Leveling Up Your Online Attendee Engagement and How to Measure It

DATE

07.31.20

CATEGORY

Insights

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We’re sure most, if not all of you have heard of the newest kid on the social media block, TikTok, which has over 800 million active monthly users worldwide. Alongside TikTok, other social media networks attract equal or higher numbers of frequently returning consumers. This is because the platforms and content are engaging and attention-consuming, some would even say they’re addictive. So how can we repurpose and replicate this same level of engagement for online events?

“Emotional connection is really important. 86% of those with a high emotional connection to a brand have an affiliation to a brand. We need to trigger that [engagement] when delivering in the digital space as well as the live.” FIRST Managing Director – APAC, Tamsyn Barker, recently joined GEVME’s Digital Event Series panel to discuss why attendee engagement is so important, how to level it up and how it can be measured. Below are some of the insights Tamsyn shared during the conversation.

 

If you’re wondering what methodologies can be used for online engagement at digital events, there are lots!

Digital events are not so dissimilar to the way that we deliver a live event experience, and it’s important to remember that it’s still an entire journey; with a beginning, a middle and an end. The main contributing factors to the success of the event being centred around location/platform, messaging, delivery, content, attendees, and how we can measure the outcome, remains consistent from live to digital events. There is a strong correlation between the format of a digital event and the viewers undivided focus. You can be flexible, within reason, as digital events don’t have to be linear and delivered in one chunk. Think about how you can break it up and strategically segment the agenda to engage your audience at different times, with different content, and in different ways. With what we know about audience attention spans and interaction with digital content, it’s worthwhile keeping brevity, simplicity and emotional connection in mind when developing your virtual event journey.

 

It’s often assumed at first thought that digital events are only capable of engaging audio and visual senses, so how is that a truly engaging experience?

Undoubtedly people crave human interaction and physical connection, but at times this element is simply not possible so we must elevate and enhance the digital experience. You can do this by delivering kits to attendees, to allow them to have a different level of engagement with the content or brand, amplifying what they would have from content consumed solely through the screen. There are also other things like team building and interactivity where you can involve a more personal element with the audience. After all, we want to avoid just having them sitting at the end of a one-way channel without any participation. We must ensure attendees are made to feel part of the event.

 

A key focus of event marketing is measurement and the data that helps us tick off our objectives, so how do you measure online engagement?

One of wonderful things about online events is how measurable they are. Unlike a live event where you’re unable to see or know exactly when an audience member dips in or out of engagement with a speaker, activity or break out, online is really powerful in that sense and substantially quantifiable. We can analyze the stream recording, videos or on-demand content to see when an attendee joins or drops off, and can use this information to shape improvements for future events. It’s also worthwhile and important to utilize and then assess how people engage with pre-event communications, polling, Q&A and chat features, to understand what your audience is saying and how they’re engaging with the content, one another, the experience, and your brand.

 

The ways we meet, interact and engage our audiences have changed and will continue to change, but the advancements in the use of technology and the way we operate in the virtual world is exciting. One of our clients raised an interesting point that, ‘this is the digital revolution that nobody wanted, but everybody needed’. Digital has always been embraced and integrated in what we do and how we innovate, but now and moving forward we must all truly focus and embrace it to the highest degree. When executing digital events well, we can minimize viewer distraction and reach an audience so far greater than we’ve ever been able to reach before – engagement is imperative.

 

To watch the session on demand, follow this link.

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