8 Simple Ways to Boost Pre & Post-Event Engagement Strategy

MAY 2017

Every event pro knows that attendee engagement is critical to the success of their event. Here are 8 simple ways you can build pre-event buzz, increase attendance and grow your ROI long after the event is over.

BEFORE THE EVENT

Your engagement strategy begins way before your actual event does. It's important to engage, entice, and excite your audience in the weeks leading up to the big day.

Engage on social media

The earlier you can build your online community the better. But don't just set it up and forget about it; if you want others to contribute to the discussion, you'll need to give them a reason to with regular, meaningful and valuable posts. In addition, creating short, memorable hashtags allows your audience to quickly and easily post on their preferred social media platform.

Send email updates

Email updates are still effective ways to communicate, but beware of spam. Avoid sending emails with the sole intention of building hype, but instead provide information about what will be covered during the event, who will be speaking, and links to relevant videos and practical information about the day.

Encourage active questions & discussion

Soliciting questions and feedback gives you a heads up on what your attendees expect to learn and experience at your event. You can stimulate conversation and organic questions via email, social media, or even a survey or poll.

Release the agenda or schedule

For small collaborative events like a meeting or business presentation, distributing the agenda in advance is a great way to facilitate engagement. This gives attendees an opportunity to prepare in advance, which helps improve the efficiency and value of the program. For larger events, the more knowledge your attendees have, the more likely they will be to interact and fully engage. The schedule also acts as a teaser for the big day – and can even capture some last minute registrations.

AFTER THE EVENT

Once your attendees are home and settled back into their daily routines, it's critical you keep the excitement and buzz alive and capitalize on the engagement that was established before and during the event.

Send a "thank you" email

Within 24 hours after your event ends, send an email to all attendees and simply thank them for their participation. This email should be brief, devoid of any sort of sales pitch, and could include something fun, such as a Facebook album of event photos. 

Request specific feedback via survey

It's standard practice to ask for feedback following an event, using electronic surveys or simple handwritten feedback forms. To improve your survey response rate, however, make sure you ask engaging questions, which invite specific and personal answers. For example, rather than asking whether your attendees enjoyed the event, ask what part they enjoyed most as well as which parts were the least valuable.

Host a post-event Q&A

After your event, your attendees might have lingering questions. Whether via your blog, through an email or posted on social media, facilitate a conversation where you encourage attendees to ask any new or remaining questions they might have. You may even want to host a live Twitter chat with some of the industry experts who spoke at your event.

Give back

Once your event has ended, upload videos from speaker sessions to a centralized location and promote this content hub to your attendees (and your general audience). It's likely that many of your attendees were not able to make every session of interest, and may want to watch the sessions they weren't able to attend. Most importantly, this content hub will help you engage with those in your audience who weren't able to attend your event - and it might convince them to attend your next event!

VisitDallas is here to ensure that your next event delivers maximum ROI! For more information on planning your event in Dallas, TX and how to best incorporate these strategic pre and post event engagement tools, visit www.DallasDelivers.com or call our planning partners at 800-232-5527. We look forward to hearing from you!