Why does your brand spend the time, effort, and money on an experiential marketing event? To increase your brand awareness and audience! In fact, 80% of professionals say engagement is just as meaningful as the return on investment. The fate of your event’s success falls to your audience. If they’re not engaged in the event, you won’t see successful results.
Event preparation is where you will really begin to target your intended audience. You need to make sure you do a few things to get the ball rolling. The most crucial of these is to make sure the target audience is aware. You need to create engagement BEFORE the actual event. Social media is the easiest way to do this. Once you have established this, you’ll want to stay in contact up until the big day. This seems like a simple step. However, it is often neglected.
Create a buzz for the event.
When creating buzz, your goal should always be to tap into FOMO, fear of missing out. Using promotional tools is an excellent way to accomplish this. Fun graphics that POP never fails to catch the attention of your audience. You can also use paid advertising and email to promote the event. The options are endless! Hype up the event to the point that the audience will be so curious they’ll HAVE to come. Make them feel exclusive, and they won’t want to miss it.
Take Advantage of Social Media
You’ll also want to make sure you’re increasing web traffic. Utilize social media for this. On Facebook, it’s beneficial to your brand to create an event invitation page. You can send updates, locations, times, and other relevant information on this page, keeping it all in one place. Invite your target audience to the page. This will help the attendees feel essential while making your event feel exclusive.
Instagram is a fantastic platform for content-based posts. It gives a personal touch to the consumer. The most engaging format on Instagram is reels and short videos. Take advantage of this and post content that includes hype reels and behind-the-scenes footage of the event’s production. Attendees will feel they are a part of the process, which will make them eager to see the end result. Make sure your brand is engaging with users on these platforms. The most successful brands interact with their following on social media.
Research shows that 75% of potential attendees like to get text updates and reminders for events. Using this method of engagement will maximize communication which keeps the audience’s attention, even before the event’s happened!
There should be one main focus on the day of the event, elevating the attendees’ experience. The most specific component is to have HIGH energy throughout the entire event. Make the audience feel excited to be a part of the experience.
One small tip – have a mobile check-in at the event. This will allow you to know the number of people in attendance. This will give you information for a follow-up, which will be important later. The guests will also appreciate the simple and quick process. It gives them more time to enjoy the experience. The key to an engaging event is the brand ambassadors. You want people working the event who are passionate about your brand, easy to talk to, and have high energy. These are the people the audience will turn to with questions. You want to make sure the ambassadors enhance the experience of the guests. Research also shows that most successful events have products available to test on-site. Taking this further, having “swag bags” containing promotional items and product samples leaves a lasting impression on the audience. Another way to engage your audience is to include a drawing at your event. Attendees will enter their information, such as their name, phone number, and email. This will enter them to win a larger prize. This is incredibly helpful for gathering information to use later for your post-event follow-up.
Another critical factor in keeping attendee engagement high during an event is to stay relevant to the audience. You want your event to surprise your audience, be unexpected, and be unique from your competition. One idea is to create a unique hashtag for attendees to use during the event. This will help promote your brand, allow attendees to be included in marketing efforts, and give your brand access to content from the event. The more you incorporate these principles, the more engaged your audience will be during the event.
Just because the event is over doesn’t mean your job is done. The most essential component of audience engagement is the follow-up. Following up with event attendees increases their lifetime value as consumers and their overall brand loyalty. Following up is as easy as sending a recap email or a thank you letter. The point of following up is simply to solidify your brand in the minds of consumers. The more intentional you can be with the attendees, the better off your brand will be.
Grab the Audience!
Attendee engagement is vital to the success of your experiential marketing events. Make sure before the event begins your brand is captivating, compelling, and holds your audiences’ attention from the VERY beginning. The more engaging your event, the higher the likelihood of attendee satisfaction and participation at future events!