Participants’ engagement and interaction are what organisers aim for in any event, on or offline. Keeping the audience interested and having them engaged in an event are what decide the success of a virtual event. So what is that engagement?
Event engagement is measured by the degree to which attendees interact throughout the event and how attractive the event is to attendees. That level of interaction is measured based on sessions attended, meetings held or polls distributed,... To event organisers, passive audience is what needs to be avoided at all cost, hence they often stress out on the engagement strategy so as to maximise the audience experience.
Here are some of our guidelines when strategizing engagement tactics of a virtual or hybrid event.
Tip 1: Interaction is key
Personalising the users’ experience can be the first step in inducing the interaction of attendants during an event. The customer journey can focus better on building, engaging, and retaining the audience through accurately outlining the goals and motivations thanks to the attendee's portraits and personalities. This helps to better anticipate the needs of attendees to create more personalised experiences, develop relationships with target attendees and achieve more success in the event.
Five steps to enhance customer’s interaction
Tip 2: Pre-event interaction
- As a professional event organiser, it is possible to attract and enhance customer engagement before, during and after the event by using proper marketing techniques and technology support. This does not only help to share valuable information and content with attendees but this also opens up the conversation and extends it until the event is over. Here are some of the easiest ways to increase engagement with attendees before the event:
- Activate the event earlier than its official date: Reveal the interesting content of the event on social media platforms by leveraging the event website to post inducing content; this is a way simple to draw attention to potential attendees. The content format chosen can be a blog post, a short video or a photo album of interesting moments from the previous event. In addition, encouraging event attendees to create a personal account or profile that includes basic personal information and avatars to clearly portray attendees to send them important information of the event also helps to make a positive impression and draw attention to the event.
- Actively interact on social media: Not only actively interacting and providing useful content around the event, also be skillful in announcing the benefits of attending the event on social media like announcing guest speakers or special guest appearance in a creative way or counting down to the event. According to statistics, articles about event anticipation and excitement make up for 14% of all social media posts, higher than any of those posts about ticket purchase or event prep.
The percentage of posts about interest in events accounts for the majority of all posts on social media
Tip 03: Interaction during event
Once attendees are successfully enticed and persuaded to experience the event, continue to create positive interactions with attendees by creating community interaction for attendees to take the initiative in capturing and sharing useful information and content. Event organisers can create engaging interactive activities for participants during the session such as a separate chat room experience where group discussion takes place. Organisers can also collect questions for speakers, creating highly interactive games among the members and regularly updating important information of the event by pinning messages in the chat room. Encouraging attendees to actively interact in social media chats will allow organisers to see what is being discussed about the event. In the situation where negative feedback occurs, the organisers will know right away to take prompt measures to maintain the overall experience of the attendants.
Tip 04: Post-event interaction
The end of the event does not mean that the interaction with the attendees also has to end. Event organisers always want to bring the best service experience, post event is a perfect time for it. Here are some popular interactive activities for organisers to win over the audience even more:
- A follow up email: Make sure to send a thank you email that includes links to the event's content document, survey of the event experience, and schedule of upcoming events (if any. This is a great way to convey respect and appreciation to the event attendees and reinforce the important messages delivered through the event. Feedback gained from the survey, regardless positive or negative, will be valuable to learn from in order to improve service quality in future events.
Post event press coverage
- Social media connection: Plan for post-event content calendar including featured photos and videos from the event, interviews with attendees, especially those feedback from the press. If more coverage for the event is expected, connect with journalists, invite them to experience the event to write about it. According to statistics, press response to the event accounts for more than 9% out of 18% of postings about the event. This is a positive move for the event, do collect and republish the content of those articles on the event fanpage for maximum coverage.
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