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The Most Effective Strategies to Improve Event Audience Engagement

The Most Effective Strategies to Improve Event Audience Engagement

Attendee engagement in an event is now more essential than ever. Increasing audience engagement is the key to hosting successful events. In this post, Deal Room offers tips and expert advice to help you increase event engagement throughout the entire event, from the pre-event to the post-event process.

Are you ready to get inspired? Let's dive in!

What Exactly is Event Audience Engagement?

Before trying to captivate your audience, let's take a step back and define audience engagement. Event engagement, also known as audience engagement, refers to an event's ability to keep its audience's attention while encouraging full participation from attendees. 

Engaging events are fascinating and persuasive; they capture their audience's attention from the get-go. It is a critical Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for many event organizers in measuring the success of their event because events and meetings have no value without engagement. 82% of event planners use attendee engagement as a KPI.

Engaging your attendees begins before the event and continues long after the last session ends. Audience engagement necessitates a strategic event plan that includes ways to engage your audiences before, during, and after the event. To find out more about what matters when it comes to engaging audiences, we also recommend you read our blog post, "What Matters at the End of the Day is Audience Engagement."

Why is Event Audience Engagement Necessary?

Motivation

Event engagement motivates attendeaes before the event, maintains their interest throughout the event, and keeps the progress going after the event.

Networking

Event engagement creates a unique chance for businesses to network with prospective clients and fosters relationships between them and their target audiences.

Marketing Activation

The more you understand your audience, the better you can plan for powerful brand activations, networking, and other engagement activities.

Comprehension

Through engagement events, businesses can learn more about their audiences and understand what they want, how they think, and how to best serve them.

Revenue and Profit

Sponsors also prefer engaging events because they are a great way to build brand recognition and loyalty.

Business Growth

The engagement of attendees at events is essential for a company's growth in the modern digital world. Companies must use these events to foster relationships with their clients, sponsors, and partners.

Event KPIs to Measure Event Success

Learning which KPIs to use and how to use them can facilitate adjusting your plans to improve future performance. For example, your goal is to attract 1,000 attendees. You should keep track of event registrations regularly to ensure enough people sign up ahead of time. A registration lag quickly reveals whether you need to increase marketing efforts to attract more registrants. 

Some KPIs to take into account when creating metrics to measure your event's success include registration, event check-in, social media mentions, event surveys, cost-to-revenue ratio, drop-off rate, live polling, number of leads generated, and post-event conversions.

What Are the Three Stages of Event Engagement?

"Engagement" refers to the process of developing a relationship. Any event has three key stages: pre-event, during-event, and post-event. These three stages give you the most opportunities to engage your audience. Following that, we will delve into the engagement stages and how we can strategically follow them.

1- Pre-Event Engagement

The pre-event stage is the time to create buzz and excitement about the event. Interacting with your target audience during this stage is crucial to ensuring they attend. At this point, organizers try to generate interest in the event. Aiming to interact frequently with prospective attendees can help organizers maximize event attendance and revenue by driving more web traffic to event pages, prompting conversations, and selling more tickets. 

2- During-Event Engagement

You must prioritize the guest experience for your event to be a success. Guest participation and interaction can take your event to the next level and ensure you meet your goals. The activities held during the event keep the energy high and the attendees engaged. Successful event planners understand that the attendee experience is one of the most important aspects of any event.

3- Post- Event Engagement

Reaching out to event attendees afterward to express gratitude or gather feedback can provide insight into your event planning and marketing effectiveness. Guest feedback has the additional benefit of increasing the loyalty and lifetime value of each event attendee, making them more likely to attend future events you plan. This stage is critical for event planning, forecasting, marketing strategy, and audience expansion.



Strategies for Improving Event Audience Engagement

The event environment has changed significantly over the past two years due to the growth of virtual and hybrid event formats, and attendee engagement has changed concurrently. As of 2020, the industry was worth $890 billion, but that number is expected to jump to a whopping $2.19 trillion in 2028.

So, what is the most effective strategy to engage an audience today? In this section, we will discuss how to plan an attendee-focused event, how to use technology to boost engagement, and offer some of our favorite event engagement strategies. Keep reading to find out how to master attendee engagement in 2022 and beyond.

Pre-Event Strategies

Registration

To increase attendee engagement, event organizers should carefully plan their pre-event strategies. A registration system is an excellent place to begin. Today, an event platform is a must-have tool for anyone attending your event, including participants, sponsors, speakers, and exhibitors, as well as your team members and sales representatives.

