attendee engagement engagement Event Technology Office

Forecasting the Future of Attendee Engagement

Forecasting the Future of Attendee Engagement

This can be a sponsored submit written by Madison Layman, Senior Affiliate, Content material Advertising at Cvent. Extra details about Occasion Supervisor Weblog’s sponsored posts.

With greater significance being placed on the general occasion expertise, there was a shift in what engages attendees and what attendee engagement actually is. On this publish, we talk about what the future appears like, and the way occasion tech performs into engagement and the occasion expertise with ideas and takeaways for planners.

Conferences and occasions have come a great distance. Not too way back, it was par for the course to have one lecturer stand at the entrance of the room and converse for hours whereas attendees watched from rows of seats pointed at a stage. There was little interplay between the speaker and the attendees. Usually, the solely interplay occurred in the remaining 5 minutes of a presentation, throughout the query and reply portion. However issues have modified. Occasions aren’t occasions anymore – they’re experiences. It’s not about going to a cookie-cutter occasion, constructed for the plenty, however about attending occasions that problem your considering, present you info in new methods, and excite you. And with the rise of social media, it’s not nearly having an unimaginable expertise – it’s about having an expertise that incites FOMO (Worry of Lacking Out).


What Creating an Expertise Means for Planners

Planning occasions is getting more durable. Planners need to assume via the attendee expertise from the first to the final contact and place give attention to greater than the onsite expertise. The occasion begins the second your future attendee hears about it and by no means actually ends. Attendees are lively individuals in the expertise. That’s why the key to an awesome occasion is attendee engagement. Engagement must be measured and tracked to know the success of an occasion.


Engagement, or the act of capturing somebody’s consideration, is what conferences and occasions are all about. The emphasis on engagement is a current development in itself, ushered in by the rise of know-how. By way of instruments like cellular occasion apps, attendee monitoring, e mail advertising, and extra, engagement is feasible.

In recent times, attendee engagement has grow to be synonymous with cellular occasion apps, however that’s only one piece of the puzzle. Engagement is about together with attendees in the dialog. It’s about making them half of the expertise. It isn’t sufficient to talk at them, they must be included in the dialog.


Why Occasion Engagement is Necessary

A tuned-out attendee is an unengaged attendee. Your occasions are created with a objective. Whether or not that function is to teach, excite, or encourage, attendee engagement is a key indicator of whether or not the occasion was or wasn’t a hit. If an attendee doesn’t work together together with your content material, meaning they didn’t reply to your message and the impression of the occasion is restricted to that three-day convention. By partaking attendees, you create an influence that extends far previous the confines of the precise occasion.


The Future of Attendee Engagement

Know-how has and can proceed, to facilitate engagement. It supplies the instruments wanted to get attendees to work together together with your info. On this publish, we’ll get into how engagement will change. In the future, know-how will let you create occasions which are more and more extra personalised. This personalization will interact attendees as people, whereas nonetheless creating a gaggle expertise. Content material will change. Whereas planners will curate occasion content material, attendees could have extra say – whether or not instantly or not directly – via attendee knowledge. How content material is delivered will look totally different. Basic lecture type shall be a factor of the previous. There can be an increase in digital occasion attendance. Social sharing will change collaboration and communication. Know-how will proceed to impression and enhance attendee engagement in methods we will’t think about.


Personalization at Each Stage

Personalization is about having the alternative to get straight to the attendee. It’s about going previous what’s commonplace to ship an occasion that entices and influences, delights and captivates. It’s about creating an occasion that delivers actual worth to each attendee – even when their values are totally different.

Relating to engagement, personalization is a should. Attendees need an expertise that’s all about them. Greater than that, personalization provides attendees solely the info they want. It cuts out the muddle.

As know-how has developed, personalization has turn into extra accessible. What was inconceivable because of restricted time and labor, is as straightforward as the click on of a button. Personalization will solely proceed to evolve with occasion administration know-how and the ease of automation. Inserting an attendee’s identify right into a topic line is simply the starting.

  • Concepts for getting private

    Focused advertisements, individualized attendee schedules, and extra at the moment are attainable to talk on to your attendees and present them that you simply care about their wants and pursuits.


How Knowledge Will Drive Personalization

Knowledge, which exists in droves, will turn out to be extra searchable, and subsequently extra usable. Even with the growing laws on knowledge safety, knowledge gained’t disappear. However what do you do with all of the knowledge you might have? It’s a problem to know the way to use all of the knowledge captured on an attendee.

