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How To Ensure Audience Engagement Every Time

Audience engagement is a key part of the success of any event. Regardless of how you choose to host the event, online or in-person, every event organiser wants their audience to be active participants who are willing to engage with the content presented to them. 

Many event organisers see audience engagement as a big indication of whether their event has been successful, as it shows that the audience took something away from the event or learned something new. Expert event planners, like KDM Events, understand that choosing the right audience engagement strategies can make or break an event.

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Why Is Audience Engagement Important?

Hosting an event, delivering a talk or presenting a new idea to a large group of people isn’t as easy as it seems and having the thought that your audience might not be listening to you can create anxiety during the event.

It is also important to consider how effective the event was in order to improve events you host in the future. Finding out what works for different audiences is difficult but worth the effort, in the long run, to ensure your event is enjoyable and successful. You can read more about this in our guide ‘4 ways to engage audiences at your next event.’

Get To Know Your Audience

Understanding your audience can be one of the most helpful audience engagement strategies that event hosts and organisers can use to their advantage. It is important to have a good knowledge of who will be attending your event, what they do for work, what companies they might work for and why they might be attending your event. 

Having this information at your disposal will help you to know exactly who it is you’re talking to and who you have to appeal to. This can help you to strategise how you might want to address your audience and what topics you might wish to cover based on their knowledge level on the subject you’re discussing.

To truly get to know your audience, you can ask attendees to complete a questionnaire before the event so that you have data about them before the event begins. Then, during the event, you might consider using specific software to track the audience behaviours, trends and activity. This will help you to identify the type of content attendees are most likely to engage with and enable you to use this or adjust your content for a similar event in the future.

Knowing your audience is key to any successful event but can particularly help events that have multiple parts to them where guests will be invited back at some point in the future. Having the information about what makes your audience interact with you and the content you’re presenting will make them more likely to return to the second part of the event.

Think About Your Metrics For Success

You should consider determining your metrics for success before your event begins. Try to work out which audience engagement strategies you will use to measure audience engagement throughout the event. This will allow you to put any necessary protocols, procedures or technology in place ahead of the event, enable your audience to use these tools successfully and allow you to successfully track the metrics you’re interested in. 

There are a range of KPIs that event planners may choose to use to measure audience engagement before, during and after an event, These include:

Live Interaction

If your audience can respond or interact with the content that you’re presenting to them in real-time during the event, you can look for reactions, track participation levels and work out what section of content was the most engaging. 

You may choose to do this by allowing your audience to you an app or a trackpad and present them with questions or polls throughout the event. This is also a great way to receive instant feedback after the event, or if you choose after each section of content.

Rating & Reviews

Sending a short survey to event participants with evaluation questions to discover their thoughts and to know if they were satisfied with the event overall is really simple to do and can give you valuable information to take into future events. 

As mentioned above, it is quite easy to track audience satisfaction throughout a live event too via an app or trackpad. Event planners also have access to rating stands that you can place in and around the event space, which makes it even easier to collect data about audience engagement and satisfaction. 

Downloadable Information

Having something for your guests to take away can help them to reflect on the information that they were presented with during the event. Offering free and relevant downloadable resources before or after in-person events can help you to measure download rates, which are indicative of audience engagement with your content and can show how enthusiastic the audience is.

Audience Retention

Audience retention is something that is much easier to track during virtual events, however, it can also take an effect during in-person events too. If you find that your audience is leaving or notice a gradual decline in attendance throughout your event, it is likely that the content became less engaging as the event went on. If this is noticed during your event, then you may wish to change your content or ask your audience for feedback so that you can make improvements for the next event.

Is Your Event Interactive Enough?

Interaction is an essential part of an event, audiences want to be involved in the information you’re sharing with them, they want to feel as if an effort has been made to include them in the journey of the event and that they are not a bystander to a heavy talk about topics they may not necessarily find the most interesting. 

It is important to consider whether your event is interactive enough and how you might make it more interactive if needed. 

Although useful, an app or trackpad is not entirely necessary to encourage audience engagement and participation in the event. Ensuring that there are relevant activities or questions posed to the audience during the event can have an equal if not better effect on audience engagement, and it is really simple to set up without prior planning. If you wish, you can include some audience participation in the event and have audience members physically interact with you during the event.

If you are planning a set of multiple events for the same audience then allowing them to customise their own learning pathway and attend the sessions that are the most relevant to them can be another effective way of increasing audience engagement at an event as all attendees have chosen to be there.

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Choose The Right Speakers

If you are sourcing public speakers to host sections of your event or showcase their skills, knowledge and experience, then it is important to choose the right speakers for your event. 

Do your speakers have the right pacing, enunciation, and enthusiasm when discussing their subject? Are they interesting or entertaining people? Do they have an important or exciting story to tell? These are all the questions you should be addressing when searching for a speaker to host at your event.

It is also important to note that the person you choose to speak at your event should have credibility in the area they choose to speak about and should be considered a reliable expert on the subject of discussion. If the audience feels that this is not the case, it can lead to decreased audience engagement.

How Can KDM Events Help?

At KDM Events, we know how to make the most out of your event to ensure that audience engagement is prioritised, and any feedback is acted upon. We support all of our clients in setting up the right equipment and arranging the right atmosphere to ensure that audience engagement levels are at an all-time high. We will work with you to ensure that your event meets all of your expectations, if not surpassing them. Get in touch with us today to arrange a free consultation and discuss your event goals.

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