How to: Utilising your event’s downtime to engage attendees

Engaging event delegates year-round is necessary, and it can be achieved easily and at a low cost. eTouches’ Lauren William shows you how

We often think of the event life cycle in three stages: pre-, during and post-event. But what’s an event planner to do during that long stretch after attendees have gone home and before registration opens for the following year?

While you can definitely take a brief break to reevaluate and analyse ROI metrics once your event has concluded, there’s no reason to slow down your efforts to engage current and prospective attendees. Not only will it keep your event in the back of their heads throughout the year, but it helps your brand to have fresh content on your event website and social media pages.

Creating engaging content during your event’s downtime is usually simple and low-cost, if not free; all you need is a little creativity. Here are some easy ideas:

Share aggregated content on social media
Instead of being a source of inspiration and ideas one week out of the year while onsite, become a resource that your attendees consult daily. Along with your standard event promotion, share two to three industry news stories on your social media accounts. Not only will attendees be reminded of your organisation on a daily basis, but they’ll come to rely on you for the latest developments, most popular stories and technology news in your respective industry. This is also a great opportunity to ask readers about the content they’re seeing by sparking conversation in the comments section.

Maintain a blog
Get inspired yourself by writing about what you find on your event’s blog. Quick tips, listicles, reviews and other topics make for easy to share content that you can create once week or even just a couple times a month. You’ll be seen as a committed partner in your respective industry instead of an entity just trying to make money off registration fees.

Create content with popular speakers
Consider asking or requiring popular speakers to contribute in other ways to promote your event and engage with attendees. Perhaps it’s writing up a Q&A article, providing a guest blog post, participating in a video interview, committing to a Twitter chat, or all of the above.

Contests and discounts
Get your attendees’ attention with many opportunities to participate in contests to earn registration and accommodation discounts, VIP statuses, invitations to special events and other perks. Have these contests be interactive and/or feedback driven to get the most out of their participation. For example, you could have attendees enter to win by filling out brief surveys, answer Twitter polls, like/follow all of your social media accounts, share photos, etc.

Get inspired by your data
Your survey, demographic and attendance data can be the foundation for excellent content to create and share during your event’s quiet months. From small shareable graphics and larger infographics, to fact sheets and white papers, use any compelling data that may pique your attendees’ interests. It could be used in an Instagram post to encourage registration for the following year (i.e. “90% of attendees would recommend ABC Conference to their colleagues! Learn why by clicking the link in our bio.”) or simply act as a useful industry resource (i.e. “Check out what technology ABC Conference attendees love most in our latest white paper!”).

Keep your app updated
Just because you’re not onsite doesn’t mean your event mobile app should go dormant. A week or so after your event ends, take down outdated content and leave placeholders and post information for the following year. While it’s best to not overdo it during the off-months, the occasional push notification reminder is a great way to keep the app updated and your attendees informed. It’s also a great place to encourage attendees to continue networking with each before and after your event.

Don’t forget about email
Though not the fanciest or newest of communication tools, it’s still important to send good, old reliable emails to your attendees. Instead of constant reminders to make early bird registration, build a newsletter that showcases all the engaging new content and resources you create each month, as well as the latest information and announcements about your event.

This article was first published on etouches is a leading end-to-end event management software solution, providing intelligent technology that streamlines event management, delivers insightful event data, is integration-rich and optimises user and attendee experiences.

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