Keep Attendees Engaged Before, During, and After Your Event

March 27, 2024 Jessica Stewart

Every event planner knows the primary objective is to ensure that event attendees have an enjoyable and engaging event experience from start to finish. And while you might focus on the in-event engagement options, it's also imperative that you engage event guests before and after the event. The most successful NYC event planners develop a comprehensive strategy to begin connecting with their guests long before the event is slated to take place. And once the big day ends, they continue the conversation to squeeze every drop of feedback and marketing mileage they can. We'll share how you can customize your event strategy to keep your high-value event attendees buzzing about your event before, during, and after. 

Before: Generate Anticipation

Build excitement and anticipation around your event by engaging weeks or months in advance! Create buzz and foster interaction by getting a head start on your event promotion.

Send Out Personal Invites

Invitations always add a personal touch and make your guests feel valued and appreciated. Whether sent via email, social media, mail, your event app, or personally handed out, personalization is key. It's how you build a stronger connection with your potential attendees, increasing the likelihood that they'll attend. Early invitations also spread awareness for your upcoming event and can be used for RSVP management.

Offer Exclusive Content

A great way to generate that pre-event buzz is to offer your guests exclusive content to build anticipation. Give them a sneak peek "behind the curtain" about keynote speakers, celebrity appearances, or entertainment. Consider content like behind-the-scenes videos, interviews with special guests or speakers, pre-event webinars, and recommended sessions, just to name a few. 

Use Social Media

Create a dedicated event hashtag for use on all your event social media platforms. Share teaser content, provide all your event details, and regularly remind guests of all the important information about your event. Create a countdown, conduct polls, and collaborate with influencers if you can. Set the visual stage so your guests can see what the buzz is all about, driving attendance.

During: Let the Fun Begin!

Attendee engagement is of the utmost importance for any event. This is your sweet spot as an event professional. So be sure to hit a homerun with all the best entertainment, catering, and venue aesthetics. But you can also create additional layers of in-event engagement.

Offer a Variety of Content

The more variety of content you offer your guests, the more opportunities it creates for engagement. Depending on the event, you could have keynote speakers, panel discussions, workshops, hands-on activities, diverse event entertainment, live demonstrations, and so much more! Curate a wide variety of activations to get your guests out of their seats and participate in the event excitement.

Bring Gamification to the Party!

Gamification is a trendy way for your guests to have fun and have some friendly competition. These elements include contests, quizzes, scavenger hunts, event challenges, or team trivia! Playing games organically generates interaction that may not come easily to some guests. It’s a great opportunity to foster valuable connections for guests of many different backgrounds.

Create Networking Opportunities

Beyond just the fun and games, create a variety of ways event attendees can network with one another. Designate a networking area or virtual breakout rooms where people can connect and exchange ideas. Host round-table discussions, industry-specific forums, and similar interest meetups so those with shared goals can find their way to each other. 

Incorporate Interactive Sessions

Fostering interactive elements is an effective way to keep your attendees engaged and create a dynamic event experience. Include live polls, Q&A sessions, a social media wall, interactive presentations, group discussions, and VR experiences. These are great ways to encourage collaboration with a lasting impact for all your guests.

After: Post- Event Engagement

Just because the event has come to an end doesn’t mean the strategies for prolonging the event impact is over. It’s important to maintain that momentum by providing post-event resources and gathering feedback from your guests to help with future events. 

Show Your Gratitude

Thank you notes and emails may seem simple, but showing gratitude to your guests for attending and supporting your event can go a long way. This can be done through social media as well. Include event highlights, key takeaways, photos, and links to resources or presentations. Encourage attendees to tag themselves in social media posts (using those hashtags) and share their own experiences and favorite moments from the event.

Facilitate Networking Opportunities

If your event provides opportunities for guests to engage and collaborate with one another, there’s a good chance they’ll want to continue those networking opportunities after the event has concluded. Help foster these new connections through networking groups, online communities, virtual events, exchanging contact lists, and follow-up webinars or workshops.

Stay Connected with Guests

For the success of future events, it’s important to stay connected with those who already attended one (or more) of your events. Stay in contact via email, social media updates, event announcements, upcoming events, industry news, or relevant opportunities to maintain their engagement over time. The more they feel connected to you and your events, the more likely they are to attend another one in the future.

Discover More Event Planning Strategies at The Expo

Event planners have a long list of tasks to tackle when planning any NYC event. It is important to sustain engagement throughout every stage of the event journey, including before and after. Learn more about these event engagement strategies, along with other event industry trends, at The Event Planner Expo 2024! Here, thousands of the industry's brightest event pros come together to exchange ideas, learn, and grow their businesses. It's one room you simply MUST be in if you want to be successful. 

Act now, too, if you want to secure your space as a high-profile Expo exhibitor - reserve now

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