Easily Measure Attendee Engagement
As the event industry grows in size and competition, the goal of event planners is to generate the most buzz, engage the most attendees, and leave a positive impression of the event in attendees’ minds. While attendee engagement is a huge factor of success in today’s events, it can be hard to measure and quantify. Often event planners struggle to prove the value of an event because of difficulty to provide data and information on attendee engagement. However, many technologies and tools are available for event planners and organizers to more effectively measure attendee engagement and satisfaction.
Why Engagement Matters
An event is only successful if the attendees are satisfied, interested, and most importantly engaged. Engagement can be hard to come by. However, with everyone glued to their devices in their hand it can be hard to get them to focus on the event and its own apps and technology. That’s where high-quality content and engaging speakers, activities, and sessions become so important. Engagement ultimately leads to people marketing your event for you via word of mouth; which is one of the most effective methods to gain more attendees in the future. Nobody is going to attend an event if someone tells them that it was previously unexciting, uninteresting, or even useless.
3 Easy Ways to Measure Attendee Engagement
There are many ways to measure attendee engagement that can work for companies of many different sizes and complexity. These methods could be simple surveys that measure awareness on a fundamental level or newly conceptualized technologies that collect data and measure engagement based on heat-mapping or eye-contact. The following are just a couple effective ways to measure attendee engagement at an event:
1. Tracking Social Media Engagements
One of the easiest ways to measure the value and engagement of an event is through social media monitoring. There are a number of tools that span various price ranges that help event planners track attendee interaction and digital conversations about an event. Tools such as HootSuite, Conversocial, and Crowdbooster link social media accounts into a single, easy-to-manage platform or dashboard.
The tools monitor interactions, allow the user to engage with followers, and some tools even suggest times to post to social media based on when your followers are most engaged. Different apps and tools can also track all mentions of your event online, including things that aren’t on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, such as blogs, forums, and articles about your event. These tools give event planners a quantitative look at social interactions and can measure their online presence with built in analytics.
One of the best ways to get attendees engaged during your event is through games or gamification. There are many different ways to organize games that are designed to engage attendees, but they also collect data and draw conclusions on whether or not the attendees felt the content was compelling. Gamification also helps organizers understand which attendees are the most engaged (or even super fans), therefore giving them better information for future marketing for the event.
Some event planners track engagement is through scavenger hunts during the event for prizes and networking opportunities. Another possibility is photo quests in which attendees take photos during an event and post them to social media and use the hashtag and further promote the event. Encourage attendees to check-in to the event on social media platforms by offering an entry for a prize for every check-in.
Many attendees come to an event in order to network with industry professionals, so help them do it in a fun way, while also measuring engagement during the event by hosting networking challenges. For example, have a contest to see who is the first to gain 20 followers or connections on social media or how many people can tweet the hashtag for the event the most.
3. Targeted Messaging & In-Event Surveys
Beacons and RFID technology have become a popular technology in the events industry, due to the ability to alert or remind attendees about upcoming speakers, sessions, activities, or special offers. However, an innovative way to use beacon or RFIDs is to instead use them to collect timely feedback on sessions or presentations. When an attendee leaves a session, beacons and RFID technology can sense they are leaving and immediately ask them if they’d like to provide feedback.
This information can be useful in understanding what sessions or attractions garnered enough attendance and proved to be valuable for attendees. Using surveys during the event and targeting the messages based on what attendees just experienced will provide more accurate and reliable information about the investment made into the event’s content and sessions.
Engaging content is a foundational piece of a successful event, but measuring the engagement it fosters is critical for continued success. While tools, methods, and metrics of measuring attendee engagement range from the very simple to highly sophisticated, there are easy ways to measure engagement. Using interactive methods to gain insight into attendee engagement will help generate more buzz and higher attendance at events in the future. Using a quantifiable metric will help an event organizer better understand the audiences preferences for engagement and connect with the highly engaged attendees to further promote the benefits of an event.