At an event, audience engagement is everything. It’s the clearest sign to you, the organizer, that your audience is listening, tuned in, and learning something. Engagement reveals how they feel about the event, helps them stay focused, and allows them to get more from the experience. And when other people are really getting into it, their engagement gives your event credibility.
Engaging your attendees starts before the date of your event and carries through long after your last session concludes. You can jumpstart engagement with your audience by following these five easy but often overlooked steps:
When you rely on static flyers and ads for your event, your potential audience isn’t getting the full picture of what your evSocial media will undoubtedly play a role in your event promotion and early engagement. People need to get excited about attending your event. Engaged registrants will share your event with others and be more likely to attend.
Your focus should be on the event itself, so hire someone who specializes in social media and can create a buzz on your behalf. A social media manager can post frequently about the event, ask questions, gain audience feedback, and give you valuable insight into how to make the event more successful — all before your event starts! Their efforts can help you sell more tickets, grow your list of interested attendees, and make you a success right out of the gate.
Every event is a little different. Some have virtual common areas where people can network and interact with each other. Some have social media walls where you can share your own content on the event’s social channels. Some offer live breakout rooms and Q&As with the speakers.
Sharing ways to engage at the event beforehand creates a more informed audience. Let them know how they can participate beyond attending sessions and listening to speakers. Then, continue to encourage them to use these features to improve their experience.
If you want to amplify your social presence, create a special event hashtag for people to use before, during, and after the event. All the photos and content using this hashtag will show up in your event’s social feed. This is a great way to get user-generated content that you can use to market future events.
Make sure to include your hashtag on all of your event promotional material. Add it to the tickets, emails, flyers, and any other printed collateral that will be in your attendees’ hands. Flash it on the screen during live events and have your speakers promote it during their sessions. The more people use it, the more other people will want to use it!
Events are rarely one size fits all. People want to know that by attending your event, they’re making the best use of their time and will get something out of their experience.
An influencer is anyone who has a large following and can “influence” their audience’s behaviors. This might be someone who is popular on social media or a corporate sponsor, for example. Influencers help you get in front of a broader audience, a feat that all event organizers aim to conquer. If you want influencers in your niche to talk about your event, just invite them!
Get corporate sponsors or hire influencers to promote your event on their social channels. Some influencers charge by the post while others may charge by the hour. Either way, it’s a worthwhile way to build credibility, get people excited about attending, and feel good about what they’re about to experience. And once your influencers start engaging at your event, other people will likely follow suit.
Anything goes with live polls — before, during, and after your event. You can capture audience sentiments in real time, gain insight into what they’re thinking, ask for feedback, and create personalized experiences. Integrate live polls into each of your speaker sessions to keep the audience on their toes. With the right questions, you can learn everything from food preferences to favorite speakers to how to make your event better and more.
Platforms like Canapii offer integrated event marketing tools that help you prioritize engagement at scale. To learn more, get started with Canapii for free!