The success of any event depends on the engagement of its attendees. Event organizers want people to pay attention and take part in events, online or in person. More than 80% of marketing professionals believe audience engagement is an important indicator of an event’s success. Event planners and organizers are well aware that the best audience engagement strategies can make or ruin an event.
This post will discuss various audience engagement strategies that organizers and event planners can use to make their events more successful. This list is for you, whether you are a novice planner or an experienced professional looking to learn the latest strategies.
These 10+ audience engagement strategies will increase enthusiasm for your next event.
1. Understand your audience.
Surprise! Event organizers have one of the best audience engagement strategies: getting to know their attendees. Event planners can use this information to help them anticipate their audience’s needs and design events that are tailored to their interests. This will help you ensure that your event is exciting for attendees, which can result in increased engagement.
Event Planning Software tracks visitor behavior and trends to help you better understand your audience. You can identify the content types that people are most interested in and use those content types to present your event. Event organizers and presenters can also benefit from knowing who the attendees are and what their company does.
2. Determine which metrics will be used to measure engagement.
Prior to an event, decide which audience engagement strategies and metrics you will use to measure success. To accurately track audience engagement throughout an event, ensure that you have the right measurement procedures and protocols in place.
Event planners have many KPIs they can use to measure audience engagement prior, during, and afterwards an event. These are:
- Live participation. At in-person events, pay attention to the reactions of the audience. To determine the most engaging sessions, monitor audience reactions and note any interesting discussions. Live chats and polling are also options for event planners to gauge engagement at virtual, in-person, and hybrid events.
- Audience retention. To track retention levels and see the number of audience members who attend hybrid and virtual events, The duration of time people view your content or participate in the virtual event room is called retention. A gradual decrease in engagement during an event is a sign that audience members have become less engaged. An abrupt decline in attendance could be a sign that attendees don’t like the event content.
- Download rates. Prior to your event, offer relevant and free downloads to all registrants. To measure audience enthusiasm and real-time engagement, track download rates before in-person events.
- Ratings. What was the satisfaction rate of attendees at your event? To find out, send a brief survey with after-event evaluation questions. Ask your attendees what parts of the event they found most engaging and which ones they would like to see again.
3. Make sure to include a mobile app for event management.
Mobile apps are beneficial for both event planners as well as audience members. They can be used to improve communication, give valuable insights and encourage event engagement. Find a mobile app to help organizers communicate with attendees quickly. Upload the agenda, the map and details for each session to the app. Invite your attendees to sign up for push notifications to get updates on the agenda, session reminders, alerts about parking, and other relevant information.
4. Encourage participants to “choose your own adventure strong”
Your audience can choose to attend sessions they are interested in or skip those they don’t. This event format can help increase engagement by encouraging participants and eliminating fear of missing out on back to back events.
Facilitate attendees’ navigation from one session to the next by using an app or customizable agenda templates. Each attendee will receive a personalized layout of their schedule using an app or customizable agenda templates. Give virtual and hybrid attendees detailed and easy to follow event information, including login credentials and session links.
You should be looking for experienced and confident speakers and presenters who can communicate clearly and accurately. Look for a charismatic, enthusiastic and credible keynote speaker. They should be considered experts in the subject matter and they should excel at interacting with crowds.
6. Start with an icebreaker.
Start your event by introducing an icebreaker. This will help to reduce tension, increase engagement, and energize the audience. You can explore games, discussion prompts or challenges and pick an event icebreaker your audience will enjoy.
7. Invite moderators who are skilled to take part.
Expert moderators are people who know what the event is about. Moderators encourage attendance and increase audience engagement. They can also have a significant influence on the tone of your event. To help shape the flow and energy of the event, involve moderators in the beginning.
8. Design a thoughtful event.
Think about the event design you create and how it could affect interaction between presenters and audience members. Don’t cut off the audience from speakers by restricting walking paths, making your space too crowded, or making it difficult to move for attendees.
Seating audience members should encourage interaction between attendees, such as crescent rounds that allow them to converse, or setting up separate areas of breakout pods for private discussions. These seating arrangements promote interaction and discussion at smaller events.
9. Learn more about the event layout.
You can study the floorplan before you start to plan or execute an event. Are speakers able to move through the crowd, engaging with people as they go? Or will they be restricted to the area on stage? Presenters might consider adding additional engagement tools to their event plans if movement is restricted.
10. Incorporate interactive event technology.
Event planners are changing their engagement strategies due to the advancements in digital events technology. Make an interactive presentation to impress your audience and encourage engagement with innovative digital tools.
To engage their audience, event planners can use digital kiosks and touchscreen menus to create interactive experiences. Here are some ideas:
- Instal digital touchscreens so that attendees can interact throughout the event. To display event sessions schedules or poll results in real time, touchscreen menus can be used.
- Digital kiosks can speed up check-in and increase attendee satisfaction. Digital kiosks can be used to reduce long lines, entertain guests during breaks, and guide guests using an interactive map of your venue.
- A PowerPoint presentation can be displayed on large monitors or digital video walls. To make more detailed information easily accessible, include detailed graphics, charts and reporting.
11. You can offer swag and other perks to your attendees.
You can show your appreciation by giving event attendees swag, digital coupons and other perks. To build energy and enthusiasm before kick-off, surprise audience members by giving them freebies. Pop-in perks such as a tee shirt cannon can be included to increase engagement.
You can also use perks to encourage engagement before and after an event. You can generate buzz about larger events by giving VIP seating, raffle entry or other special rewards to the first 100 people. To increase repeat customers and satisfaction, you can offer reduced or free admission to your next event.
12. Use live-polling technology.
2022 Markletic reports show that 81.8% virtual event planners use Live-Polling to increase their audience’s engagement. Event organizers can use live opinion polls to connect their audience to the topic being discussed. Ask participants to rate ideas, opinions, and answer questions. Live-polling results will be displayed to the audience to encourage discussion and to help members of the audience discover their connections.
Polling can be used to measure attendee engagement at virtual events. Real-time virtual polling may help to keep online retention rates high as attendees may feel that their participation is being monitored.
13. Livestream events via social media
Live stream your event on social media. Invite your online audience members to join. According to research, 80% prefer video content over a blog when it comes to product information. So use your event as a way for you and your audience to increase engagement. Allow attendees to participate in the live event and share content.
14. Pay attention to what’s around you.
Keep your eyes open during an event to be aware of what is working and what isn’t. Situational awareness is essential for speakers, organizers, and presenters to assess engagement levels and adjust as necessary. Presenters and speakers can regain the attention of distant audiences by changing the energy, tone, or pace of the event.