a post-event page or resource
The post-event landing page restores prior participant interest in your event. It also acts as a powerful SEO tool to gain new visitors to your next event.
Hire a professional event photographer who can take pictures of people so that participants can leave comments on post-event posts.
If you regularly produce valuable and exciting content for your leads, then you can start to build a sense of authority. And eventually will gain your new lead’s trust and build brand loyalty along the way.
What Does It Take to Fully Engage Your Event Attendees In a Virtual or Hybrid Event?
With shorter attention spans and more distractions, engagement at virtual events has emerged as a key concern. You can have great content and a stellar speaker line-up but still fail to drive meaningful engagement. Virtual events are different from in-person events; however, it requires the same level of planning to host such events.
Remo is a virtual event platform that has mainstage capabilities and floor plan designs that allow a host or presenter to broadcast to a select number of participants. However, it can also add a fun networking session in conjunction with other platforms that may not offer such cool functionalities.
How to increase virtual event engagement?
When it comes to tracking audience engagement, event planners can keep track of open rates for event emails, hashtag usage, or with the aid of mobile event software. Track new and returning visitors. Watch how long visitors stay on your event website or how many different pages they view while on your site.
Interacting with potential guests will help you increase engagement event pages/social media accounts, website traffic, and stimulate conversations plus help you sell more tickets. It also keeps the energy high, attendees interested, and the buzz a buzzin’.
Now that you’ve put on a world-class virtual or hybrid event, you’re on your way to achieving your business’s objectives and goals.
Event planners, this blog was for you. Suppose your goal is to create an event that will leave a lasting impression on the people in attendance and potential future attendees alike. In that case, it’s important to ensure they are engaged throughout the entire experience. From registration up until showtime, engagement matters!
The more involved your audience members feel with what takes place before, during, and after their time at your event, the more likely they’ll be to come back for another exciting opportunity in the future.
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