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Five Ways to Boost Attendee Engagement at Events

by Patrick Cava  |  
July 3, 2013

Events used to be about getting bodies in the door, then delivering a message to a captive audience and hoping it sticks. But today's busy professionals—attendees and event organizers alike—don't have time for such a haphazard method.

Real-world attendee engagement is crucial to event success, and events must deliver the benefits that participants want. Creating the experiences that event participants are looking for is what will drive attendee engagement.

The What and Why of Attendee Engagement

Attendee engagement is directly related to the level of commitment, involvement, and satisfaction that an attendee experiences regarding an event. And the whole point of increasing attendee engagement is to increase the value that people take away from an event.

Attendee engagement can be built before, during, and after an event. The most successful event organizers listen to their participants and implement their suggestions to ensure that every professional can, first of all, remain committed to attending the event and, after attending, leave that event feeling satisfied with the time and money they spent and even more dedicated to the event brand.

Events have built-in opportunities for engagement. From live presentations to one-on-one meetings, you can engage directly and indirectly with attendees in multiple ways while fostering connections among participants.

Drivers of Attendee Engagement: Involvement, Commitment, and Satisfaction

Event organizers can enhance a participant's involvement by keeping them active—as well as thinking and talking about the event itself. They can gather input about what attendees hope to gain from the event, provide an event hashtag to encourage real-time sharing on Twitter, and create an event "alumni" group on Facebook or LinkedIn to keep the discussion going long after the event has ended.

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Patrick Cava is marketing manager at Certain Inc., a leading provider of SaaS event management technology for the global meetings and events industry. Reach him via

Twitter: @Certain

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  • by Gracious Store Wed Jul 3, 2013 via web

    The best way to engage attendees in any even is to maximize their productivity, be sure to offer the attendees what you promised you would when the attendees registered for the event

  • by Randy Milanovic Tue Jul 9, 2013 via iphone

    Here's an idea. Offer value.

  • by Tim Hoyt Sat Sep 21, 2013 via mobile

    If you are talking about how to improve engagement of event attendees from the *sponsors* view point, we have found success by capturing unusual photos of attendees and then delivering a digital copy on the spot through email, prints or photo access cards.

    A good measure of engagement is how many people are moved to share the experience with their friends (on social media or in person). Taking cool photos of attendees is certainly a way to make that happen. In a proper picture marketing system online photo retrieval also directly results in lead capture.

    This was a Matrix-style camera array with 25 dSLRs to put the attendees in bullet time:

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