Think of your favorite event — who’s the host?
This person likely has the charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent (that’s a RuPaul reference for my fellow Drag Race fans!) to keep an event running smoothly in spite of technical difficulties, distractions and the unexpected hiccups of live events.
This person has a keen ability to keep an audience engaged and excited without taking away (too much) from the content. They seamlessly take attendees on a journey.
Alright, alright, I’ll stop talking about myself...
The point is, the best MCs have a knack for guiding attendees through every step of the physical event journey. However, in the age of mobile, the physical experience is often disconnected from the digital even though we know the average person spends a huge amount of time on their mobile devices.
At modern events the MC is the lynchpin to combine the two experiences and ultimately fuel the energy and engagement in both. So, how can you leverage your event MC to bridge the gap between the physical event experience and the digital?
Here are a few ideas…
Introduce the App in Your Opening Remarks
More than likely your keynote isn’t just jumping onstage without some type of introduction. The MC can use these first few minutes of the event to introduce the application in a meaningful way. By sharing simple tips and tricks for attendees to get the most of the application, you can drastically increase adoption rates and attendee engagement throughout the life of your event. Not to mention getting the audience more engaged in the keynote and presentations to come.
In our own opening remarks, we ask attendees to take a few simple actions within the application to turn them from passive attendees into active event participants. Here’s how:
Navigate to the Activity Feed and participate in the Live Poll, “What are you most interested in learning about today?” Based on the responses to this poll, we’re able to ensure our speakers and panelists really tailor their message toward the audience’s interests and not their own agenda. Remember, the event is for them, not you!
Post a Status Update sharing a successful tactic you’ve used to create live connections at your events. In our pre-event survey, we discovered 64% of respondents were attending the event to learn best practices for using event data or to learn more about tools to become a better, smarter marketer and another 28% were interested in learning more about the DoubleDutch platform.
To help address these interests and facilitate conversations between attendees, we decided to try an onstage call-to-action by asking attendees to share their own experiences in the Activity Feed. The amazing thing about this particular strategy was that we were able to source a wealth of new ideas to turn into content later on!
Find a strategy you’re particularly interested in and like, comment and interact with that person. We also suggest taking it so far as to schedule a meeting with that person during one of our breaks to discuss the idea further and share other strategies you’re finding successful. By taking the awkwardness out of networking we’re able to immediately help our attendees achieve a key reason for attending our events — to network with industry peers!
In the span of just a few minutes we’ve not only learned a ton about our attendees, but we’ve also helped improve the quality of their networking time onsite.
Now that we have attendees comfortable with the application, we can take things a step further.
Give Attendees Time to Rate & Review Sessions
Let’s face it, paper surveys are dead. Response rates are low and therefore unhelpful in making educated decisions.
Have your MC prompt attendees to rate and review sessions in the application before the next session begins to increase the amount and quality of feedback you receive. This will help you inform and improve your event strategy in big ways.
The Live Engagement Tour is a single track roadshow where every attendee has the same agenda. To ensure attendees were able to easily rate and review sessions, we pre-bookmarked the sessions for them upon import to create personalized agendas. Because we spent time early on training attendees to actively use the application, those that don’t complete the surveys in the time allotted are prompted to via Session Survey Reminders that appear in the Activity Feed of your event application.
You can use this insight to make improvements to your event in the moment and, in the case of a roadshow series like The Live Engagement Tour, after the fact.
Focus on Quality Over Quantity
One of our own key learnings was that, yes, we want people actively posting in the event application. But, more importantly, we want people posting useful content for the community.
Early on in the process we discovered the power of incentivizing our attendees to think about the quality of their posts over the frequency of them. Peppered throughout the early morning presentations we made it a point to touch on the importance of quality over quantity by reminding attendees to not only post in the application, but also to interact with one another. By encouraging them to like, comment, and participate in conversations with other attendees we saw a drastic increase in the quality of those posts.
Bridging the Physical and Digital Experiences is a Win-Win for Everyone
By following these simple strategies we’ve been able to train our attendees to use the event application in a meaningful way. This strategy is mutually beneficial, too.
For the attendee, they have access to a glowing community full of best practices, tips and tricks to get the most out of their events. They’re learning from each other, connecting with one another, and co-creating the experience with us.
For us as conference organizers, we gain an incredible wealth of insight into what’s resonating with our attendees through the Live Engagement Data. This insight can then inform everything we do as a business from our content strategy and beyond to act as an ally to our customers. Helping to propel the industry forward, one Live Engagement Marketer at a time.