May 20, 2019
By Mike Fletcher

You have been planning your event for months. The venue has been finalised, the vendors have been booked, the speaker list prepared, and the entertainment arranged – you are all set to deliver an amazing experience for your attendees. 

But hold on! 

Have you done enough to engage your attendees before the event takes place? Imagine expending all your energy on designing a great onsite experience but not doing enough to get attendees excited for the event itself. Attendee engagement is a crucial part of your event planning strategy, and keeping your attendees enthused and intrigued before your event is as important as keeping them involved during it. So how can you maximise attendee engagement before an event?   

#5 Foster community building through social networks 

Key board

Start generating buzz for your event at least a couple of months before the launch date. Ignite conversations on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn to build anticipation and enthusiasm among attendees. These conversations can also be used as networkbuilding opportunities to connect with like-minded people and develop mutually valuable relationships.   

To whet curiosity among first-timersshowcase some interesting content on your social media accounts e.g. a highlight reel of all the amusing, delightful moments from last year’s event, a clip of a celebrity, or some unique entertainment offered to attendees.  

#4 Leverage internal channels to offer exclusive content 


By using a dedicated mobile event app, you can nurture and grow your attendee list by regularly providing exclusive updates and offersDeveloping a feature-rich app allows you to be creative as possible for your pre-event promotional activities. For example, you can: 

  • Create branding opportunities and keep attendees updated through simple push notifications. 
  • Provide in-depth long-form content, opinion pieces by industry leaders. 
  • Provide informative nuggets on the event speakers to pique the interest of registered attendees.      

#3 Use influencers to expand your fan following  

Shaking Hands

Unless your brand has a massive fan following like that of Apple, Google, or Marvel, chances are attendees won’t be as invested in your products as you want them to. This is where you can leverage the power of influencers to promote your event and the attendee count. According to research by MuseFind, 92% of customers trust influencers more than an advertisement or a usual celebrity endorsement, reflecting that they are more attuned with the sensitivities of the average user. Here are a couple of ways influencers can help you connect with your target audience: 

  • ContestsConducting a contest to meet your favourite influencer is a great way to engage attendees before the event. Getting the chance to spend some quality moments with the person they admire is not only generates a lot of positive buzz but also creates a big incentive for people to attend your event. 
  • Social media partnershipsPartnering with the relevant influencer on various social media channels can help you generate the relevant leads for your event. For instance, if you are organising an event for a mobile phone launch, then any popular influencer in the tech domain will help you get the right attendees to your event.       

#2 Give a shout out to last year’s attendees 

shout out attendee

If your event is a yearly affair, then it is recommended to acknowledge your regular attendees or at least the ones who attended it the previous year. This can be done by tagging several people in a picture collage with their Twitter handles. Once your attendees start replying or retweeting your posts, this will help increase your visibility to a wider audience and make prospects more intrigued at what you have to offer.  

#1 Build a countdown traise the hype 


The week before your event is crucial for building hype for your event. In order to keep the energy going so that the excitement before D-day is at peak level, you can create a unique countdown in the form of emails or website updates having extremely engaging content e.g. a quiz contest with attractive awards, a special celebrity or speaker who will be doing the keynote speech, an affiliate offer launch…there are a plethora of possibilities! 

Engaging attendees requires detailed research and study on what people think and want from your event. Get in-depth insights on what attendees actually want from your event with your free copy of ‘Get inside the minds of event attendees’ today!     

Mike Fletcher

Mike Fletcher

Mike has been writing about the meetings and events industry for almost 20 years as a former editor at Haymarket Media Group, and then as a freelance writer and editor. He currently runs his own content agency, Slippy Media, catering for a wide-range of client requirements, including social strategy, long-form, event photography, event videography, reports, blogs and ghost-written material.

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