Imagine the disappointment you’ve felt if your attendees sat through a series of sessions or keynotes that kept them struggling to stay awake. With all the effort that goes into organizing and fueling a well-prepared event, the last thing to be desired is an indifferent audience. Below, we’ll explore what audience engagement is, how to keep your audience engaged, communicate digitally with attendees, and more.
What is audience engagement and why does it matter?
Audience engagement is the process of transforming onlookers into active participants. The key difference between the two is that active participants absorb information, make connections, and develop a lasting impression of their environment. These qualities translate into a higher event value and return on investment (ROI) for the event owner. An engaged audience will come away from an event with a heightened sense of brand recognition, trust, and a willingness to apply strategies or knowledge gained. Engaged attendees are also more likely to recommend the event and its sponsors to colleagues. Likewise, for the event owners, an engaged audience is more likely to develop new sales leads, solidify returning customers, and foster relationships with existing clientele.
Therefore, audience engagement is one of the most significant markers of a successful event. As an event planner, your goal is to deliver more value to your attendees, sponsors, and organization. Utilizing the right event technology software can streamline these efforts and help deliver the perfect audience-driven event.
Want to know how attendees are engaged?
There are many ways for attendees to show their interest and engagement at an event. A lot of this can depend on the structure of your event. For in-person events, this may look like attendees nodding their heads, eyes focused on the content at hand. In addition, appropriate emotive reactions to information can include laughter, moments of silence, or applause.
Measuring audience engagement
Now that you know what audience engagement is, how do you quantify it? How does one accurately measure audience engagement? It should come as no surprise that metrics are an event planner’s best friend and that there are many ways to measure and analyze audience engagement. For instance, you can track session attendance, send digital communications, and attract new leads to exhibitors using event tech.
In addition to these metrics, you can also leverage the power of social media. Encourage attendees to post, tag, or share their sessions with specified hashtags so that event planners can track how many users have posted. This is an excellent gauge for audience engagement because you receive an authentic look at your audience’s feelings. Most importantly, it’s coming directly from them.
Of course, use a combination of multiple metrics to measure your audience’s engagement level adequately. If you’re looking for additional digital metrics for events, there are plenty of solutions. Through mobile app technology, attendees can use chats, quizzes, and other button prompts to track how many attendees are participating.
Ideas for keeping your audience engaged
As in-person events are ramping back up, you may be looking for new ideas to foster engagement. One way to engage your in-person attendees is to remain steadfast in encouraging their participation. This means reminding attendees of how they can participate and what available activities. Of course, the first step in doing this is to be proactive and advertise all of the exciting content audience members can look forward to experiencing. Remind attendees to join special events by placing a copy of the event’s agenda on the back of the badge. Event planners can design nearly anything on badges. Use a badge printing company that offers a wide range of badge styles and badge stock to fit your event’s needs.
Providing incentives is another productive way to maintain engagement. Incentives can look like credits or certificates awarded for participating in sessions. In addition, you can use an expo management service to stay in contact with your sponsors. Often sponsors have creative ideas to promote audience engagement since it is in their best interest to get their product in front of an engaged audience. Sponsors may have interactive solutions like enhanced visual displays for speakers, products that can be tested during sessions, or even hosting entertainment during breaks or speaker transitions.
How to increase engagement through digital communication?
In today’s technological climate, even in-person events will involve some level of digital communication. So how do you navigate attendee engagement digitally? One idea is to create a custom event website and include off-site group activities. Attendees can sign up on your site ahead of the event using your online event registration software to sell these event tickets.
Gamification is another tactic that has seen extremely positive results. Providing gamification at your booth encourages visitors to engage with your content in a fun and relaxed manner. Examples of this can include virtual games, social media competitions, and augmented reality (AR) games. If you are thinking about using gamification at your event, remember to focus on how it will add to the attendee experience without disrupting it.
Leveraging event management software
In short, these solutions and metrics can fit your specific event needs to promote audience engagement. This engagement will translate to higher opportunities for your association and your sponsors including, brand identity, ROI, sales leads, and client loyalty. Analyzing post-event metrics is key to understanding what content engaged your audience and how much. This information plays an influential role in shaping your next event and capturing more value.
Finding the right solution can make or break the event regarding technology. Expo Logic is a collection of event technology solutions designed to help event administrators and planners organize the basic logistics of their event. Our robust solutions include registration, onsite badge printing, lead retrieval, floor plan management, and exhibitor management.
Click here to learn more about Expo Logic and its wide variety of products, tools, and customizable solutions.