TED Talks and other inspirational events are raising the expectations of conference attendees. Because of the shift towards involved formats such as real-time learning and collaborative working, conference organizers risk alienating a major portion of the audience if they don’t focus on engagement.
So what can you do to engage a huge swathe of your target audience at your conference? Here are some tips.
1. Bring In Influencers
Influencers, when used correctly, are excellent for engaging audiences at a conference. Rather than praising your conference on social media endlessly, you can bring in big players to inform people on your behalf. See how you can get community or industry influencers involved in the conference. For instance, you can bring them in as keynote speakers or give them an incentive for attending the conference, such as a discount on your services. As they share their excitement about your event, they’re essentially helping you engage the people in attendance.
2. Live Engagement Technology Works
The features provided in a live engagement marketing app can accelerate attendee engagement. DoubleDutch and other similar companies provide such offerings with a range of integrations, performance metrics and tools that help conference organizers get unprecedented data about the actions and interests of their attendees. You get to use a real-time feed to host Q & As, session channels and other involving activities in real time. Live engagement signals, like attendees contributing insights, provides you with an overview of your live content strategy.
3. Organize a Knowledge Café at Your Conference
Keynotes and real-time engagement apart, consider setting up a knowledge café at your conference. This can be a place where attendees can be invited to sit in groups to start a conversation – to exchange ideas about a particular matter. Participants can begin in a group, and then spread out on separate seats in small teams to work on a question given to them. Participants can then discuss the problem and either you or the influencers in attendance could act as the facilitator. To give the feel of a real café, consider distributing snacks and drinks.
4. Leverage Visuals & Make Them Shareable
The popularity of visuals is at peak these days, courtesy of social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. Leverage the obsession of these platforms by pulling some content from your social channel and displaying them at the event. This will raise the interest of attendees in your offerings, and drive more engagement in the process. Also, provide ample opportunities to people to take visuals throughout the event. Make sure that your event branding and hashtags are visible, and that people are tagging your photos to increase social sharing. The tactic is a great way to create an evergreen digital footprint.
5. Offer a “Post-Event Meeting” With Speakers
Maximize engagement by offering a post-event meeting with keynote speakers that give attendees an opportunity to get up close and personal with the hosts; this can be a paid or free offering depending on your resources. You can set up a trivia for people, with the winners being eligible to go for the meeting. Gathering key individuals at the end of the event will spark even more engagement. What you’ll be doing is essentially creating a niche environment once formal proceedings end.
Follow these tips to successfully engage attendees at your next event.