When it comes to hosting or organizing events, improving audience engagement should be one of your top priorities. Events are much more than a matter of show and tell, they’re also a way for you to connect with your loyal customers and bridge the gap between your brand and their needs. What better way to achieve this than to make the event interactive, fun, and engaging?
Recognizing the importance of attendee engagement
Attendee engagement should be your driving force when planning events. The interests and needs of the audience should be integrated into every aspect of your program. Besides inspiring and retaining interest, however, you may be wondering: why is attendee engagement critical?
Build longer-lasting relationships
Traditionally, events have been pretty one-sided. That is, the event planner is the giver and the audience is the receiver. However, with the evolution of technology and innovation, events have become more interactive, allowing audience members to be more involved throughout the process.
They can share their thoughts, take part in activities, and get to know the brand a little better. Likewise, you — as the brand — can create a unique experience for your audience that will lead to loyalty and longer-lasting relationships.
Much like every other relationship, events must also be a give-and-take. In addition to featuring presenters and specific brand segments, you should also open the floor to Q&As, demos, and other engagement ideas to make your audience feel heard and understood.
Once your audience understands that they are not just spectators but change-makers involved in the growth and expansion of your brand, they are more likely to remain loyal to you. With loyalty comes leads.
Even long after the event, provided it’s successful, your attendees will continue to support your products and services because you’ve already established a relationship with each other. So, every time you launch a new product, introduce a new influencer or expand your service, you can rest assured that your consumers will support it.
Create memorable experiences
At the end of the day, you want to create an experience that will go beyond the four walls of your venue. You want to make sure that you leave a lasting impression that will make people talk for weeks or even months after the event.
One way to achieve this goal is to create a unique and engaging event that people want to share online. On top of on-ground entertainment, come up with an online counterpart people can continue participating in. Anything that will make people want to stay, talk, and enjoy themselves is a great way to improve attendee engagement in events.
A simple idea to help you get the ball rolling is to explore custom apps that push attendee engagement to new levels. We at Core-Apps can help you amplify your event experience by offering a personalized mobile app. Through our services, you can bring events to life and create lasting memories for your guests.
How mobile apps improve attendee engagement
If you are unfamiliar with mobile apps or have never had the opportunity to integrate them into your events thus far, now’s the perfect time to learn more about them.
Mobile apps, like those we offer at Core-Apps, can give your event an added edge. Apps have customizable features that can help you improve engagement. Gamification, in-app messaging, push notifications, personalized content, and networking opportunities can all allow your guests to participate in your events like never before.
If you’re expecting many attendees, leveraging mobile apps to ensure that your guests get the most out of your event is a must. Through this, they can interact with their fellow attendees, learn more about the brand, and never miss out on updates. All of this can be conveniently accomplished through their phones, making every aspect of your show accessible and hassle-free.
Conversely, investing in a mobile app can also benefit you greatly as an event organizer. With this tool, you can improve your logistics, stay on top of your tasks, and ensure a smooth and seamless event for everyone.
Overall, mobile apps add more value and character to your efforts. From how people interact with your brand to how you manage your show from start to finish, everything can be covered with the help of a simple app.
App features to consider for attendee engagement
The success of your event boils down to two parameters: audience engagement and return on investment (ROI).
Although developing a marketing strategy, selecting a venue, and setting up a registration page are all essential steps when it comes to organizing an event, they are not enough to retain your attendees’ attention and boost your ROI. To achieve this, you need the help of a mobile app that contains features to increase engagement rates and push your ROI while saving you time and money.
If you’re looking to leverage the best mobile app in 2023, look no further than Core-Apps. We offer must-have features designed to make your event a success.
As an event organizer, you don’t want your attendees to miss out on segments within the program, especially while they’re mingling or doing other activities. You’ll want to give them a heads-up about what’s coming next so they can participate. That’s where push notifications come into play.
With this feature, you can keep your audience informed about everything that goes on in your event. You can even take this feature to the next level by customizing your push notifications to cater to a specific group of people.
Targeting your push notifications allows you to further personalize their event experience, remind them of program timings, update them on last-minute changes, and encourage them to participate throughout the event. It’s one of the most effective tools to have if you want to know how to increase engagement.
