They’re Here, Now What? Communicating With Event Attendees

You pulled off a great marketing campaign to get people to attend your event. Now your job is done, right?

Not so fast!

Effectively communicating to attendees throughout the event is critical to creating a positive experience. Beyond the basic announcements and reminders from the podium, here are three ideas to connect attendees during your event.

1. Social media

Your organization probably already uses social media. If you are on multiple channels, attendees probably aren’t following each of them. Pull your feeds (including those who are utilizing the conference hashtag) from every social source onto one social wall and display it prominently in the event space. There are several free platforms that help you do this. All you’ll need at the event is an Internet connection and a screen or monitor. People will gather around the display and see tweets, Facebook posts, and Instagram pictures that spark conversations they will remember long after the event.


2. Ask questions – and not just the expected ones!

You’ll get feedback about the event in your conference evaluations. During the event, ask questions that engage people and start conversations. You can do this in a high-tech way by tweeting your questions (use a hashtag like #QofDay along with your event hashtag). Or go old school with a chalk board or bulletin board. Get creative and push people to share information about themselves and their experiences. At an academic conference, ask about the craziest excuses students have given for missing homework deadlines. At a hospitality industry trade show, ask for the funniest items a guest has left behind at a property. You never know what people will reveal!


3. Utilize a mobile app

Mobile apps can be a great way to engage attendees. Not only can they organize their schedules, look up speakers, and connect with other attendees, but you can also reach out to attendees throughout the event. Most apps have messaging capabilities that will allow event organizers to send notifications about important announcements. From room changes, to directions to lunch, to thanking attendees for coming, these nudges help attendees feel “in the know” and connected to the event.


What other ways do you engage attendees at your events?