One thing every successful event planner will agree on is that audience engagement is vital to the overall success of an event.
Imagine trying to teach a class, hold a discussion or get people to participate in an activity only to receive bland responses or, even worse, awkward silence. Scary imagination, right?
But then, what is audience engagement? Why does it matter? And how can you increase the level of audience engagement at your events?
What Is Audience Engagement?
Audience engagement, also known as event engagement, is an event’s ability to secure the attention of its audience and encourage full participation from attendees.
To achieve this, such events must be thrilling and captivating from start to finish.
According to a 2020 Bizzabo report, over 80% of B2B marketing professionals ranked audience engagement as an essential key performance indicator for determining an event’s success.
So, the next question that comes to mind is: how can you tell if an event is engaging? Several metrics can help measure audience engagement, but these are primarily based on the event setup.
For instance, at a physical event, perhaps a conference or lecture, you can gauge an engaged audience by their participation in discussions, interaction with one another, and level of attentiveness throughout the event.
Why Does Audience Engagement Strategy Matter?
An audience engagement strategy is crucial when planning and managing events, and the reason for this is not far-fetched.
Audience engagement strategy can differ between a fantastic, memorable event and a light show without mincing words.
Suffice it to mean engagement levels determine event attendance, audience retention, and success of future events. As such, the more engaging your event is, the higher the chances of attendee satisfaction and interest in participating in similar future events.
Recommended Post: Top 5 Strategies to Build Trust and Improve Employee Engagement
How To Increase Audience Engagement
To increase audience engagement at your events, you should strive to create a deep sense of connection by keeping up with them before, during and after the event.
The strategies below cover the activities you must incorporate pre, during and post-event to ensure maximum success.
1. Ensure Free-flowing Communication
It is crucial for event attendees and potential to access your event planning team easily. Provide answers to questions on your social media and try to send regular reminders.
Allow attendees to sign up for SMS updates or email reminders. This way, they feel part of the brand even before the event occurs and are motivated to participate actively when they attend the event.
2. Harness the Power of Social Media
A whopping seventy-four percent of event planners believe that social media is the most powerful marketing tool at their disposal. Therefore, depending on the kind of business you operate, endeavour to utilize relevant social channels properly.
Start by creating a Facebook event page from which you can invite members of your target audience and share engaging, interactive content.
Then, to increase the personal feel of your brand, show your followers exclusive video content on Instagram and make it easy for them to register for your event right from your social media profile.
3. Try to Listen to What Your Audience Are Saying
To engage your attendees, you need to promote discussions that matter to them, not just what you feel they would be interested in. Look for conversations in places where your target audience might interact with one another.
Look at the topics they are discussing and the questions they are asking. This way, you are more informed about how to plan and market your event correctly.
4. Be Attentive to Audience Energy and Participation Level
During the event, you must monitor and maintain intense levels of audience engagement, especially if the duration of your event is quite lengthy. Include a mix of audience engagement strategies and activities that help you measure and improve concentration.
For instance, you can ask attendees during the event to answer trivia questions and participate in live polls or other excellent activities to help track overall audience participation.
5. Incorporate Interactive Seating Arrangements
Another way to encourage and increase audience engagement is by opting for a seating arrangement that enhances the person-to-person conversation. Isolating attendees by making them sit alone can contribute to a dull atmosphere and reduce their engagement levels.
However, before deciding on a sitting arrangement to adopt – open or assigned – you might want to consider what is best for your event.
6. Incorporate Fun Activities
No matter how severe or formal your event is, the last thing you want is a drained, inactive audience. To forestall this, try to get your audience up and move through participatory activities that boost vibrancy.
You can introduce healthy challenges and encourage collaborative competitions with pop quizzes, trivia and games. Whatever you decide on, be creative, spontaneous and less restrictive in your approach.
This would enable them to participate more, get familiar with the other attendees and look forward to future events.
Suggested Read: 5 Corporate Event Ideas That Will Get Your Employees buzzing
7. Follow Up with Audience Members After the Event
An engaged audience would most likely be open to different events organized by your brand.
To increase the likelihood of your audience signing up for future similar events, you should be intentional about keeping tabs with them after the event, this is one of the audience engagement tactics that works.
Some excellent ways to do this include:
- Sending a thank you note to every attendee after the event. A short email would suffice to create the impression that they are valued.
- Request responses to a simple post-event survey for improvements in future events. Your survey should ask attendees about their most exciting and least favourite parts of the event. Also, ask what they would love to see at future events.
- Create a post-event hashtag and ask attendees to use the same to share their experiences about your event on social media.
Don’t forget that most engaging events usually turn out successful, but you must be ready to put in the effort.
Utilise the strategies highlighted in this article, and don’t forget to explore other excellent articles on this blog that can help make your events memorable and exciting!
Choosing the perfect venue for your corporate events doesn’t have to be stressful. This is where The Zone comes in. At The Zone, we are committed to providing a state-of-the-art facility and ensuring that every one of our services is top-notch.