True or False: Involved attendees learn more, feel part of a network and build trust in the conference brand. The unequivocal answer is…True!
How can you make engagement happen? It really boils down to better planning -- before, during and after your meeting. Here are eight clear and executable ways to keep your attendees connected all along the way!
Pre-Event Checklist to Encourage Engagement
- Develop a Content Calendar.
This calendar should contain information about your event. This involves a schedule for your social media, blog posts and email campaigns.
Tip: If your staff is overwhelmed, request brand influencers to post on your behalf.
- Publish Blogs.
Ask each presenter to write one. If you are still short of content, ask attendees to submit blogs about their previous year’s experiences. If possible, publish a post twice a week.
Tip: To encourage attendees to write content, give them guidelines. Offer an incentive (i.e. discounted admission, sponsorship opportunity) if needed.
- Engage in Social Listening.
Use a tool or Google your event name to keep up on comments about your event. Be sure to respond to all comments and get fake accounts off the channels ASAP in order to keep any brand confusion at bay.
Tip: Check out social media listening tools and if they are too costly for your event, determine if an in-kind sponsorship can cover the cost of the app.
- Set Up Rooms Appropriately.
If individuals are going to use their laptops, be certain there are tables in the room for them to take notes. Same goes for food and beverage. Don’t expect participants to cradle their coffee and laptop in a crowded lecture setup and get much out of it.
Tip: Make sure you have the right number of tables, chairs, large screen monitor rentals and microphone, so attendees can be comfortable, see everything on stage and easily ask questions from the audience.
Ideas to Connect Onsite at the Event
- Encourage Social Postings with Event Hashtag.
Ask attendees to post on their social media of choice about the happenings at the event. Include the event hashtag on the video wall rental, monitors and PowerPoint presentations. Ask attendees to use the hashtag on every post. Remind them to that short messages, videos and hyperlinks are encouraged.
Tip: Before each presentation, ask learners to use the event hashtag with every post. Give away a daily prize for the most engaging and/or retweeted post.
- Keep Asking Attendees.
Taking the temperature of your attendees by asking for their opinions, questions and feedback.
Tip: Give each participant a tablet rental with a polling app already installed on it. Use the app at every session and cue the speakers to ask at least one question from it. Make sure you can instantly aggregate results, so changes can be made on the fly.
Ways to Keep Engagement Post-Event
- Thank your audience, sponsors and exhibitors.
Send an email thanking everyone who participated and continue to ask for their feedback as they see or think of improvements.
Tip: Have a button that links to a feedback form. Use it for three consecutive email campaigns.
- Repeat “The Best of the Best” throughout the year.
Schedule out the most engaging video clips, photographs, blogs and social posts on a content calendar that will repeat throughout the year.
Tip: Use a tool like Buffer, Hootsuite, MeetEdger or Sprout Social to aggregate your channels and strategically place the same post five to nine times throughout the next year.
Hartford Technology Rental Has the Right Solutions to Engage Attendees
With so many options available, Hartford Technology Rental has the right equipment for your conferences and events. Contact us online or give us a call at 888-520-5667 for more information about event rentals.