Personalization tends to be restricted to first names inserted into topic strains, segmented emails, and focused banner advertisements in an occasion’s cellular occasion app. That’s simply the begin. There’s energy in sending solely info that’s related to attendees. They interact with related info and don’t should waste time sifting by means of whether or not the info you give them is related.

Attendees might not even understand your communications are as personalised as they’re. That’s half of the magic. Engagement is about you grabbing somebody’s consideration from the begin. That’s what personalization does. By offering the info attendees need, you get them to take discover and work together with that info.

  • Knowledge-powered personalization

    Whether or not it’s utilized in preliminary e-mail advertising campaigns to get them to attend your occasion, or onsite with personalised push notifications telling them the place they must be, personalization will proceed to extend in scale.


Individualizing the Expertise with Know-how

What is going to it seem like? Personalization will begin with focused e-mail advertising campaigns that use knowledge to pinpoint future attendee pursuits. From there, as you collect extra knowledge, you’ll be able to ship focused communications to influence them to attend the occasion, or in the event that they’ve already registered, permit them to construct their occasion agenda.

Preliminary curiosity will drive what content material is obtainable. By the time they get onsite, they’ll have engaged together with your web site, cellular occasion app, and extra. Most personalization will happen inside the cellular occasion app, because it’s the best to replace based mostly on attendee choice.

Beacon know-how will proceed to advance and permit you to ship extra focused push notifications based mostly on the place attendees go and what they do, in order that in the finish, attendees have the expertise they need. As automation will get simpler, personalization will turn out to be inexpensive and simply attainable.


Content material for All

Not everybody consumes info in the similar method. Content material has already modified in recent times, and it’ll solely proceed to evolve. In any case, content material is the meat of attendee engagement as a result of it’s the focus of an occasion.


What’s Content material?

Content material isn’t restricted to keynotes and lectures, but in addition consists of performances, networking, books, and extra. It might embrace giveaways, in addition to onsite experiences. It’s essential to keep in mind that not everybody consumes content material in the similar method. Whereas one individual could also be an auditory learner, one other could also be visible.

Content material is turning into more and more personalised. Not solely in the varieties offered, however in the approach it’s delivered. That’s why, it’s essential to know your attendee when planning content material. Not solely that, it’s a must to get artistic about the way you ship content material.

  • Use content material to get private

    Consider using video, reside performances, or actions to ship a message in a brand new means and have interaction attendees in a different way.


Content material Supply

If the level of an occasion is to have attendees eat content material, then that content material have to be introduced in a method that engages. Having one lecturer converse for an hour or extra to a packed room in rows of seats is old fashioned. Not solely that, it doesn’t work. After about twenty minutes, most people lose focus and tune out of a presentation. That’s why for engagement functions, the shows that work the greatest are people who incorporate interplay. Whether or not it’s a shift in the direction of extra Socratic-style periods (taking a extra conversational and interactive strategy with smaller, extra intimate periods), interplay by way of cellular occasion apps, or shorter talks, content material supply will develop into extra partaking. Seating types will proceed to evolve, shifting to combined seating types that incorporate regular rows of chairs, excessive tops, sofas, and extra.

  • Innovate content material supply to get extra engagement

    Use your occasion app to ship content material on to your attendees via push notifications. This isn’t solely favored by right now’s tech-savvy attendee, however it’s additionally higher for the surroundings because it reduces paper waste.


Periods Designed with Engagement in Thoughts

In-session know-how use is vital. Surveys, suggestions, and extra permit attendees to interact with content material and share their ideas. If a session doesn’t carry out nicely and it’s rated poorly in the app, you will get rid of it and exchange it with a session that carried out higher subsequent time.

Know-how will permit extra flexibility and agility in adapting to the wants of attendees. Cellular occasion apps will proceed to offer attendees extra methods to interact with audio system, content material, and the occasion itself. By various the approach content material is delivered in session, attendees are stored on their toes and may’t assist however interact. Polls will proceed to be an amazing engagement device, in addition to stay Q&A.

  • Enhance engagement by growing involvement

    It’s not sufficient to easily converse to attendees, you must contain them in your occasion. Make attendees really feel like half of the occasion by regularly asking for his or her enter. Use instruments like reside polls, session Q&A, and surveys to collect suggestions and incite involvement.


