“You can’t manage what you don’t measure,” an old adage that I firmly believe in. And this holds very true in case of attendee engagement. Being an event planner, I have always been baffled with the idea of measuring attendee engagement. Personally, it is my number one goal since an event without engagement and buzz certainly doesn’t have a future. Attendee engagement matters because it is the barometer to measure the success of your event. Attention span is shrinking with each passing day, making it harder for planners to grab attendees’ focus on the event and its apps. To top it all, attendee engagement is complex and a very subjective topic. Does it mean how many people downloaded your event mobile app, how many people exchanged business cards, or does it mean how many pics were shared on social networking sites? The bottom line: it is all of the above and much more. But how do you quantify such abstract feelings like that of happiness and excitement?
There are countless ways to measure attendee engagement for events with different sizes and complexity. From simple surveys to measure awareness to measuring engagement based on heat-mapping, I feel quantifying attendee engagement can be very subjective based on the type of events you host. Here are three easy ways that help me measure attendee engagement at my events.
Track Social Media
Monitoring social media posts is the easiest way to measure an event’s value and engagement. Tools like HootSuite and Conversocial provide a platform or dashboard to help track attendee interaction and digital conversations. With these tools you can time your social media posts as well as track mentions of your events on the Internet and also the articles about your events. With built in analytics, measure your online presence and the buzz your events create.
Gamification to collect data
Gamification is the tried and tested method to engage attendees at your events. With games you can engage delegates as well as collect crucial data to see if your event content was compelling or not. This data can also help you design your future marketing strategy. Games like scavenger hunt or photo quests encourage delegates to check-in to the event on social media platforms. With games, give attendees an innovative way to network at your events and measure it by hosting networking challenges.
Push notifications and live polling
Take advantage of beacons and RFID technology to remind delegates about upcoming sessions, speakers and activities. Use beacons or RFIDs to collect timely feedback on sessions or presentations. Live polling can also be used and the data captured can be analyzed for future events. All this valuable information can help you understand which sessions were a hit amongst the attendees and give you more accurate and reliable information.
There are several technologies available in the market that can help planners like us measure attendee engagement and satisfaction. Delegate engagement will ultimately result in people marketing your event through word of mouth – one of the most effective methods to get more credibility and delegates. After all, no one would attend an event if someone says it was unexciting or uninteresting. With tools to measure engagement, it is imperative to have insight into attendee engagement for creating more buzz and higher attendance at events.
Let me know how you measure attendee engagement in the comments section below.