Attendee Engagement Technology Attendee engagement is the name of the game in events and meetings, and technology has infiltrated the market, promising to make attendee engagement easier and more powerful than ever. Mobile, social, virtual, appointment matching, and more–technology to support an event organizer’s efforts have never been greater. But the real key to attendee engagement is in understanding that technology does not equal engagement, it facilitates it. Event organizers must make the connection between the tools and the meaningful strategies that build attendee commitment, involvement, and satisfaction.

This article explores the definition of attendee engagement, why it matters to event and meeting owners, and the role of technology in facilitating a higher level of engagement.

What is Attendee Engagement and Why Does It Matter?

Attendee engagement directly relates to the level of commitment, involvement, and satisfaction that an attendee experiences where your event is concerned. And you can’t know what will make attendees happy until you learn what they are hoping to get out of your event. Engagement begins with listening to participants and following through on their ideas and goals. But far too many professionals still leave events feeling less than satisfied with the time and money they spent, and feeling far from committed to the brand or company behind the event.

Events and meetings are a natural fit for building engagement–the live presentations, one-on-one meetings, and face-to-face interactions provide countless opportunities to engage with attendees and get them engaged with each other.

Now how does technology fit in?

Technology Facilitates Attendee Engagement

Technology makes it easier than ever for event organizers to foster attendee engagement through multiple touch points that encourage involvement, commitment, and satisfaction before, during, and after an event.

Here are some of the most powerful ways event organizers are facilitating engagement through technology:

Online Registration

Online registration systems enable event organizers to gather attendees’ preferences and details, leading to personalized, customized interactions. Registrant information also reveals attendee goals for the event, allowing organizers to focus event offerings to match registrants’ objectives and determine how best to engage them.

Mobile

Savvy event managers are engaging attendees in the realm where they are most comfortable by creating mobile-friendly events. Organizers are offering easy and instant access to news, activities, and updates, while also facilitating social media interactions and online discussions. This furthers an attendee’s investment in an event, and encourages interactions among fellow event attendees.

Social

People talk to each other through social media, even if they’re complete strangers, and event organizers are using this fact to encourage engagement and build communities on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the like. Social media is also the place to disseminate information such as schedules and special sessions before and during and event, while polls can be posted and feedback solicited even during the event itself.

Email

Not forgotten in an era of social media and mobile apps, email
marketing is alive and well and more powerful than ever.Today’s email marketing technology allows for highly personalized, responsive, and customized messaging between an event and its attendees.

Appointment Matching

An increasingly popular tool in the event organizer’s engagement arsenal is appointment matching technology. Event organizers are using appointment matching technology to facilitate face-to-face meetings between participants at the event.

The most successful event organizers remember that technology is a powerful facilitator of participation, conversations, and commitment. Tools like email, social media, appointment matching, and mobile-friendly apps and websites are not going to automatically deliver a highly engaged audience but, used in the right ways, these tools can successfully encourage attendee engagement and impact overall contentment with an event and its associated brands.