Event engagement is key to the success of any event. These strategies can help you create memorable experiences and keep attendees coming back for more, whether they’re attending in person or virtually.
Consider the stakes that make hybrid events so crucial, given these stats from Markletic:
86% of B2B organizations see a positive ROI of their hybrid events 7 months after the event date.
34% of event organizers expect to invest more in hybrid events in the next few years.
21% of marketers say they are procuring a hybrid event platform.
57% of respondents say they would rather attend an in-person version of a hybrid event than the virtual version.
25% of respondents state they will host between 5-10 hybrid events per year.
An attendee is an attendee, whether they’re in person or virtual. What keeps them feeling valued? How do you keep attendees engaged, regardless of how they participate?
Make Sure the Right People Are Attending
Before you can start developing your event engagement strategy, it's important to define your event goals and target audience. Are you looking to generate leads, build brand awareness, or educate attendees? Who is your target audience? What are their interests, needs, and pain points? By answering these questions, you can tailor your event engagement strategy to meet the specific needs and interests of your audience and ensure that your event is a success.
One of the best ways to maximize event engagement is to create an individualized experience for attendees. This can be achieved through a variety of strategies, such as personalized welcome messages, customized event agendas, and targeted networking opportunities. Since an attendee’s time is often limited, the opportunity to create a customized meeting agenda with the exhibitors they want to see is a win-win prospect for both. This is how you make them feel valued. By tailoring the event experience to each attendee's interests and needs, you can create a more memorable and engaging experience that will keep them coming back for more. Additionally, offering individualized experiences can help you build stronger relationships with attendees and increase the likelihood of them becoming loyal customers or brand advocates.
One of the best ways to boost event engagement is to offer a digital concierge and other interactive activities that allow attendees to participate during the event. This can include things like games, contests, and online workshops for virtual attendees, as well as hands-on activities for in-person attendees. Event apps, a comprehensive social media strategy utilizing dedicated hashtags, and other digital tools can help attendees feel more connected to the event. In order for these efforts to be successful, communication is critical. Well ahead of the event, provide information to attendees about how to download and use your event app; invite them to follow you on social media, tag themselves at the event, and use the hashtag. By having attendees more connected from the start, you can then create opportunities for engagement, such as using a live polling app to gather feedback from attendees during sessions or to create a social media wall that displays real-time updates and photos.
Provide Networking Opportunities
Creating opportunities for attendees to connect with exhibitors through pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings is one of the most important aspects of event engagement. While you can encourage networking and community building by providing designated spaces for in-person attendees to meet and mingle, as well as chat rooms and forums to help virtual attendees remain involved and part of the conversation, the real value is in making sure exhibitors and attendees can make the most of their limited time.
Follow Up Post-Event
The work doesn't stop once the event is over. Following up with attendees is crucial to maintaining engagement and building relationships. There are many ways you can follow up with attendees, to prolong their engagement as well as to improve your efforts for the next event:
Thank the people involved in your event – not just attendees, but also venues, contractors, and everyone who helped make it a success.
Send out a survey to gather feedback and solicit suggestions for improvement.
Collect all your media from the event and share highlights and key takeaways on social media and in email newsletters.
Continue to respond to and engage with people who share their own post-event follow-ups on social media.
Offer exclusive content to attendees as a thank you for their participation and invite them to your next event.
Provide exhibitors with information about attendees who visited their booths, so they can follow up with leads – this can be a built-in feature of your event app in many cases.
Analyze the post-event data to refine your approach for the next event, to include updating your ideal attendee profile.
By staying in touch with attendees, you can keep them better engaged and more excited about your brand.
Your events have the potential to reach more people and engage with them more genuinely. ExpoVention can help you make the most of all your events, from evaluating your participation to ensuring your brand visibility. Get in touch.