Have you ever been to an in-person event (or hybrid online /offline event) where you feel like just another number–and the presenters sound like Napoleon Dynamite? We all have. Thankfully we can learn things important to our career and/or life, but they can still be soul-crushing at times. Keep reading—we have a solid strategy for this, that is surprisingly easy with the right technology.
If the event information isn't riveting then your eyes will glaze over quickly, and even with riveting content you still aren't engaged with the event—you're just a viewer. This is why event engagement and audience engagement tools are critical to get your attendees involved and feel like they are part of your event. These audience-engagement tools and strategies make your viewers feel valued—feel important.
Having an engaged audience is not only for their benefit, and not only for yours—but also your event sponsors. If you don't have any sponsors you can use this strategy to get sponsors, and partners. Partners can be important for an event, especially if they offer industry clout, and attract them by partnering them into a well-formulated conference with engagement strategies and live data; they may partner with you when otherwise they wouldn't.
So—how do you get this Holy Grail of engaged viewers (and happy event sponsors and partners)?
It comes down to breaking down the three challenges—with inter-linked solutions:
1. How to Keep Them Engaged The Entire Event
Getting someone engaged is primarily done by simply offering them the opportunity to get involved. No opportunity—no event engagement. Now, these need to be fun ways to get involved that are satisfying to their needs to be valued, important, and value what they bring to the table. The best ways to get this sort of event engagement in offline (in-person events), online, or hybrid events are:
Live Q&A—this allows them to cater the information to what they are looking for and showcase their knowledge that allows them to dive deeper. Participation in Live Q&A not only captures attention but gets them actively involved and engaged.
Live Comment Streams—these allow people to chat and comment in real time, sharing their opinions with others (and the events team), showcase their knowledge again and receive and give information confirmation amongst other audience members. This feeds peoples' need for social acceptance and to be social.
Live Polling—this allows people to share their opinion and see what other attendees' opinion is. People love seeing if they are 'right' and others agree with them, via live polling.
Mood-Measuring Emojis—social media created emoji-based 'likes'--and people LOVE to use them, and receive them as feedback on the content they share. By adding emojis, like clapping, people can digitally clap, which is often the most exciting part of a conference as it gets people physically moving with their hands, sometimes standing up—and overall showing excitement. This excitement is created digitally by using mood emojis...and when those drift across the stream it grabs peoples' attention.
2. How to Generate New Revenue Streams
Obviously your events' goals are to sell more products and/or sign-up new clients (in addition to strong branding that can lead to more sales) to make money—but this isn't the only way to make money. Let's look at some other ways:
Partnerships & Sponsorships—by getting partners or sponsors you can not only add great industry-aligned content to the lineup, but you make money from it too and/or lower your percentage of the event costs.
Launching of New Products—selling existing products and services is great, but there’s no better way to launch a new product than at your event, to a captivated and engaged audience! You also make your attendees feel special that you are launching it for them, live.
Selling Ad Space—not everyone thinks of selling ad space, but it's a real money maker. If you think it's 'tacky', it's really not when it's done with beautiful visuals and strategically-picked, industry-aligned products/services that are likely something they need alongside your own.
Booking Sales Booths (Strategically)—this can be done strategically, like with the ad space and sponsorships—by choosing vendors that would be helpful for your attendees. With kiosks/booths/tents highlighting products/services/technologies that are in your niche. But, keep it closely aligned with your vision. For example, if you're promoting new dental-services technology to dental professionals consider like-minded products like your own (but not competitors of course). But, don't have a sales booth for 'Bob's Automotive Services'. Make these vendors be something that you would use alongside your own offering.
Exclusive Packages /Segments—the cachet of 'beyond the velvet rope' VIP services is tempting for many. You need to make it worthwhile though, because simply getting a VIP badge for your attendees likely won't be enticing enough. You can offer exclusivity packages by providing things like VIP sessions in small breakout groups with industry experts, discussion groups with you and/or your experts, mentors, coaches, sponsors and partners. To put icing on top of the cake go even further and offer discounts or free subscription opportunities. You can also create a tier that includes private chat rooms with experts. The opportunity for these participating experts/partners/sponsors allows them to get more involved and carve out more business for themselves as these are clearly people interested in what they offer. All the content in VIP or tiered packages needs to be distinctive from what is offered at the event of course...it's all about creating value for them.
Here at Votemo we have tools that are perfect for integrating this above via Q&A and chat interaction, moderated discussions, and ability to add partner/sponsor logos (and moderator badges). This allows their expert (or team of experts) to initiate and lead chats, then guide them into a desirable direction. Having your sponsors/partners help with these in a branded, hands-on way builds your offering to them–while also increasing your offering to VIPs. As an added bonus, they lighten your load with the hands-on chat work in a way where they can establish relationships with attendees.
Perhaps it is worth mentioning here that Votemo enables Q&A and Chat interaction, and also an option to moderate discussions, and add branding to chat rooms and moderator badges/logos, so this is an option for company experts to lead and initiate conversations to a desired direction.
3. How to Integrate your Sponsors and Offer Them Real Impact and Data
The great thing about digitally-engaged audiences is that you have hard data about what your engagement rates are. If the potential partners/sponsors hear about your audience engagement tools and high engagement rates this will get them excited indeed. You can then continue selling them on teaming up with you by offering them opportunities to really showcase themselves (via ads, clickable links, branded emojis, participation opportunities, etc.), and allowing them to get involved in the event planning so they can see how they get to participate and offer ideas about how they can contribute. They can also see live data based on using the engagement tools. Imagine if a corporation executive went into a board meeting the next day with hard data and experiential impressions on how well the event went? That's a serious selling superpower for you to not only get them onboard for the next event but to show to future sponsors/partners exactly how well it went for the last ones. That's some serious power.
The above is exactly what we here at Votemo do—use our technology to help you create incredible events. With our live Q&A software, audience engagement tools and overall event engagement technology—combined with visually-stunning video overlays—we have you covered in all aspects of audience engagement. And we implement it so that it is easy for you to use and collect data from.
Here at Votemo, we believe solidly in the results live interaction gives our clients, so we created a platform to make you look like a digital rockstar.
Contact us at email@example.com and let's discuss engagement at your next event.