Tips for Making Your Event Shine Online

lessons from our LAB

August 13, 2015

Tips for Making Your Event Shine Online

Alix Parker develops digital strategies for global clients and is passionate about connecting clients with the right audiences in order to maximize their online marketing efforts.

Are you doing what it takes to attract and engage your audience online for your next event? Recently, our team conducted extensive research in the event space and spoke with several event planners and companies to help our client Endless Entertainment, an event production company, with their marketing.

Along the way, we learned a few tips to help them better engage with their audience online, which I shared in a guest blog called 5 Must- Do Event Planning Social Media Tips. After we posted this blog article, we had event planners requesting more ideas of how to engage with their audience online before and after the event, so here are two tips to better engage your attendees:

1. Just ask them what they want…Trust me, they will tell you.

Surveys are a great way to engage your customers before and after your event. Sending out a survey before the event can generate excitement and anticipation, and can allow you to tailor your event to your audience’s wants and needs. Why guess at what you think your attendees want or what they will get excited about? Just ask them! Ask them what they are looking forward to the most, have them rate particular event items from most important to least important, or ask for ideas to make the event better. The answers to these questions can help you tweak your event to better please your audience and show them that you care about what they think. Then when they attend the event, it will feel customized to them and they will feel like they had a part in making the event a success.

Once the event is over, sending a short survey can help you collect important feedback. It’s important to ask more specific questions than just general feedback on the event so you can get more actionable answers. Ask the attendees specifically what they liked most and least about each area of your event (i.e. food, theme, overall experience, speakers, interaction, etc.). Ask both qualitative and quantitative questions so you can have context to the answers to accurately interpret them, but also so that you can measure your results over time.

2. Use content marketing to create hype for your event.

To get your audience pumped about your event ahead of time, publish blogs that expose insider details about your event. Blogging is the ultimate digital marketing win-win; not only do you you get to promote your event without spamming everyone with the same “sign up for our event” information, you also get to give your event more context with your blog. Releasing speakers and special announcements before the event helps you stay engaged with your audience over a longer period of time and generates anticipation. Hubspot does a great job of this for their annual Inbound Conference. They have each speaker announce the next speaker with a fun blog article or video. They also share interesting content on what to expect at the event, past speakers, customized content for newbies and veterans, etc.

Vlogging can really make your pre-event content come to life by giving your audience a sneak-peak into the event itself. Everyone loves to be included in a secret unveiling, and vlogging allows you to offer this. Vlogs are also fun and engaging because you can show more personality and make quick snippets for your audience to enjoy with the simplest of resources. After the event, consider creating vlogs about the biggest event takeaways by interviewing attendees or event helpers. This will show people that your events have legitimate value and will encourage them to attend your next one.

If you want to make the most of your event, engage with your attendees online before and after it happens! Doing so can really change the outcome for your event, and will make it more worthwhile for you and your attendees! Have even more to share about event planning tips? Share below!

Image by Ashish Pandey via Flickr CC

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