Are You Engaging Your Attendees?

By Jillian Fehrenbach on Oct 24, 2017 in Employee Engagement, Employee Loyalty, Incentive Travel

Engagement is certainly one of this year’s buzzwords. And there’s good reasoning behind that. The more engaged your customer, meeting/incentive attendee, or stakeholder, the more loyal they will be to your product, and therefore the more valuable they become to you.

So, what are the best ways to engage your event attendees and leverage social media to make them more successful? During ASAE’s Annual Meeting, a brainstorming session had speakers sharing ideas that have worked for them. The audience also chimed in with some of their best practices, and we added a few of our favorites. Here they are:

Pre-Event

Do a social media poll to let followers help pick the theme, speakers, or activities. If this isn't possible, design a personality quiz that ties in to your event theme or specific industry. For example, if you are in the hospitality field, ask attendees to name which hotel brand most accurately reflects their personality, and so on.  

Utilize Facebook invites. Even if you use paper or email invites, digital engagement will get people looking at the guest list, seeing who will be there, and talking about your event.

Build hype. Provide a brief profile and photo of one of your special events, as well as positive experiences from past attendees on your blog or mobile app.

Post teasers about the big day using a unique event hashtag. Be sure to include your hashtag on all communication pieces and social media posts.

Create a social media campaign for sharing information and updates about all of the above, and encourage your members/attendees to share them with their contacts.

On-Site

At the event, the goal is to give everyone a voice. Create opportunities for people to connect using collaborative activities. Using a social media wall is the ideal way to bring together all the posts with your hashtag, while showcasing real-time pics and live streaming.

Shareable moments are irresistible to attendees who like to use social media. Giant Jenga, ping-pong, corn-hole, or a large adult coloring book that relates to your theme will allow people to unwind—and they're great for postable photo ops. They also provide ways for people who have only met virtually to connect in person.

Include a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activity as part of your event, not only to do good, but also to add interest and facilitate networking.

Use polling to take the pulse of your attendees during the event.

Post-Event

Keep the great conversations going post-event. To glean valuable feedback, re-design your surveys to only include the types of data you really want. Incorporate a Facebook or Twitter Live discussion with attendees. You will learn what they liked, what would keep them coming back and what they would change about the location, sponsored activities, dining, executive exchange, and more, all while promoting (the success of) your event on social media.

Post an online photo album or keynote speaker slides from your event. Or share a podcast or video recap to your mobile app to keep the memories and conversations going well into the future.

Finally, if your event is recurring, utilize highlights from the previous year's photos, posts, and videos to jumpstart your upcoming event. Just remember to reach out and share, and you'll find what works best for you!

To read the complete recap on this session, click here.  (Requires login)