It takes a lot of event planning strategies, time and money to organize any type of event. You invest in an event to make it successful. But, what you need to do to make that happen in the first place, is to keep your attendees engaged.
Here we go with an ideas about how to make them more engaged:
1. Before an Event
The great opportunity to make a positive impression at the very first start is to contact attendees through email invites. Let them know what they can expect by attending and what kind of benefits they will receive. Ask them for feedback through surveys, short polls on Facebook or Twitter, online quizzes. You’ll be surprised at how much valuable feedback you received.
If you have a line – up of speakers participating in your event, you can publish it and give your attendees a chance to prepare the questions they’d like to ask. On the other hand, you can ask your speakers to write a guest post for your blog. Either way, this is an opportunity for your attendees to engage with whom they are going to listen to and to get an idea of what they’re gonna learn from them.
Another great chance to give attendees an inside look into the content is hosting a webinar! Ask one of your speakers to host it and focus on a topic or two to discuss with your audience. Your webinar attendees will appreciate it. And that’s how you’ll spread the word about your event.
How are you promoting your upcoming event to potential attendees?
Using your event website and social media to create relevant content is a great way to get attendees excited about the event. For example, it can be a blog post on the event website, a video, a gallery of photos on Facebook or Instagram, or an article on Linkedin.
Consider behind-the-scenes photos. That’s a great way to boost conversation and engagement about an event and to make a personal connection with possible attendees.
We already said that promoting an event through social media is a great way to engage with your audience. But, before that, pick a unique, short, catchy and relevant hashtag. A hashtag, of course, help you to connect with attendees, but not only that: it also helps you to monitor what attendees are saying about your event. On the other hand, it gives attendees a platform from where they can get updates.
Give your attendees a way to communicate with one another before a big happening. You can consider using a LinkedIn group or a Slack thread – a collaboration hub made up of channels where you and your team can work together to get things done.
2. During the Event
Have you heard about Tagboard? This tool uses hashtags to search for and collect public social media within seconds of being posted to networks like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. You can use it at venues and events like social media screen by simply projecting a live stream of your event’s hashtag on a large screen. It encourages attendees to share their experience on social media using your event hashtag.
If you host an event with speakers, you can post quotes from speakers on social media using your event hashtag and @mention. This is how you encourage sharing, and on the other hand, mentioning the speaker may help your content spread virally within event attendees and others watching from home.
During the event, you can live stream on Facebook about what’s going on behind-the-scenes or you can live stream short interviews with your speakers.
Consider responding to live tweets by monitoring them. That’s how you are in a good position to quickly respond to tweets, take appropriate action and make your attendees opinions valued. Don’t forget to regularly share content updates from your event on social media using multimedia.
The truth is that not everyone is comfortable with standing in front of an audience to ask or give opinions. That’s the way you need to use polls to ask attendees. For instance, you can ask them which performer or speech they loved most and why.
If you want them to engage with your event even more, choose live polling. Live polling via an event app as Aventri is a great solution for an event planner to keep their attendees informed at all times. The extensive set of networking features enables attendees to use the mobile event app to connect with their peers. It helps planners to understand what they value the most. Even a simple question can collect information that will increase interest and interaction. Results can be streamed in real-time to an on-stage display.
3. After Event
One of the main reasons why attendees come to your event is to learn. Making your content available post-event is important for them. During the event, there is almost no chance every attendee will catch everything. It’s because of the constant distraction of social media notifications, e-mails, calls, and meetings. Therefore, most of them will rely on getting event material afterward. So, make sure they receive it.
Social media channels are a great way to engage with your attendees after the event. One important thing you need to remember when using your social media is consistency. Posting once or twice a week can make a difference.
Get your hashtags and start posting. So, what can you post about?
For example, you can post data about how many people attended, what the most popular speeches were, or what got retweeted the most. You might post a recording of one of the speakers, recap the highlights in a video or photos. Think about “Top 5 Highlights” and complete it with photos and videos during the event, as same as quotes from the speaker. Don’t forget a “call to action” in your posts.
There is also plenty of ways how to repurpose your event content. You can create presentations, blog posts or a valuable resource library on your event website. Due to the research, our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Therefore, be sure to include some videos and visuals in your event content, as same as infographics.
Blog posts about the topics they care about can drive traffic to your webpage. Also, it can increase your event’s reputation as a leader in your industry. You can post interviews with performers, write about top news and interesting topics from your field of interest, or special offers from your sponsors.
You can write a blog post recapping the event’s highlights. It helps you to engage with those who were able to attend your event and those who weren’t. You could even consider sending the blog post out to your site’s subscribers through your weekly newsletter.
After the event, send your attendees a thank you email. It’s a great way to show your appreciation and make them feel valued. You can make the email more engaging by including a link to video or photos highlights from the event. Don’t focus only on a thank you emails, ask your attendees for feedback. What was right or wrong? What can you change next time? Ask attendees about their experience. Listen to them. It will help you to stand out from your competitors.
After a day or two, while the memories are still fresh, try with post-event surveys and polls on your event website. It will allow you to continue engaging with them. Don’t focus only on positive feedback… you can also learn a lot from negative ones!
Try with early registration for your next event. You’ll have a far better success if you promote early. The moment event finished, registration for the next one should be ready. Remind your attendees of the great things they learned from the event. Encourage them to continue conversations through communities. Give your event speakers and attendees a platform to connect.