Audience Engagement Best Practices for 2022 and Beyond 

Before the pandemic, face to face events were just the natural order of things. But quite a lot has transformed over the last two years. As event technology rapidly developed to fulfill the demands of remote participants with their individual distractions and the ever-present lure of focus dilutions on the internet, maintaining visitor’s engagement ended up being important to the survival of the industry.

While the re-introduction of the in-person experience has been meaningful and even emotional at times, the expectation standards have moved. There are new-found threats related to traveling and meeting, so if people are participating in live get-togethers, there is more demand for significance.

Exactly how do you create an event that your attendees will not only remember but value? Voted as The Best Live Meetings and Events Production Company in 2020, 2021, and 2022, we’ve put together some guidelines to help:

Inspire 

Whether you loaded your speaker lineup with a variety of influencers and can supply distinctive global perspectives, or you’re giving educational sound bites or creative methods of delivering content, your participants expect to leave feeling inspired. One solution could be creating opportunities for one-on-one standups between participants and speakers for deeper interaction.

Virtual as well as hybrid occasions taught us that involving your guests calls for thinking like a television producer. Sessions that feel like spoofs or interview-style programs will trigger passion, while developing interactive experiences via gamification and in-app involvement can be done in-person in addition to on-screen.

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Forecast 

Tackling events like a futurist has actually taken on brand-new definition since the pandemic. Along with that, keeping track of all the ways things have changed in this world and just how these things impact your events is vital to any excellent methodology.

For example, working with new technologies like holograms or virtual reality, which can develop a more immersive and enjoyable experience while additionally introducing brand-new ways guests can engage with sessions.

Another means of peering into the future is via a lens of empathy and understanding. Ensure your event complies with guidelines for sustainability and social responsibility. You can even find ways to include your participants, empowering them to be able to support a cause they may well believe in.

Get to know what matters to your participants before the event.

And then, be ready to adjust.

Incentivize 

By initiating an incentive program, you can influence your employees by showing them you care about them as well as appreciate all that they do. This is particularly important with many people working remotely. By bringing your team together for an event, you can provide wonderful opportunities for them to reconnect in ways they simply cannot do digitally. Retreats, fairs and workshops are a great means to cultivate work relationships while also encouraging participants’ mental and physical health.

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Connect 

One of the major draws for events is networking. If the schedule is packed too tightly with session after session after session, they end up not being able to connect with others and establish or build meaningful relationships.

The point is, by all means, include engaging sessions, but prioritize the opportunities for connection as well by creating opportunities for people to meet, share suggestions, and engage between sessions. Make use of creative and cutting-edge means for people to connect with each other.

Due to the expansion of event tech during the pandemic, we now have new ways to promote and amplify connectivity. Making use of mobile apps to connect participants of like interests is one example of how new technology can strengthen event networking. By being proactive and producing experiences that bring individuals together via games, micro-meetings, speed networking, geocaching, or more intimate one-on-one meetups, you are better able to include different personality types in the goal of encouraging relationships.

Access 

Ensure that your event is accessible to all your participants. This can be accomplished through closed captioning as well as making ASL interpreters available for the sessions and the networking. Another vital component of accessibility are ramps for wheelchair or disability access, elevators, and planning out the seating so as to allow space those participants who may have mobility restrictions. Additionally, this means giving thought to those who may be visually impaired, and preparing for dietary constraints.

Secure 

Everyone has various levels of comfort, so even though pandemic restrictions are lifting, you can help by ensuring your participants feel safe. One way to do this is to provide socially distanced seating arrangements for those who may still be uncomfortable sitting in a tightly packed room. Provide hand sanitizer terminals, or give travel-sized sanitizer bottles out to guests when they check in.

While keeping these things in mind would certainly be sufficient to help with you audience engagement, there is one more thing that, left unmentioned, could well leave many of your prospective participants looking elsewhere.

Budget 

Soaring supply chain prices, room rates, food and beverage prices and airfare prices are pushing up the costs per attendee for meetings and events.  Meetings and events this year are hovering around 25% higher than 2019 and is forecast to rise another 7%+ in 2023 according to Global Business Travel Forecast.  Inflationary pressures, shorter lead times and labor shortages have caused pent-up demand and have seen prices soar across all regions of the country and in most categories of spend.

Establishing a realistic budget is a crucial step during the planning phase, right after setting your goals and objectives.  One of the key challenges for planners is to ensure that you carefully manage expenses and revenues to achieve the financial goals that have been established by your organization, as well as the accurately measure your event success.  The expenses and revenues you need to account for will vary depending on whether you are organizing in-person, virtual or hybrid events.  One way to cut costs may be to go totally virtual or to produce smaller hybrid meetings. Bear in mind that using a seasoned production company that is well versed in virtual and hybrid platforms can make all the difference in helping streamline many of the processes and the delivery of a successful program.

One way to save money on overall yearly budgets is to produce virtual meetings and or to have smaller regional meetings with a hybrid component so that saved budget dollars saved can be reallocated to larger in-person meetings that are more important to business goals, messaging, and networking.  This trend is maximizing a “bang for your buck” mentality works in overall company goals and experiences while not missing out on those critically important smaller meetings or events delivered virtually.

The importance of an event budget cannot be overemphasized.  Be realistic and do your research, 2019 pricing is gone. Although a well-planned budget takes time to create and manage, it can mean the difference between success or failure.

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Remember 

The corporate occasion industry had to pivot rapidly when faced with alarming concerns, changes in technology, and a world where sustainability as and social responsibility became increasingly important not only to recognize but to implement. Now more than ever, giving serious thought to what your participants expect to experience, as well as how you can deliver it in a manner that is both meaningful for the present and memorable for the future is key to event production in 2022 and beyond.