Audience Engagement: Strategies That Work – 1 of 3

Here’s a great article from one of my go-to resources for Live Events, Social tables. They focus on “Connecting the hospitality industry through effortless group management solutions that create successful face-to-face events.”

If you’re in the world of Live Events and Even Technology and haven’t visited this site, do yourself a favor and check it out today.

I’m going to break this article into a three-part series because the 15 steps are too much information to absorb in a single sitting. I found it easier to digest in chunks. Below is round one of three. Also, what’s below are excerpts from the actual article. If you want to experience the full paper, please head over to socialtables.com to read 15 Audience Engagement Strategies That Actually Work.

Introduction:

Audience engagement plays a significant role in the success of any event. Whether in-person or online, event organizers want attendees to pay attention and participate. In fact, more than 80% of marketing professionals believe that audience engagement is a key indicator of an event’s success. Expert event planners and organizers understand that choosing the right audience engagement strategies can make or break an event. 

1. Understand your audience.

Surprise, surprise: Getting to know event attendees is one of the most helpful audience engagement strategies event organizers can utilize. Having a thorough understanding of your audience — who they are and what they care about — can help event planners anticipate audience needs and create an event catered to their interests. By doing so, you’ll help ensure that attendees are excited about the event’s content, which can lead to increased engagement…

2. Determine which metrics you will use to measure engagement. 

Before an event, determine which audience engagement strategies you’ll employ and which metrics you’ll use to measure success. Put the proper measurement protocols and procedures in place ahead of time to accurately track audience engagement throughout the event. 

There are a variety of KPIs event planners can use to measure audience engagement before, during, and after an event. These include:

  • Live participation. Pay attention to how the audience is responding in real-time at in-person events. Planners can also use live chats or polling to measure engagement at in-person, virtual, or hybrid events. 
  • Audience retention. Track retention levels to see how many audience members attend virtual and hybrid events… Retention measures how long individuals are viewing your content or are active in your virtual event room. A sudden decline in audience retention could indicate that attendees disliked event content…

3. Incorporate the use of a mobile event app. 

Beneficial for both event planners and audience members, mobile apps can be used to streamline communication, provide valuable insights, and promote event engagement. Choose a mobile event app that allows organizers to easily communicate with event attendees quickly… Invite attendees to opt-in for push notifications to receive agenda updates, session reminders, parking alerts, or other pertinent information. 

4. Encourage attendees to “choose their own adventure!”

Customizable session paths give your audience the choice to attend the sessions they’re interested in and skip the ones they’re not. This event style can also help promote engagement by encouraging participants to choose event sessions and topics they’re passionate about and eliminating the fear of missing out on back-to-back events…

5. Choose the right speakers. 

Pacing, enunciation, tone, and cadence are just as important as substance, so look for confident and experienced speakers and presenters. Find a keynote speaker who is enthusiastic, charismatic, and credible. They should be viewed as reliable experts on the topic of discussion and should excel when interacting with a crowd…