Gone are the days when you needed to create an agenda document, print and distribute it to your attendees — only for it to get lost or misplaced. Not only is this method not eco or cost-friendly but it’s also such a hassle. A better alternative is to make the agenda available to audiences through a mobile app.
Besides getting the best experience out of the event, attendees nowadays prioritize convenience. Carrying papers filled with detailed information about the event is not convenient Instead, create a digitally streamlined version of your program, upload it on the app, and use push notifications to keep your guests in the know.
You can even elevate the agenda and make it interactive so your guests can chat with other guests, ask questions and clarifications, and get an overview of the presentations. This is simply the beginning. There are so many other ways a personalized digital agenda can transform your event and make it more engaging.
If you’re running a conference or a business meeting with thousands of expected attendees, having a networking feature that allows guests to reach out to other guests is a necessity. It is an excellent way to help them make valuable connections and meet the right people.
With our networking feature, your audience can enjoy tools like messages, virtual meetings, and 1:1 interactions. All of this is protected via a permission-based system where attendees have full control over who engages with them before, during, and after the conference.
Surveys and attendee polls
According to 90% of event organizers, surveys and polls are the best ways to boost your audience engagement, which means you should integrate live surveys and polls in-between sessions.
Apart from encouraging engagement, these features are also an excellent way for you to collect vital data and feedback from your attendees. By pushing surveys and polls at the end of a speaker presentation, for example, you can gauge how successful the speaker was or which areas need more improvement.
Then, at the end of the event, you can provide another survey that lets your audience rate how satisfied they were with the overall experience. Using this as a potential resource can give you an advantage as an event organizer to continuously improve your sessions and create something memorable.
Speaking of memorable events, you can never go wrong with games. Gamification in events has taken on a new role as one of the most effective ways to maximize participation and increase ROI. From encouraging audiences to network with each other to incentivizing them to stay and participate, games have a way of keeping people engaged — and entertaining!
To make your events, even more fun and thrilling, you can even set up a leaderboard, give your attendees badges and points, and let them win prizes. Prizes like branded merchandise, sponsor goodies, coupons, gift cards, or cash are a great way to motivate your audience, create buzz, and keep them excited during the event.
Think about it: if you have an ample set-up consisting of several exhibits or sponsor booths, your venue will be jam-packed with attendees standing in long queues.
Spending time lining up at different booths to see the brand is not ideal for audience engagement. If you want to give your audience an up close and personal look at the individual booths, setting up a virtual alternative is your solution.
Virtual exhibitor booths add value to your event by allowing your sponsors to showcase their goods and services online. They can upload a gallery or a live video demo to give the attendees an unobstructed view of what they have to offer. Plus, should the viewers have any queries about specific products, they can connect with the exhibitors digitally and resolve their concerns.
If the exhibitors want to enhance their audience’s experience of the brand, they can also incorporate online and on-site gamification.
There’s only so much information an on-site event blurb can contain regarding your speakers. If you want your audience to get to know who your keynote presenters are, you can set up speaker profiles on our mobile app and give a more in-depth overview of who your guest speakers will be.
Apart from a brief biography featuring what they specialize in, you can enrich the information on your speaker profiles by adding their social media handles (if they have any), contact information, and even LinkedIn profiles.
If the speaker has any other resources they want to share with your audience, they can also provide these on their overview page. There’s so much information you can put in speaker profiles that will allow your audience to connect deeper with them and even extend their networking opportunities beyond the event scope.
Event signages are necessary for every venue, but sometimes, they cannot guide your attendees to the correct destination on time. To solve this issue, our app has a unique venue maps feature that presents a venue layout to help your guests easily navigate their way around the event floors.
Venue maps can provide clear directions to where your attendees need or want to go, from the different session rooms and sponsor hubs to the food court and help desk. Our app can show the best-path routes so guests can arrive at their desired location on time.
With this feature, you don’t need to worry about them getting lost and being late for a meeting or speaker session.
In case your attendees miss a live session due to an early departure, other engagements, or any other reason, you can offer on-demand videos similar to YouTube to enable your guests to catch up on the sessions they have missed.
