Whether you’re hosting an online, physical or hybrid event, engaging your attendees is essential. However, attendee engagement is particularly important for online events as it is very easy for attendees to simply log off and leave a virtual event.
We spoke to Herkie Du Preez, event professional at Event Wizards, about event longevity and how it can increase attendee engagement.
According to Du Preez, engagement is essential as people have the need to feel like they are part of something. Du Preez says; “events are now available on demand which means event planners need to put themselves in the consumer’s shoes and ask themselves questions, such as:
- What value am I offering my attendees?
- What are they getting out of attending my event?
- Are there adequate networking opportunities?”
Asking these questions will ensure that attendees find your event valuable and worth their time.
Du Preez also believes that networking is another essential component of an engaging event. “At the end of the day, people want to network; they want to do business or be exposed to business opportunities. So, engagement and networking opportunities should be top of mind for event planners. Event networking opportunities are a great value add that event managers can use to enhance their events,” he says.
He recommends adding some physical aspects with your online event as this can help make your event even more memorable as people tend to remember interactive experiences.
We asked him how event planners can heighten engagement using real life experiences and he explains, “if you have a conference, send a conference box with props and use these props as part of the conversations during the event”.
Du Preez highlights the value of bringing real life experiences into the event in order to evoke emotion and in doing so making the event more memorable. “When we have an emotional response to something, we are more likely to remember it and creating a memorable event is a great indicator of success,” he highlights.
He explains that this can be done by adding an emotional aspect into the event. “If you can make someone laugh, smile or cry, you win. Make use of the people you have, engage with their families, engage with the people you work with, involve as many people as possible and bring them into the event”.
According to Du Preez, emotion and real life experiences are key to event longevity and keeping your attendees engaged. He also emphasises that this is a trend that we are likely to see in the future. “People need to realise that your event doesn’t need to be just a few hours. A great concept is to allow people to participate in an event on their own time by increasing the lifecycle of your event. Allow people to participate in some of the event elements prior, during and after the actual event. This provides ample opportunities for your audience to engage with your brand. Use the online space and give everybody that power to participate in your event in their own time,” he says.
According to Mike Lysko, CEO and founder of Flock, one of the two most significant emerging trends in the events industry at the moment are the rise of hybrid events and the need for event longevity.
“Increasing your event’s longevity gives attendees the freedom to engage when and how it suits them and it is this flexibility that will increase the likelihood of attendees engaging with event content, more so than if the event ran for a shorter period of time,” says Lysko.
Looking to increase your attendees’ engagement with your event through event longevity?
The Flock Eventing Platform allows you to do just that. Flock also enables event organisers to organise their event and digitise RSVPs and the way attendees access information.