The success of an event starts from the registration stage. Understanding this, Deal Room offers powerful event registration software that helps make the event successful for the organizers, sponsors, and attendees. You can also use creative and easy-to-build landing pages for registration and signups.

The audience's viewpoint

There are several other strategies for maximizing the value of pre-event engagement. Inquiring about what topics participants would like to discuss or what fun activities they would like to do during their break makes them feel they are a part of the event. 

Online campaign

A branded online campaign across multiple social and digital media networks will also keep your content alive and circulating long after the event has ended.

Communication

It is a good idea to make it simple for participants and potential attendees to get in touch with the event planning team. Another strategy is to respond to questions on your social media accounts, send out regular email reminders, and make it simple for attendees to sign up for updates. It is worth noting that 75% of marketers say email is their most effective promotion strategy.

Event management platforms include several helpful features. The Deal Room platform is designed for attendees to get to know one another before the event. Event organizers can transfer all event registrations to the Deal Room event platform. This feature allows all participants to view each other's profiles, contact each other via chat, and send B2B meeting requests to arrange meetings at the event. They can also find out who will be speaking and who will set up a booth at the event. This is a great advantage for those looking to establish meaningful connections before attending an event.

During-Event Strategies

A vibrant start

The first step toward increasing audience engagement is to make your event enjoyable. Start the event with high-energy entertainment or a group icebreaker, depending on the size of your audience. Keep an eye on the audience's energy and participation level throughout the event.

Sessions and keynotes

Sessions and keynotes are also excellent ways to engage audiences. Allowing the speakers to incorporate a live poll during a session or keynote makes the event more interactive. It also enables marketers to gather information to make future events more relevant and effective. 

Engaging content

Planning competitions, awards, or games is also a great way to get your audience involved. Organize a Q&A session and promote it on social media during the event. By providing a place for attendees to come and get their questions answered directly, you will increase engagement and enable your team to improve brand awareness. Include a range of activities and strategies to keep attendees engaged, especially if your event is relatively long.

Networking and matchmaking

Among other factors, networking is one of the most crucial components of events where you can meet people and expand your professional network. According to Zippia.com, 76% of all event attendees go for networking purposes. The Deal Room’s AI-powered event matchmaking software provides optimal interaction among organizers, sponsors, and attendees to create exceptional matchmaking events.

Post-Event Strategies

Early planning

Another essential phase of the event planning process is post-event management execution. You still need to interact with your attendees after the event as part of your long-term lead nurturing strategy. Don't wait until the last minute to plan your post-event strategy. 

Follow-up email

Every effective post-event strategy needs to contain a few specific components. Your guests made time in their busy schedules to attend your event. Send a simple follow-up email immediately following the event. 

Share relevant content

Let those who were supposed to attend but couldn't make it know you missed them, and then show them everything they missed. Send them the event's post-event page and any additional relevant event content. 

Get feedback

Send a post-event survey to your guests, asking for feedback on what worked and what didn't, what their favorite part was, and so on. 

Strategies to Boost Virtual Event Engagement

A "virtual event" is an organized gathering in which participants connect and interact via the internet rather than physically meeting. We've seen how effective virtual events can be in the ever-changing pandemic landscape. Organizers and sponsors suddenly found themselves with no choice but to take their in-person events to the virtual world. 71% of event marketers plan to continue investing in virtual events.

For instance, The Nordic Conference on Sustainable Healthcare was a virtual conference in Finland with over 32 speakers, and Deal Room had the opportunity to provide its services for its first major conference format.

Engagement level

A successful virtual event will have a high level of participation. You should be able to track, view, and evaluate the impact of engagement on your ROI using the virtual event platform you choose. 

Marketing activities

Creating a branded landing page, using show graphics, email marketing, post-event follow-up, polling, and adding keywords to your event page are a few examples of ways to boost engagement in your virtual event.

Right platform

A platform with a customizable interface is complementary to the correct implementation of other factors you have spent your valuable time and energy on. Some of these tools and techniques include creating a virtual exhibit hall; virtual networking; virtual keynotes and breakout sessions; integrating social media; and many more. Deal Room is an end-to-end management platform that helps you plan and manage each aspect of your event from beginning to end, whether it is physical, virtual, or hybrid.

