A 4-Part Plan to Boost Attendee Engagement

Hi there! I’m Ashley Phelps, a Customer Experience Manager here at DoubleDutch. What’s that mean exactly? Well, basically I get to work with customers to make their app sparkle! Everyday I engage with incredibly innovative brands such as, GE, the E-Learning Guild, and Hilton. We work together on digital strategy, app configuration and content, and how to analyze all of the incredible data they see post-event.

Engagement is a huge topic with my customers. When they are blending the physical and digital experience of an event, they are often looking for the most effective ways of engaging their attendees through the DoubleDutch Platform.

It’s simple and proven: engaged event attendees are the best brand advocates, the best leads and your most loyal customers. Engagement is also more in an event manager’s control than they may think, but it is often perceived as an intimidating task.

To help tackle engagement, I’ve broken down the four areas you can concentrate on to get your attendees engaged in simple but meaningful ways.

1. Get Emotional

Making people “feel” something is the ultimate sign of marketing success. Your event is no exception. If you can get to the heart of what people are feeling (or not feeling), you’ve hit a goldmine. Social media and your event app are your windows into this information. Try to figure out what got people fired up on social media. Take the time to understand why people rated speakers a certain way. Use this data to make decisions about the content for your future events and examine which speakers resonated with your audience.

IN-APP TIP:  

Attendees provide a lot of really valuable feedback & info with the rate & review feature, polling, surveys etc. Use those insights to not only make changes for future events, but also during your event. Add more of what your attendees are responding to/engaging with. Are people logging in but then not coming back to the app much? Time to listen to that and take advantage of the fact that changes can be made on the fly and content can evolve.

2. Keep Content Compelling

We have all been in sessions where we spent the majority of the time checking email, responding to texts and missing most of the information. How can event organizers avoid this happening at their events?

First, it starts with the speaker. Use everything at your disposal to ensure you’re only inviting the best of the best. This should be based on social media sentiment, past event speaker ratings and evaluating speaker proposed topics to ensure they align with customer needs.

Next, check in with your customer success and sales teams to really understand what interests prospects and customers. If you can match great speakers with content that addresses challenges all of your attendees share, you’re on the right track.

Finally, keep attendees engaged after the session is over by providing additional information or recaps to keep them thinking about what they just heard. Using the DoubleDutch + marketing automation integration (we support Marketo and Eloqua), you can run personalized campaigns based off how attendees interacted with your content.  You can also set up topic channels for each event to keep the conversation going once the event is over.

IN-APP TIP:  

Remember all the time you spent curating a world class panel, or celebrity keynote? Now it’s time to optimize your speaker’s time. Coordinate with the speaker so that during their presentation a live poll will engage their audience and provide a data point mid presentation. Or, have the speaker announce a post-session quiz to gauge what attendees learned during the presentation.

3. Be A Matchmaker

You have the power to connect people with similar interests face-to-face at your events. Use your event app to identify and connect like-minded people that may not have found each other serendipitously.

IN-APP TIP:  

I really like the idea of adding games and scavenger hunts that happen in real life but are facilitated through the app. A couple of fun examples I have seen from other customers:

  • Find someone who comes from your same state, post a selfie with them along with a fun fact about where you traveled from
  • Find someone with your same job title but from a different state. Post and tell us what the most challenging part of your job is!

4. Tie It Back to Your Company

You matchmaker duties don’t stop there.

Don’t forget about connecting attendees to your employees too. The goal of events is often to create an educational forum for people to learn and grow, but attendees often also want to learn more about your company and your products. This serves as a natural extension to a one-on-one meeting strategy and reinforces attendees’ initial interest in your brand. Host internal meetings? Here at DoubleDutch, we post our Core Values in our company app and reinforce information about what other departments are working on. We want to create a sense of community and make sure our employees are up to date on what the company as a whole is up to.

IN-APP TIP:  

Internal meeting use cases can range from Sales Kickoffs to executive leadership offsites. Use the app at your next SKO to poll your sales reps. Use their responses to analyze how much they learned from your “Solution Selling” session. Provide a place where employees can ask questions using topic channels, and allow them to schedule a meeting with your CEO using the DoubleDutch meeting scheduling feature. Another fun idea I have seen for internal meetings: reward your top ten influencers on the leaderboard with an exclusive happy hour with your executive team or startup founders.

So there you have it! A few tips from tried and true, real life customer examples at DoubleDutch. I hope you implement a few ideas and see a boost in attendee engagement at your next event.

Want to learn more about how to master event marketing? Check out our “Path to Marketing Enlightenment” guide here!