Digital Occasion Attendance

The shift to digital content material consumption will solely proceed to extend. There are a selection of reside streaming choices, from high-quality streams to easy livestreams by means of your digital camera telephone. The rise in digital attendance will proceed however gained’t exchange reside occasions. Permitting attendees to attend nearly will improve attendance and engagement amongst attendees that may in any other case be unable to attend in individual. Attendees are sometimes unable to attend occasions because of the value of journey and the incapability to be out of the workplace for a number of days. That’s why offering content material after the occasion, or in real-time with livestreaming will turn out to be an choice for extra occasions going ahead. Registration numbers will all the time be a key efficiency indicator and paying to attend an occasion nearly will rise in reputation.

  • Cater to the non-traditional attendee

    Partaking attendees doesn’t essentially imply it needs to be in-person. In the present day’s non-traditional workforce with distant staff, digital staff, and touring staff additionally applies to your viewers. Cater to the non-traditional attendee by making certain they get the alternative to attend your occasion by means of live-streaming or digital periods.


Enriched Experiences by means of AR and VR

Augmented actuality (AR) and digital actuality (VR) improve engagement. As know-how improves, AR and VR are extra accessible and less expensive to make use of. Whether or not used onsite or for these attending nearly, AR and VR let you make your occasion no matter you need it to be. Create a tour of a faraway place, create periods which are primarily video games to get by means of, VR and AR facilitate engagement mechanically. There are countless alternatives in utilizing AR and VR.

Whereas AR and VR could seem pricey and sophisticated, as the know-how improves they’ll be seen at increasingly more occasions. This know-how permits an occasion to grow to be one thing new. There’s a lot that may be finished, planners have solely scratched the floor of what is feasible with AR and VR.

  • Improve engagement with AR/VR

    As an alternative of bringing the attendee to your occasion, convey your occasion to the attendee utilizing distinctive, enjoyable instruments resembling augmented and digital actuality.


Social Sharing to Facilitate Connection

Social media isn’t going away. It’s one of the most partaking, and cheap, instruments out there to planners. Empowering attendees to interact on social media will improve.  The creation of “shareable” moments will rise. Photobooths will change in new methods as know-how develops. What began as a easy photograph has expanded to GIFs, 360-degree experiences, and can proceed to evolve. Social media extends an occasion’s attain, plain and easy. Not solely that, it’s free.

Making an occasion social media pleasant fosters a spirit of sharing. It connects attendees and may permit for elevated networking. Whereas the widespread platforms might change, social media goes to proceed to be a device to know, not one to be afraid of.

  • Embrace social media to empower attendees

    Promote social sharing by creating an occasion hashtag that can be utilized at your occasion yearly. Attendees can tweet, submit or share to social media instantly by means of your occasion app. Attendees can view the hashtag to see what’s happening at the occasion and contribute their very own content material, and non-attendees can comply with the hashtag to see reside updates from the occasion and incite a lot FOMO that they need to attend subsequent yr.


Networking Onsite and Off

Cellular occasion apps and social media make it simpler than ever for attendees to community. Face-to-face networking will nonetheless be necessary, however instruments like appointment scheduling and lead monitoring will make networking even simpler. Attendees will be capable of interact with one another onsite and off, and by no means fear about not having the info they want. With attendee profiles, RFID monitoring, and enterprise card scanning, the info is all in the app. Enterprise playing cards gained’t go away, however the strategies for capturing the info and appearing on it can change, making engagement simpler.

  • Use occasion tech to community smarter

    An enormous half of partaking attendees is offering them with the potential to community. Networking is made simpler with the use of occasion tech. Attendees can now community smarter by establishing appointments with like-minded people all by means of the occasion app. You can begin by scanning via the attendee listing on the app to see who they need to make connections with – then go from there!


In Conclusion

The longer term of attendee engagement is brilliant. Occasion administration know-how will present the essential instruments to interact attendees on new ranges. The construction of occasions will change to encourage interplay amongst attendees and with audio system. Conventional speaker types will evolve, and periods will not be restricted to at least one individual lecturing at attendees for hours at a time. Personalization will facilitate engagement by giving attendees the info they want, and fewer of the info that doesn’t excite them. Digital occasion attendance will permit occasions to have a larger influence and attain attendees who in any other case wouldn’t have the ability to attend. Attendee engagement will all the time be crucial to the success of occasions, and technological advances are creating increasingly more alternatives for engagement.