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…

7 Inexpensive Video Switchers For Streaming

Recently, a client asked me to review a few inexpensive portable video switcher solutions for live streaming. The requirements are under $1,000, easy to use, and standalone, meaning no additional equipment is necessary for features like video playback and generating graphics.

There are plenty of these solutions on the market, but I found this article from VideStream contains most of the information I need.

It’s packed with details about 7 systems that I wanted to share with my audience.

“Live streaming gives brands the power to connect with the masses. Studies have shown that more people actively engage with live video than most other content formats.”

“One of the best ways to improve the overall quality of your stream is with a video switcher. In this post, we’ll cover the best video switchers for live streaming and reveal why this simple tool is so important for live streaming success.”

IT leaders need to invest in platform-agnostic UC systems

I’ve been touting platform-agnostic systems since 2018. It seems Zachary Comeau at mytechdecisions.com feels the same way. Here’s a blurb from the full article.

Look for platform-agnostic systems

… Videoconferencing and collaboration markets are flooded with software from several providers like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, Google Meet, Bluejeans, Slack, RingCentral and many more.

There have been calls for these companies to get along and provide more interoperability and integrations, but that has largely failed to materialize as the collaboration software industry suddenly became extremely lucrative and competitive.

According to collaboration industry experts, using multiple software vendors isn’t all that rare. Some companies use one app to communicate externally and another to communicate with their team. If organizations work in small teams, the software of choice can vary among groups.

“I don’t know about you, but my home system needs to be agnostic and open to the ability to be bouncing around from a Teams meeting to a Zoom meeting to a PowerPoint,” Corey says.

IT directors need to prepare for this as optimistic news about effective vaccines is getting people thinking about the return to the office.

“If you’re an IT director and planned to have a single platform in all of your offices and you have no concept of work-from-home in that platform, you’re in deep trouble,” Corey says. “At any given time, the agnostic part lets you ebb and flow with the business.”

Bridging the gap between shopping online and in-store at Beautycounter

Elizabeth Segran at Fast Company wrote a great article about why BEAUTYCOUNTER, the socially conscious cosmetic company, is live-streaming everything inside its new store.

“Outside the store on Abbot Kinney, there’s a large sign that lights up when a live recording is happening, much like an old-fashion radio studio. Inside, the front part of the store is traditional retail, but in the back, there’s a stage equipped with professional lighting and audio equipment. Throughout the day, Beautycounter’s employees will live-stream themselves on a platform called Bambuser, which will be broadcast on Beautycounter’s website. If a customer sees a product they like, they’ll be able to click to see the product page.”

This is brilliant. You can read the full article over at Fast Company.

Expert Tips Planning a Virtual Event on a Tight Timeline

Claire Hoffman at BizBash lays out tips on how to execute a virtual event on a tight deadline.

“Let’s face it: We don’t always have the time—or the budget—to build the virtual event of our dreams. But that’s no reason to throw in the towel! Here, event pros across the country discuss how to plan an effective virtual event on a tight time frame, sharing what’s most important (and what can be sacrificed), how to be honest with clients, turnkey technology that can help, and much more.”

Some items she goes into are…

  • Identify your event’s main goal. 
  • Find elements to cut.
  • Keep the tech simple.

Get all of the facts at BizBash.com.

Is this the future of Hybrid Meetings?

I love everything about this “technically comfortable” space. The audience and virtual attendees get to experience the event in a more relaxed, yet formal setting. This is how I envision post-COVID Hybrid Events going forward. Minus the masked staff, of course.

From MeetingNet.com.

“[Marriott Hotels] used an in-person format that it thinks can be a model for other hybrid meetings. The event showcased Marriott’s revised approaches to meeting-room and prefunction-area setups that maintain social distancing, products and staff behaviors that maintain cleanliness of surfaces throughout the spaces, and virtual-event technologies that bring in remote participants.”

Entire Productions believes the safety-conscious event model is here to stay

BizBash.com describes how Entire Productions provides 5 ways to enhance your hybrid event.

“With large events like The Emmys and VMAs going hybrid, Entire Productions believes that this safety-conscious event model is here to stay. Whether the event is a mini music festival or a multi-day conference with entertaining segments, knowing how to better combine in-person and virtual elements for future events is essential to boost attendee engagement and overall satisfaction.”

The 5 topics they discuss are…

  • Engagement Tools
  • Thoughtful Giveaways
  • Curated Entertainment & Unique Experiences
  • The Right Audiovisual Equipment
  • The Right Event Management Company

You can the details about these topics at BizBash.com

Improve Your Nonverbal Communication

The Convene staff know a thing to two about virtual meetings, so they put together a primer on how to present yourself nonverbally. Here’s a snippet.


To help improve your nonverbal skills, we’ve assembled ten useful tips to try out during your next virtual meeting. From controlling your facial expressions to managing your body language, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to nonverbal communication. But with these easy tips you’ll be sure to impress your next audience and keep them engaged the whole way through.

Let’s dive in: 

1. Maintain Eye Contact 

Consistent, engaged eye contact is essential to communicating. And though it may be easy to slip away while speaking through a screen, it’s important to stay zeroed in on your audience. To give the illusion of true eye contact, be sure to look directly into the webcam. And if you want to help your expression appear more natural, you could even try taping an image you love of a family member to the wall behind it. 

2. Perfect Your Posture 

It may seem like an insignificant detail, but slouching on screen can give your audience the impression that you’re disinterested. Select a chair that helps you sit confidently upright, keep your shoulders square, and try to use your hands some when speaking. Leaning into the camera slightly will also mimic active listening onscreen. 

3. Smile & Nod Along 

Just as you would in person, smiling and nodding along while others are speaking will let them know that you’re listening and engaged. Tilting your head as you do so will also affirm your interest, as this gesture is a universal way to “lend your ear.” 


For the other 7 tips you’ll have to visit convene.com. Fortunately, we know “a guy”, so you can go directly to the article using the button below.

Want to Lead an Effective Virtual Brainstorm?

Stanford GSB online learning manager Delia Davila and associate director of executive online courses Megan Pearse shared tips and insights to make your next virtual brainstorming session more effective.

A few questions they answer are:

  • What are the advantages of virtual brainstorming?
  • How do you overcome some of the challenges of virtual brainstorming?
  • What’s the best way to start a virtual brainstorm off on the right note?

And a couple more. Head over to Zoom | Blog to gather insight. It’s a good read for coaches and facilitators.