In the weeks leading up to your event, you might find yourself waking up at night asking yourself, ‘Do I have the right venue? Will my event sell out? How can I get more people talking about my event?’ All of this effort goes towards creating that perfect event that will wow your attendees. Your goal is to offer a breathtaking experience so that they will have naturally tweet/blog/post/comment/vlog about.
But did you know that creating an event your attendees talk about starts way before they ever step foot into your event?
Your attendee is just like you and me – bombarded on a daily basis by commercials, messages, advertising, brands, promotions and yes, events. So, how can you engage your attendees between the time they sign up for it until they actually attend? How do you keep them hooked and slowly – but surely – reel them in? How can you get them talking about your event? Because Sparxo cares about you and your event experiences, we are sharing these tips and tricks that will guarantee you the ultimate event engagement and audience engagement!
TEASE TEASE TEASE
Teasing your attendee is a brilliant way to catch their attention and remind them about your event. For example, if you’re launching a new product at your event or have a special guest, you might send out little hints and clues without giving anything away. If you know your customer well, you’ll know what they want from you – keep teasing them letting them know something is going to be revealed at the event that is going to blow their mind because it meets their needs or provides them with benefits you know they crave for.
Video content is the best way to captivate and engage your audience. According to a study done by Kleiner Perkins, mobile video usage has increased by nearly 10 million daily viewing minutes in the last two years.
Consider creating teaser video clips of no more than 30 seconds to capture your audience. Three good reasons to create a video are to do a pre-launch announcement of your event before ticket sales launch, launch ticket sales and registration, and event reminders and FAQs.
BEHIND THE SCENES
People love watching the “making of”, especially if it’s a worthy talking point.
“Did you know that such-and-such event next month is going to feature (insert amazing technology/entertainment/celebrity/food)?” makes for great water cooler talk for your attendees in their respective offices.
People also get a sense of calm and joy from watching complicated things get put together in seconds, or watching orderly repetitive things being done – we really are so weird, aren’t we? – but these are video content you can think about producing pre-event.
Sharing behind the scene stories through videos and pictures on your event’s social media page will really help people feel that they are part of the making of the event.
You might think this whole hashtag thing doesn’t have the same pow it once did, but then again maybe you’re using it wrong! #CTOAE18 is a horrible hashtag unless you are someone established.
Putting a bunch of letters and alphabets doesn’t work for a couple of reasons – first, no one is going to remember it. Second, no one is going to know what it stands for – e.g Come-To-Our-Amazing-Event-2018. And lastly, they won’t care enough to find out. They will care, however, if it is easily understood and short-and-easy to remember like #SlothForPresident or #ComicCon.
#SlothforPresident or #ComicCon work because they are examples of a very visually captivating concept that people actually can imagine in their heads and understand what the event is about.
Think of one cool-as-hell selling point, even as silly and stupid as it might seem, and sell it, sell it, sell it. Creating easy and unique hashtags encourage people to share the event.
GET PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT IT
Today, we live in a world where word-of-mouth marketing and social media are everything. Working with influencers, speakers, celebrities, twitter personalities can really help propel your event.
When many people are talking about the same thing, it creates a buzz that truth-be-told, might not even exist – but that’s marketing, isn’t it? Creating hype and buzz where there is none. You have something exciting going on, now get people excited about it by showing how excited other people are about it. Excitement is contagious!
Offer free tickets in return for people sharing about your event. Or even host a contest or giveaway in return for a prize or free tickets. If you have some money to invest, you can always work with influencers, industry experts and celebrities to talk about your event with their audience. Some might even do it for free if they think it will add value to them and their audience.
BUILD A COMMUNITY
It’s easy to build a community these days – just start an event page on Facebook, and done! Yay! So now, all your attendees are there in one “chatroom” so to speak. What do you do with them? The first rule of audience engagement is to… engage your audience! Give them something to talk about, give them a platform to let their voice be heard. Organize polls to ask them what they prefer, have special posts where they get to ask their questions directed at certain speakers (which you will use in the Q&A during the event), have “Guess this speaker” blur picture contests where they can win a free coffee at your event, ANYTHING! Keep them coming back to this page and engaging with you.
Now that you have a group of people all eagerly waiting for your event date to arrive, use the information that you have gathered from your event page in the rest of your pre-event audience engagement strategy. Tweet some questions that have been asked and encourage your attendees to go to your event page to ask their own questions. Remind them about the topics that will be discussed and the questions that will be covered in email reminders, and direct them to the event page once again. Give them little nuggets of teaser information that just barely scratch the surface in answering their questions, thought-provoking things they can share on social media. You’ve been successful so far in intriguing them and piquing their interest… now let’s get them more and more involved.
GIVE THEM THAT ONE THING TO RECOGNIZE
Now that you’ve learned some tricks of the trade when it comes to event engagement, how can you put them all together? Let’s run with the idea of #SlothforPresident as mentioned earlier – if you make this the one thing people can recognize, you’ll maybe have the sloth share some quotes on Twitter and Instagram, maybe even write a little note from his perspective on LinkedIn or your company’s blog. Giving your audience one thing to recognize – in other words, cohesive messaging – means that your event messages will never get lost in the sea of marketing they see all the time. You will always stand out. You won’t be out of the box, you’ll be the pretty red shiny bow on the box.
Your event engagement is going to keep reminding them that of all the wonderful things they will receive once they open the box – which is attending your event!
If we missed something that works for you to engage your audience, please let us know because Sparxo cares! You can email your Sparxo representative or send us a message to [email protected]. #teamSparxo #SparxoCares Signup today for your free, no-obligation account!
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