Thursday, July 11

7 Tips for Enhancing Attendee Engagement

No event planning professional would question the importance of engaging attendees. A successful event experience engages and excites everyone involved, is memorable and provides unquestionable value during and after the event itself. Attendee engagement is more than the province of presenters, exhibitors and content providers. Engagement is central to successful event planning, followed by logistics, venue and other “moving parts.”

To help event planners meet the engagement challenge, here are some tips to enhance the attendee experience:

  1. Social Media – augment the impact of your event with associated hashtags and dedicated media channels. Encourage live tweeting and posting and display social media streams and messages on monitors during key sessions.
  2. Open Floor Talks – not every attendee will invest 60-90 minutes in a closed-door session. Liven up the trade show floor, hallways and other common areas with open presentations and panels.
  3. Social Mixers – on at least one evening after the main event activities, schedule a cocktail or other social gathering where attendees and speakers can interact and network. Mixers can be funded and branded by sponsorship from exhibitors, partners and other third parties.
  4. Attendee Interviews – take the pulse of attendees by leveraging their presence at the event. Capture attendee sentiment with floor interviews and podcasts. Post attendee-centric content online in real-time and display it on screens around the event venue.
  5. Access to Speakers – extend post-talk Q&A sessions with scheduled “hallway time” to allow presenters to answer attendee questions in depth, exchange business cards, etc.
  6. Treat sessions as theater – assign event management resources to “stage manage” all types of sessions – keynotes, tech talks, panels, chalk talks – even social events. Find ways to spice up long-winded lectures, to energize panelist colloquy and to stimulate audience participation with shows-of-hands and rewards for answering speaker quizzes.
  7. Event Memorabilia – send attendees home with more than vendor or partner swag. Don’t miss the opportunity to brand and remind attendees of the event with T-shirts, jackets, hats, USB memory sticks (full of useful content) and other event-related memorabilia.

Measure Attendee Engagement

Always include attendee surveys in your event plans. Follow up online to gauge the impact and appeal of individual sessions, presenters, performers, venue features and other attributes of the event experience. Analyze feedback in event reporting and to plan future events. Like any product or service, events benefit from incremental improvement. An experienced event management and production agency can help you collect, analyze and act upon survey data and other attendee feedback.

For event planning professionals, attendee engagement is job #1. The success of your next event hinges on your ability to educate, entertain and captivate your prospects, customers, partners, employees and other attendees. Let Temple Rock Productions show you how!