In addition, if there are segments that your attendees want to review, this feature allows them to do just that. They can rewatch and take down notes on different parts of the event even after it has finished.
The idea of making content available to them days and weeks following an event’s completion is an excellent engagement strategy that will help you keep your event relevant for the foreseeable future.
Event analytics and reporting
Since audience engagement is often a subjective and personal experience, it can be hard to measure on-site. Fortunately, with these features, you can collect and analyze data to determine how successful your event is. From the surveys and polls to the gamification aspects and everything in between, your mobile app is your number one solution to getting a more concrete and comprehensive view of your audience engagement.
Based on your findings and analysis, you can retain strong points and tweak weaker ones to create a more unforgettable event in the future.
Don’t worry. If you’re concerned about the safety and protection of your data, we at Core-Apps ensure a private and secure platform so you can preserve confidentiality between your brand and your attendees.
Examples of successful app integrations
Do you need more proof that mobile apps are just what you need to make your event stand out? Take a look at some of the testimonials below.
2017 Realtors Conference and Expo
The 2017 Realtors Conference & Expo composed of 285 exhibitors and 20,000 attendees brought record-breaking engagement scores and was named “one of the most innovative meetings” in 2017 by BizBash online, a renowned event resource platform.
Through their enhanced communication efforts, consistent reminder emails, and mobile app promotion, they received a record-breaking download rate. From that point on, they made sure to inform their tech-savvy guests of the app features and its benefits to help them maximize their experience.
Offshore Technology Conference
Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) was another record-breaking event with 2,400 exhibitors and 68,000 attendees, representing 120 countries. One of the key highlights of this event was its pre-event engagement, which pushed record-breaking app downloads.
OTC has been our client for three years in a row. During the first two years, they were just getting used to integrating the app into their events. So, when the third year came around, they were already familiar with the features of our app and the value proposition it provided in enhancing audience engagement.
To push app downloads on the event day, they embraced a more strategic approach by promoting the app pre-event on their websites, emails, social media, and in video presentations. So, even if the attendance in 2016 and 2017 were comparable, there was a 6% increase in app downloads which made all the difference.
During their 2017 event, they had attendee surveys and other initiatives to engage first-timers. They also debuted a “lounge” to help answer questions first-timers may have had regarding the app’s usage, which included a training session to help everyone navigate our mobile app easier.
The SHOT Show, also known as the Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, used a mobile app to create a one-stop shop for their exhibitors.
During their trade show, they had over 1,700 exhibitors and over 25,800 attendees representing 100 countries. Finding a way to help thousands of attendees connect with more than a thousand exhibitors was a challenge. Although they could do it physically, they knew that the logistics side would be a nightmare. So, one solution they found was to transport their exhibitors from on-site to online to make it easier for them to tap new people and engage with them more meaningfully.
As a result, they increased their overall revenue by a whopping 169% during the first year. Since then, they have seen a steady incline in sales.
You too can experience such event successes with a simple incorporation of our mobile app in your next event. Through our expertise, we can help turn your events into seamless journeys and amplify experiences to new heights.
Tips and best practices to consider
Is this your first time exploring the world of event mobile apps? If you answer yes, here are some tips and best practices you can try that will help ease the transition for you.
Understand your audience when building your app
First things first, you need to know your audience. What are their online behaviors? Are they tech-savvy? Do they know how to navigate a new app? Asking these questions is essential because they can help you obtain in-depth knowledge of what your audience wants from your app. In doing so, you can customize your app to suit their needs.
Know the importance of customer feedback
Remember that you might not get it perfect the first time, and that’s fine. Setting up an app has its trial and error phase. Identifying what works and what needs improvement based on customer feedback is what will enable you to do better next time. So, always be open to what your attendees have to say.
Keep the app simple and accessible
It can be easy to get carried away with digital apps, but it’s always important to remember that less is more. The simpler and more streamlined your app is, the better the experience will be for your audience. That’s because having too many features can be overwhelming, especially for first-timers. The last thing you want is to distract them with pop-ups and widgets that will only confuse them.