Events continue to prove their worth as a marketing channel. With the right strategy, marketers can leverage events to build deeper relationships with customers and prospects, drive brand awareness, foster community, and shorten sales cycles.
The key to all of this? Event engagement. It’s not enough to know how many attendees you’ve pulled into your event. A truly effective strategy requires maximizing engagement and acting on your treasure trove of engagement data to boost ROI.
3 Ways Boost Event Engagement
Achieving maximum event engagement requires honing three key areas of your events: content, production, and interaction. When you focus on enhancing these components, your attendee engagement will follow.
1. Get Strategic with Your Content
The content you choose to communicate with attendees is crucial at every stage. From convincing prospects to attend to keeping them engaged during and after your event, content really is king.
To ensure your content is capturing and keeping attendees’ attention, keep in mind what your audience wants. Tailor your content to suit your target audience’s interests and pain points, and keep content delivery in mind when building your event.
A great way to shape your event? Pre- and post-event surveys. Leverage surveys to find out what your audience is interested in, how they like to learn and engage with content, and what you can do to keep their attention.
2. Don’t Skimp on Production
Unfortunately, great content is meaningless without the production quality to back it up. The production quality determines whether you have a captivated audience or a captive audience.
For most people, a PowerPoint presentation isn’t the most engaging option, but an interactive, tech-heavy session featuring multimedia content and an engaging speaker is sure to win praise.
3. Make Interactivity a Priority
Your attendees want more than to simply attend your event, soak up a lecture or two, and leave. They want an interactive event that allows them to experience and connect with your content, other attendees, exhibitors and sponsors, and your brand in meaningful ways.
How do you achieve this? Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
- Use engagement tools to encourage active participation in your event, including polls, live chat during sessions, Q&A sessions, breakout rooms, and more. All these tools can be conveniently built into your event management platform.
- Get your attendees networking! Make sure you allocate plenty of time for attendees to network during small group discussions, networking sessions, breakouts, games, dinners, and more. It’s a great way to break up the more serious aspects of your event while keeping attendees completely engaged.
- Keep in touch with attendees through post-event engagement channels. Whatever method you choose – emails, surveys, social media content, community forums, etc. – make sure you’re keeping attendees engaged after your event has wrapped so you can capitalize on all the great momentum achieved during the event.
Keeping Up with Demands for Digital Engagement
More and more, attendees expect a digital-first approach to engagement. From gamification to on-demand content, attendees aren’t being quiet about their demands. Whether you’re hosting an in-person or virtual event, digital engagement must be at the heart of your strategy.
On the bright side, more digital engagement means more opportunities for extended engagement (if you can get it right). Here are three digital trends fueling this transition:
1. Video Reigns Supreme
If you haven’t heard, video as a marketing channel is huge. If events (one of the most effective marketing channels out there) can be effectively combined with this immense appetite for video content, we have a winning engagement strategy.
2. Online Networking Is the New Normal
Online networking and social media platforms have made everyone comfortable with meeting and connecting online.
What does this mean for marketers? A stronger community with more opportunities to meet! Get your attendees talking before, during, and after your events using things like your event’s mobile app, appointment scheduling, and community forums.
3. Continuous Engagement with Digital Experiences
Embracing the trend toward digital means embracing where the physical and digital overlap. More and more, attendees are comfortable with this overlap. From scanning QR codes at the registration desk to connecting their event agenda to their smartwatches, attendees are embracing the power of digital experiences.
Because of this, attendees not only expect but encourage continuous engagement. Keep in touch with your attendees before, during, after, and between your events to maintain your momentum.
Keep them interested in on-demand content, get them into community forums, get them to attend a webinar, and leverage every digital option in your arsenal to keep them engaged and interacting with your brand until your next event.
Want to learn more about how you can boost your event engagement, including tips to help you measure, report on, and optimize engagement? Check out the complete eBook, Dialing Up Your Event Engagement!