How to Increase Your Attendee Retention
From small-scale conferences to mammoth summits, leveraging the solutions below will help you to retain attendees.
User-generated content, information, and feedback (known as crowdsourcing), can be shared with all guests via your event app and social media. An effective crowdsourcing strategy is to engage your audience with polls and surveys. One of the polling solutions that we really like is Polldaddy which can be integrated directly into third-pary services and websites. Crowdsourcing allows you to actively engage attendees and ensures that you are covering topics that interest your attendees.
Twitter can be leveraged as an effective crowdsourcing strategy. For example, you can ask the audience to tweet questions for panelists followed by the event hashtag. For example, if you’re tweeting at the Shaping Davos conference that uses the #ShapingDavos hashtag, you would tweet something like, “Do you think National Planning Commission can play an active role in building trust among each other?” #panelquestion #ShapingDavos,” which @KTMShapers did below:
— Global Shapers KTM (@KTMShapers) January 14, 2015
Often, conferences schedule workshops or breakout sessions. These small sessions provide a space for attendees to collaborate and become acquainted, which is helpful during and after the conference. You can initiate breakout sessions by organizing collaborative projects or common business problems to solve. Then, divide attendees into teams or groups and encourage them to work together on these projects and problems, doing so will assist the entire group with issues they may face in their own businesses as well as creating a new network of support.
A good example would be the Lean Startup Conference, which is a five day conference that offers all of its workshops on day one. One of their workshops was hosted by Lean Analytics Co-Author, Alistair Croll and was titled, “Startup Metrics: The Data That Will Make or Break Your Business.” The workshop combined presentations and case studies as well as discussions of the audience’s specific measurement challenges. Attendees had to integrate their learnings and share knowledge with each other, which typically leads to connections amongst the attendees that they can “lean on” during and after the conference.
Implementing gamification into your event should be a no-brainer. According to Flurry, the market leader in mobile analytics, playing games accounts for 67% of time spent on tablets and 39% of time spent on smart phones. The information comes from a September 2012 survey which engaged approximately 30 million consumers who opted-in to share demographic data. This allowed Flurry to survey more than 6 billion application sessions across approximately 500 millions smart devices.
Gamification at an event can serve multiple purposes including creating social media content and driving more people to exhibitors and workshops.
If you believe that your attendees want to learn as much as possible and your goal is to increase engagement, you can reward people for downloading presentations, posting content, and sharing event information. As far as rewards you can create digital badges, you can ask your sponsors for free access to their solutions and you can offer physical prizes like iPads and laptops.
Leveraging all of the ideas above is a great way to make your event a rewarding one, create buzz around your brand and increase excitement about your next event.