Written by Jing Yi Gao on July 11, 2017
When it comes to event planning, there are a lot of moving parts. As an event manager, it may be tough to balance event logistics, marketing, budgeting, and more! In the pool of challenges you face, the biggest fish may be the attendee engagement. More often than not, you are judged on the level of engagement that your attendees have with your event.
Don’t worry, this fish can be caught. Here is how to easily increase attendee engagement:
Attendee engagement can start as early as when they say “Yes” to your event. People are less likely to come to an event and start engaging with strangers they know nothing about. Create a sense of community before the event goes live. To do so, you will need a hashtag, and this will be seen as the “name” of your community. Your attendees can rally around the event’s hashtag.
Thinking of a successful hashtag on your own may prove difficult. You will need to make sure it’s the right length, specific, easy to comprehend, and catchy. A free tool called The Hashtag Generator can provide you with more than 30 excellent hashtags that are tailored towards your event.
Once you have your hashtag ready, be sure to put it on your event website, social media, and RSVP page for all your attendees to see. They then can look up the hashtag to see who else is going to the event.
Event apps can be a great way to boost event engagement. They provide personal agendas and features that allow attendees to connect with each other. This can make relationships much easier to build. Not to mention other features like maps, real-time updates, and more. This is no doubt far more engaging than pieces of paper. Finally, most event apps come with gamification tools to keep your attendees engaged and entertained with the event.
Make your attendees an actual part of your sessions by having them interact with the speakers. Maybe try a forum where the speaker even answers questions throughout his/her presentation. Open it up for the speaker to engage with and ask questions to the audience as well. You can also set up a live poll during sessions to make it even more engaging while collecting data at the same time!
Who doesn’t like freebies? Throughout the experience, try to incentivize people to engage with the event itself. It may sound patronizing, but sometimes attendees need that little push. If they are rewarded for being more active and engaged with the event, without even knowing it they will start to have a better time. That positive energy then will get spread throughout the event as well.
The event ended but engagement should not. This might be the last time your attendees engage with you. Make sure you end on a positive note by including a “Thank You” follow-up email, or a small survey pertaining to their event experience. Remind your attendees how awesome your event was. If the survey results are not as satisfying as you’d like, then you will have tips on what to improve for your next event.
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