The success of your event will depend on the objectives you’ve set out to achieve. While attendance is important, an even better measure is the engagement your attendees have with your event.
Why is event engagement so important?
Not only does it help build relationships with your attendees and your organization’s activities, culture and brand, but it increases the level that they’re involved in your event, resulting in higher interest and perceived value.
Event engagement also aims to provoke a conversation between attendees that can continue after the event is over. The higher the engagement, the more you increase your exposure and awareness, build your network, and make sure your audience comes back for more. Plus, since everyone has a smart phone in their pocket these days, event engagement tactics have never been easier or more accessible.
What can you do to boost your event’s engagement? We’ve compiled a few ideas to include before, during and after your event.
Before – amp up your social presence
Whether you are hoping to drive registration for your event or just build excitement among attendees, your engagement strategy starts long before the actual event.
The best place to start event engagement is on your event registration page. Let attendees know the hashtag in advance and be sure to provide easy social media sharing features and graphics to help them spread the word.
Depending on the nature of the event, you may want to include a few free tickets in the budget to giveaway to attendees who help spread the word for you. Just ensure you’re following proper guidelines for giveaways. For example, you cannot make sharing on Facebook or tagging friends a requirement for entry on Facebook.
During – keep attendees’ attention throughout
Live-tweeting from events has become a standard practice, but did you know having a dedicated resource leading your live activities boosts engagement considerably? Having someone — internally or externally — dedicated to creating and facilitating the conversation online provides assurance to attendees to keep posting. You can further maximize this by having live social media display walls and announcements built into the program.
Live engagement apps have been growing in popularity, but not all apps are created equal. Before you get mesmerized but what you could do with an engagement app, first ensure it will support your objectives and be easy to use and well received by your audience. Here’s a short comparison to get you primed on considerations for your event app, but make sure you take the time to do some research!
Engagement doesn’t only happen online, you can also surprise and delight attendees with in-person experiences like a photobooth (with unique custom props!), interactive screen displays and games or other interesting entertainment. Just make sure it aligns with your brand and event theme, and of course make it easily shareable online.
After – keep the conversation going
A measure of a truly successful event is how long people talk about it after it’s over. Make it easy for attendees to keep talking by providing interesting, sharable content on a variety of networks.
Storify is a great tool to both archive social media activity from your event and package it as shareable content afterward. Work with an experienced content creator and include photos and contextual copy to create a full narrative of what happened.
To make attendees still feel involved, you can consider sending out an email newsletter following the event to share your content, video or photos.
This is just a taste of what you can do to get more from your event marketing. Are you planning an event soon? Let us help you generate even more fun ideas to engage and delight your attendees.