Attendee Engagement Ideas: How to Engage Attendees Before the Event
Attendee engagement is one of the most important goals for any event. In this three-part series, we’ll give you actionable tips for keeping your attendees engaged throughout every stage of their event experience.
The event experience doesn’t start at check-in. It starts with a promotional plan months before the event actually begins. From the moment when an event is formally announced until attendees arrive, communication is key. Here are five ways to increase attendee engagement at events and get attendees involved, invested and excited about your event beforehand.
1. Use social channels to start the conversation
Your attendees spend a lot of time on social media, so meet them where they are. Social media allows an easy and open line of communication between attendees and planners.
One client encouraged users to start interacting and discussing specific content that would be a part of the meeting. One technique they used (which turned out to be successful) was to post a photo, requesting users to caption it. Be sure to promote your event location and highlight interesting culture or food in the area. Location can be a big draw, so talk it up!
2. Introduce the hashtag early
Introducing your event hashtag early on allows attendees to become familiar with it, and it serves as a great resource for attendees to find news and updates in one central place.
As attendees become familiar with the hashtag, they will continue to use it at the event (as well as after) to keep the conversation going. Consider asking your attendees to post photos using the event hashtag, and use those photos to make a collage to run before your opening session.
3. Maximize your email marketing
Email is often the first touchpoint for attendees, so be sure to spend time crafting the right message. You might want to remind attendees about the previous year’s event by including stats from your event app or showcasing a highlight video.
Email also allows event professionals the opportunity to promote sponsors and vendors, discuss tracks or sessions happening during the event, and share responses to FAQs such as “Where should I book a hotel?” or “How far is the airport from the event location?” If you are using a mobile event app and are including new engagement features, be sure to promote those as well so attendees are aware that you are striving to bring them something new and different.
4. Customizable agendas
Customized agendas increase the likelihood that attendees will sign up for sessions they love. When creating your event app, make your agenda as customizable as possible, with tracks for specific topics, speakers, and more. The process of creating their own perfect experience is engaging in and of itself, and it will also help make attendees feel invested in their experience when they arrive.
5. Pre-event survey questions
What’s the most effective way to anticipate what will be most engaging for your attendees? Ask them directly. You can do this with a brief pre-event survey, and then use the feedback to deliver an experience that's tailored to your audience. You can ask questions that will drill down to attendee engagement at events, including:
-What are you hoping to get out of the event?
-What speakers are you looking forward to most?
-How do you feel about the location of the event?
-What app features are you most likely to use?
Pre-event surveys are a great way to get people involved, and show them that their voice and experience is important to you.
How MeetingPlay can help
Follow these five steps and your attendees will feel much more involved and engaged before your event. To see all our tips on attendee engagement at conferences, download our ebook - The Ultimate Guide to Improving Event Attendee Engagement. And if you’re ready to talk to a MeetingPlay expert about your next event app, contact us for a demo today!
MeetingPlay is a mobile event app provider who develops intuitive, engaging and information-rich solutions infused with innovative technology, providing experiences that everyone will be talking about. Contact us today to find out how you can tap into the power of meaningful connections.