Captivating content

The preparation of high-quality content and how it is presented will have a significant impact on attendee engagement in your virtual event. Gamification, easy access to on-demand content, multilingual content to reach more people, interactive real-time sessions, passionate content presenters, and adding fun features to the live stream are also some key elements that participants enjoy in a virtual event.

Deal Room's "Ultimate Guide to a Successful Virtual Event," compiled based on years of experience managing, planning, and organizing virtual events, is the best resource to learn more about how to plan an online event as efficiently as possible.

Strategies to Boost In-Person Event Engagement

In-person events are the traditional option for hosting events like conferences, meetings, lectures, seminars, and more. An in-person event allows attendees to interact with one another face-to-face, create networks, and share information. For instance, Malta Enterprise, which leads the national ecosystem for start-ups in Malta, organized its 2nd Start-Up Festival with over 750 attendees. Deal Room's event management platform hosted registration, matchmaking, and networking for this in-person event. 

Location

An essential step in planning an engaging in-person event is picking an accessible location for all attendees. In the case of Malta Enterprise's 2nd Start-Up Festival, the organizers opted for a venue located in a central area with easy access by public transportation.

Polling

Polling provides streamlined audience interactions with your speakers in real-time. Additionally, polling enables the audience to direct panel discussions toward their preferred subjects. 

Gamification

People enjoy trying their luck. Contests are a clever way to take advantage of this desire, offering relevant prizes to encourage attendees to participate in and contribute to your event. Small groups of attendees can also come together during breakout sessions to talk about particular event topics.

Notification

You can send personalized or general updates via notifications to your audience to help them feel included and to remind them of upcoming events on the calendar. You can also inform your in-person audience about a session change or cancellation.

Creativity

You can use some creative ideas, such as setting up various price tiers to expand your audience depending on the type of your in-person event. A production company can also elevate your set design and venue space to transform it into a remarkable event. If you are unsure where to begin, Deal Room helps you expertly manage your in-person events and ensure next-level audience engagement.

Strategies to Boost Hybrid Event Engagement

A hybrid event combines in-person and virtual events, expanding the event's global reach. The emergence of virtual events in 2020 led to a significant transformation in the events industry. Hybrid events are the future of events and are here to stay. For instance, World Business Chicago led the largest Chicago Venture Summit in a three-day hybrid event powered by Deal Room in September 2021 and recorded the attendance of 600+ key players in driving Chicago’s status.

Right platform

The right platform will enable you to provide options that give your remote attendees a sense of interaction with one another, the speakers, and the exhibitors. Both virtual and on-site participants can take advantage of the Deal Room features to interact with each other and build lasting business relationships. Participants can chat and book meetings with booth owners as well. 

Notifications

You can send notifications during the event to let people know when sessions start or to make suggestions about what they have already attended. 

Event App

According to ingo.me, mobile event apps make it possible to get 42% more engagement than if they weren’t used at all. Make it easier for participants to attend everything they want by allowing them to purchase tickets on the app for any ticketed sessions or VIP networking events.

On-demand content

On-demand content allows both virtual and in-person attendees to view every session. It also allows you to reach audience members in different time zones who were unable to see all of the panelists. 

Post-event follow-up

One of the event's objectives is to generate leads. If you don't reach out to attendees after the event, you will have a hard time meeting that goal. For example, after an event, send out a newsletter to attendees to keep them up-to-date on your company and any upcoming events. To find out how we can ensure your upcoming hybrid event runs as smoothly as our specialized tools, get in touch with our team.

If you'd like to learn more about hybrid events, we recommend checking out our articles“10 things to consider while organizing a hybrid event,” and “10 Common Mistakes You Want to Avoid in Your 2022 Hybrid Events.”

How Deal Room Helps to Improve Event Audience Engagement

Deal Room is a hassle-free event management platform that helps you plan and manage each aspect of your event from beginning to end, whether it is physical, virtual, orhybrid. Deal Room's built-in features can help you promote your event by drawing sponsors and attendees while also growing your audience. 

The Deal Room Platform fosters relationships, facilitates networking, and raises audience engagement by scheduling meetings during and after the event. Attendees can interact and network with sponsors and exhibitors at virtual or physical meeting tables in the designated meeting areas. We also provide a variety of ways to monetize your event for better returns on investment. 

