Right now, there is a battle going on in the event industry. So how do you keep your audience engaged? How do you keep your event live and happening? For that, you need the best event engagement ideas. Whether you are organizing a virtual event or an offline event, audience engagement is the main focus to make it a huge success.
Thankfully, ample options are available to engage attendees. To keep the audience intact, create great content, provide some unique elements, and remain attentive to all the audience. Different types of events require different types of strategies.
No matter how small or large your audience, a key concern is to have attendee engagement. In virtual events, it is slightly tricky to get attendees’ attention. We have got you unique ideas for virtual event engagement as well.
Here are some effective event engagement ideas:
Pre-event Engagement Ideas
Pre-event engagement ideas are an efficient way of audience engagement before your actual event begins.
It presents you with the data on what will keep your audience engaged, their interest levels, target audience, and no-show rate and helps you gather the audiences’ thoughts before the show begins. It saves you from the struggle of planning activities to engage attendees.
1. Pre-event polls and Survey
Pre-event promotion creates hype among the audience about the event. It is the easiest way to know about your target audience. Let your audience know they are valued at your event. In addition, estimated returns on your investment could also be predicted. Data will help you improve the quality of the content.
Questionnaires and polls can be very effective and quick. A survey shows that about 80% of event managers use polls and questionnaires to create excitement about the event among the audience.
Polls can be as simple as choosing the topic, what theme would be preferable, and others. In addition, live polling and questionnaires can be a part of the pre-event survey, live event, and post-event.
For instance, if you organize an art event, you can poll about modern art or traditional art, budding artists, or famous artists. Similarly, for virtual events, you can use various polling apps visible for both the attendees and the host.
Mentimeter and Poll Everywhere are two unique poll tools.
2. Gift bags & goodies for virtual event
Who doesn’t love gifts and goodies?
Whether you are hosting a concert, webinar, conference, or any fun event. Gifts are always a great way to engage the audience.
Create excitement by sending gift bags. Fill your gift bags with quality products that help you to keep attendee engagement during the event. According to the survey, the average no-show rate is 35%. Including an event, the bag opens new channels for new sponsors, targets new audiences, and increases audience engagement.
For example, you are hosting a virtual event of financial course, sending fake money, annual reports, and financial statements, which they can use throughout the event.
3. Social media contests as pre-event engagement ideas
One of the easiest ways for event planners to create hype is through social media. Use the power of social media to reach your audience. Keep your attendees updated through Facebook or Instagram, create a Whatsapp group to give tasks and other essential messages. Giveaways and hashtags are the most common way to reach your audience. It makes a great way of networking.
Let us give you an example, and people are always up for good media contests. If you are running an art event, invite your audience to put pictures of their art on social media and ask them to tag you and tag their friends. Tell them one with the highest number of likes and reach will win a prize. Allow your audience to ask you questions through media.
Social media is proven ideal for online sessions. Leverage social media promotions for your events and get the maximum virtual event engagement through its various features such as reels, videos, etc. Do not forget you also have Youtube to win your audience.
Tip: Create events on Facebook to get the best results. Facebook is one of the best social media platforms to promote events that draws the highest audience engagement.
During Event Engagement Ideas
More often, attendees leave the event in between or are likely to get distracted, especially virtual. You wouldn’t want your audience to be yawning or engaging in some other activity.
4. Audience engagement through warm welcome
Welcoming the audience to the event has to be attractive. Grabbing the audience’s attention from the start of the event gets full audience support and engagement and makes the event successful. Warm and energy-filled welcome before the actual event begins to keep attendees’ engagement to the fullest.
For instance, you are organizing fitness virtual events or live. Start your event with a Zumba dance filled with energy and music. It is possible that all the participants are not fitness freaks; most of them might have joined it for fun.
5. Choose a creative topic for virtual event engagement
Event content: Event planners should keep in mind event content while organizing virtual events. Being creative with content is important for interaction. Select an engaging topic. It should be creative enough so that people can have a good conversation during the session. Provide a platform where people can ask questions to the speaker. Also, great event captions are winning the audiences’ hearts. You can entertain your audience with great event captions and quotes.
6. Select correct platform for events
While hosting an event, the first thing that comes up is an event platform. Organizers should try to create seamless experiences for ticketing where they can stay connected with their audience.
Selecting an online platform where the host and the attendee can share a screen for small virtual events is crucial. Keep the interaction alive between the host, speakers, and attendees.
For instance, if you are having a business session, and your participants must have some ideas to share, it will be convenient for them to share them through the screen. On the other hand, if that person wants to give a presentation, make sure your platform provides access to it.
7. Mascots or Event hand bands
Audiences adore quirky things. You must have noticed people wearing hand bands or carrying something like a soft toy. Yes, those are mascots and hand bands. Mascots and headbands are proved valuable to many event organizers to promote their brands.
