At InGo, we don’t just focus on more attendees but also on what we like to call “quality attendees.” These are attendees who not only register for your event, but are highly engaged participants before, during and after your event, helping it to be successful in the short term and to achieve year over year sustainability. Today we will focus on how you can help create quality attendees during your event. (For information on how to grow your event with quality attendees before the event, click here.)
1. Make Wi-Fi Available for Free
Let’s face it, it’s a digital, social media, app centric world we live in and mobile technology for events is here to stay. Far from being a distraction, Wi-Fi allows your attendees to engage not only with you and your exhibitors, but with each other, making them feel more comfortable and increasing business opportunities. At a time when cell phone carriers are charging for data usage, if you want your event to create a buzz and attendees to get the most out of your event, offer free internet access!
Adding some friendly competition to an event can bring excitement and fun, even more so when there is a prize or giveaway associated with it. Gamification not only adds fun to your event, but can be used to give attendees more knowledge about the show as well as break the ice between attendees and exhibitors. Add even more value by spreading the game over the whole event, even over several days if your event lasts that long, to keep attendees engaged throughout the show.
Encourage Presenters to Use Storytelling
A key component of any conference or exhibition is the speakers, but often the presentations leave the audience feeling disconnected. One way to help: Ask your presenters to use storytelling to address a theme in a new way. This allows the speaker to bring their own experience into the presentation, creating authenticity, which in turn allows attendees to connect and participate authentically.
Question and Answer Apps
Speaking of allowing attendees to participate, the next tip for engaging attendees during an event is using a Q&A platform. A web app like sli.do allows audience members to ask questions (with their name or anonymously) and vote on the questions they most want answered. This can help overcome obstacles to an engaged audience like the fact that ¾ of attendees won’t ask questions in a public forum. It also allows presenters to gain a deeper understanding of what questions would be most helpful to answer in a limited time frame.
Our last tip is really a series of questions to ask yourself about how you can remove barriers that are stopping attendees from engaging fully. Answer the following: How can we allow attendees to get everything they wanted from the event? How can we make sure there is time and space for networking (always one of the top reasons go to events)? Are there physical barriers at our venue that stop the natural flow of the exhibition space? A frustrated attendee who has run into a physical or psychological barrier will be less likely to remain engaged during your event, or to come back next year.
Do you have tips that have helped you engage attendees? Please share in the comments section below!