Deal Room's Event Management Features allow event organizers to gather all the attendees and facilitate participant interaction through chat, profiles, the program agenda, and learning more about the event speakers. 

Deal Room's AI-Powered Matchmaking Software enables participants, exhibitors, and partners to have meetings and develop their professional relationships at matchmaking tables and areas. With the help of our matchmaking engine, event organizers can easily handle any type of meeting and simplify even the most complex matchmaking events.

Deal Room offers powerful Event Registration Software that helps make the event successful for the organizers, sponsors, and attendees. You can also use creative and easy-to-build landing pages for registration and signups.

Deal Room’s Mobile App enables you to do everything you can on the Deal Room web platform. With diverse profiles for organizers, participants, and exhibitors, the app makes it seamless for users to create, organize, and manage events, schedules, and individual agendas.

Through the Deal Room Badge Printing Feature, you can efficiently manage event badge printing on the big day and make your attendees use their QR-coded badge to share their contact information with other participants.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is audience engagement?

Event engagement, also known as audience engagement, refers to an event's ability to keep its audience's attention while encouraging full participation from attendees. 

What tools can help increase event participation?

Technology can be a major asset in increasing event participation. Tools such as email marketing, social media campaigns, and direct mail can be used to increase event engagement and inform participants of the event. Additionally, an attractive and informative website, online ticketing systems, and mobile app solutions can be used to make it easier for potential attendees to register for the event and receive updates. Moreover, using analytics can help to better understand who the target audience is and what types of events they would be interested in attending.

How can we improve engagement in online meetings?

To improve engagement in online meetings, we should provide attendees with interesting and relevant content. Utilizing interactive tools such as polls, surveys, and quizzes as well as creating an inviting atmosphere with visuals and audio that are clear and easy to understand improves the level of engagement.

How can we measure the level of audience engagement? 

We can measure the level of audience engagement by collecting feedback through surveys and polls during the meeting, as well as tracking attendance data, such as who joined and left early or stayed for the duration of the meeting. Additionally, we can monitor chat interactions and responses to questions posed by facilitators or moderators.

What is a key performance indicator (KPI)? A key performance indicator (KPI) is a metric used to measure the success of a business, project, event, or process.

What is a good example of audience engagement?

 A good example of audience engagement is when viewers take part in a discussion, ask questions, or provide feedback during the event. For instance, Midwest Tech was a 2-day virtual networking and matchmaking event that was held on the Deal Room platform. Over 800 attendees participated in the events in 2021 and 2022, and over 4000 meetings were conducted.

What is the most effective way to engage audiences? 

One of the most effective ways to engage audiences is to create interactive and meaningful experiences. For example, hosting a virtual event where attendees can engage in meaningful conversations with speakers and other participants or organizing an online game or competition to encourage collaboration. 

What are the five steps to capturing the audience's attention?

  • Surprise: Say, show, or do something shocking or unexpected.
  • Connect: connect with the audience emotionally by creating a meaningful story that resonates with them.
  • Have a clear objective: Create an event focused on an achievable and concrete goal.
  • Engage: Keep the audience involved in what’s happening, directly or indirectly.
  • Develop a storyline or narrative that the audience can follow and understand. 

Why is audience engagement so essential?

Audience engagement is essential to the success of an event because it allows for a more intimate connection with the audience and helps them feel involved in what is happening. By engaging the audience and making them part of the event, it allows for an emotional connection to be formed, which helps build trust and loyalty.

What are some techniques for motivating an audience?

Some techniques for motivating an audience include using humor, storytelling, creating an emotional connection with the audience, using visuals to draw their attention and interest, providing incentives or rewards for engaging in the event, and allowing time for questions and comments.

What are three stages to engage your target audience?

Pre-event, during-event, and post-event are the three key stages, and you should create engagement strategies for each to increase attendees' engagement. These three stages, as well as the strategies you develop and implement for each, play a critical role in the success of all event types, whether virtual, hybrid or in-person.

December 27, 2022

Adrian Zarif

Adrian Zarif

Event & Marketing Specialist

About me:

After seven years of translation experience in the management-related field and a passion for digital marketing, I was given the opportunity to work with the Cloud Markethink Agency and CloudTalk Global, the largest cloud computing event in Eurasia, as a team member to manage business events.

Additionally, working with Deal Room Events has provided me with a wonderful opportunity to reflect on and expand my experience as a content event marketing professional.

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