Give audience headbands to wear on their wrist while coming to the event. Or create a small batch-like thing with your mascot to pin on their shoulder. This will help you create hype about your event also. You can include mascots in your product launch ideas– it can be just one-time event things.
8. Hire Entertainment
Hire celebrities and personalities to make an impression at your event. Hiring an entertainer adds little excitement to your event. Whether the audience is small or large, hiring famous personalities is one of the best event advertising strategies.
Suppose you have a counter in an expo. If you have hired a celebrity to appear at your event counter, it will definitely bring more audience to you.
Fully use your hired person, ask them to make a short video and post to reach more audience, ask them to give a few important notes and tips during the event and Q&A session at the end. It creates high audience engagement.
9. Creating Interesting Event Themes
Putting up with the trend is always a good idea. However, for any event, be it formal or informal, having a theme is essential. Having a unique event theme and delivering it to the right place and at the right time dramatically impacts audience engagement.
An appropriate theme for your event will keep the audience delighted pre-event, during the event, and even post-event.
When there is a hype about FRIENDS reunion, a popular tv show, creating a theme around it only will increase the audience’s excitement.
Tip: Invest in event planning tools to make the event experience for the audience smooth and seamless.
10. Plan Puzzles and Contests
Create a quiz based on your event theme, related to your topics, or some current festivities. Inform your attendees beforehand that they will have a quiz at the end of the session. This will keep them attentive during the entire event. Puzzle-solving is always thrilling for people. Have an impromptu contest in between the live event.
For example, if you have organized a dance show, ask the attendees to perform something on the stage apart from your decided schedule. Then, engage the attendees in some dance battles and announce a winner. Such contests keep the energy of the audience high.
11. Online Gamification
Gamification is the new thing for virtual events. Divide your attendees in teams and organize online games. Connect your attendees within themselves to create more networking. Engaging people through games also helps you in marketing.
12. Live Tweeting
Twitter is the oldest form of social media, and just in a few seconds, it can make your event trending. One of the best ways for audience engagement is to start a Twitter trend. Make your audience go live and tweet during the event.
Twitter is popularly known for hashtags trends, so ask your attendees to use your hashtag and tag you in their tweets and posts.
Create a networking channel with hashtags. For example, we will say #trendwithtwitter #gotrending #goviral. Twitter has prominence as it is incredibly effective.
13. Photobooth & Selfie zone
Photobooths are now widely being a part of marketing and branding. Photobooth and selfie zones are the most successful attendees’ engagement tools. Photo Booths are attractive to the audience. They will want to get selfies clicked and get pictures taken in the photo booth or selfie zones. It gets people excited and talking about your event.
If you cannot have a vast photobooth or GameZone set up, print a layout of an Instagram post with captions and hashtags written on it. Ask your attendees to click a picture with the frame and post it during the event.
We know, this can be too much on your plate. To make your work easy, plan your event with event management software so that you don’t mess it up.
Post-Event Engagement Ideas
Post-event audience engagement is a critical phase. After your event gets over, it is necessary to get your audience’s views and feedback to improve your future events. Because event trends keep on changing and we need to change with them.
Promotion of the next session begins right after your current sessions finish off. Make your attendees aware of your upcoming event in your ending speech. Give them something to look forward to.
Upcoming event’s challenge. Create a FOMO- Fear of missing out. Instead, let your attendees be excited about all your events. Audience engagement can start wherever you want it from.
14. Feedback & Reviews for events
We all need a reality check. Feedbacks are significant for organizers to know the impact of an event. Positive feedback can be utilized as testimonials, and negative ones will help you improve.
Hand out the feedback forms to your attendees and ask them to fill it and drop them in dropbox.
Most event organizers use automated feedback mails to get feedback.
AllEvents.in provides a feature of automated feedback immediately after your sessions get over and also showcases them as a testimonial on your event page to improve future conversion rates.
Check out this example:
15. Make Your Attendees event ambassadors
Imagine all your attendees being an audience engagement medium as well. Your current attendees can create a buzz about all your events. It is the best way to networking.
For Post-event engagement, you can make your attendees subscribe to your event updates and follow you on social media.
You can also make them share their event experience through stories and tagging your page. This way, you will be able to get into their network also. You never know this way you might find sponsors for your events.
Also, it would be best if you tried to repost stories and posts where your attendees tag your page. This will encourage them to post more about the event experience.
Make your attendees your ambassadors to create word of mouth in their social circle. It is helpful for both of your events on one going and in the future.
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Manali is a writer, editor, and content marketer by profession who specializes in event management and planning. She is working with AllEvents to help them create engaging content that drives the event organizers forward.