Really connecting with your attendees at a great event requires open and insightful communications. An epic event that encourages new levels of engagement can leave attendees inspired to connect with your brand like never before. ITA Group experts share what excites them around event engagement communications.
“When it comes to engagement communications, it’s all about personalization and relevancy based on data—across all mediums.
Consumers are hungry for relevant content, so feed them insights that matter to them. Broad-stroke communications are a thing of the past; you’ll need to segment the information you’re providing to reach the appropriate audience. Assuming people will sort through content to find what’s relevant to them is a huge mistake. People are used to (and by all indication, prefer) having content filtered by their likes and dislikes in their everyday interactions—so if you’re not showing consumers something they’ve shown interest in, then you can bet they’ll be moving on to someone who will.”
“I personally enjoy reading participant feedback and listening to what they have to say about their experiences. When we listen to participants actually engaging with our programs we can find out what makes them tick. Not everyone is motivated in the same way—we need to connect with people on their level. This can be done through several methods, but first you need to do your homework. Find out about your audience, and don’t make assumptions only based on their generation. Ask people where they go for their information: is it social media, email, text messages, a website? Mix it up and make sure you are communicating in a way that is easy for them and also allows for two-way communication—not just talking at them.”
“I’m excited to see people loving print again. In a world full of overflowing inboxes and social platforms for every aspect of life, people are constantly receiving and wading through digital messages. Mixing print into a communication strategy helps cut through the noise. A beautifully designed piece you can touch and feel creates a different experience for the recipient. Creative details and finishing engages with them in a way a screen can’t. Tangible pieces get noticed and, when well-integrated, improve your ability to reach your audience with electronic messaging, too.”
“A trend that I’m particularly excited about is the shift in event mobile app strategy. Typically, event mobile apps are seen as a medium for knowing when and where to go while onsite. But what we’re seeing now is clients wanting the mobile app readily available as soon as their attendees look to register, so it's used for pre-event engagement. Push notifications, rolling out speaker announcements, allowing attendees to plan what sponsors they want to see—all of these things are valuable in generating excitement for attendees. Your attendees share this information with others, generating more prospective attendees. In addition, post-event engagement can be done through the app as well, allowing attendees to revisit session content, or in certain cases even going on a virtual tour of the conference to ‘relive’ their experience. Shifting mobile apps from simply an onsite agenda, to a valuable tool for engagement communications, is an exciting thing for the events industry!”
“Robust event engagement communication campaigns allow companies to track behavioral trends for event attendees throughout the lifecycle of the event journey. Through data markers, we can identify who the ideal event attendee is for that company. Once we know what the ideal persona looks like, we can segment the audience to find out what elements of the engagement campaign were most effective for that type of event attendee. What types of communication excited them to respond or take action? Data empowers companies to follow the ‘ideal participant journey’ and learn how to better target future events (or post-program communications) to fit the communication preferences and styles of their ideal audience.”
“Digital communication has given us the ability to develop brand advocates long before an event kicks off. Email and video continue to be strong direct marketing channels.
Email marketing has proved its value in ROI and personalization, but don’t let it stop there. By letting the data make smarter decisions for you, you can craft automated customer journeys that bring people from awareness to decision without lifting a finger. Studies have shown that behavior-triggered email automation increases engagement 2–3x.
Meaningful video content has become an expectation for consumers. There is plenty of evidence that video has become massively influential in purchasing decisions and event attendees are no different. One study demonstrated that 25% of attendees used video to research events. Event highlight videos give potential attendees a taste of what to expect and sparks the emotional connection long before the event begins.”
Recognizing the importance of paying attention to engagement communication trends and catering your unique, segmented message to attendees is quickly becoming the standard. No matter what excites you, the variety of event engagement communications you incorporate with your marketing strategy can connect with attendees in meaningful ways that build brand advocacy. Discover how to create your own brand advocates with our ebook, Brand Advocacy and the Emotionally Connected Customer.