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Top tips to improve attendee engagement in events

Events are fast becoming one of the most popular ways for organisations to promote services and brands as it allows them to directly speak to their target audience. By organising an event you are able to give your target audience the best impression of your organisation or business, which in turn fosters a more effective relationship with potential customers. However, your event will only be effective if you engage your audience appropriately at every stage of event planning

In this guide, we highlight some top tips to improve attendee engagement in events. We start with an overview of what attendee engagement really is and how you can devise a brilliant engagement strategy for your event. We then discuss some ways that you can improve attendee engagement before, during and after your event.

If you’re keen to run a corporate event and want to make sure you’ve got your audience’s attention, then this is the article for you. 

What is event engagement?

Event engagement may seem like a simple concept; it concerns how many attendees arrive and take part in your event. But this is just a surface level definition of event engagement that fails to capture the real importance of this concept. 

When considering event engagement, organisations should be more focused on the attention that their attendees pay to their event, from social media posts to Q&A panels. Organisations that want to improve their attendee engagement at events should consider questions such as:

  • Were the talks and panels at the event valuable?
  • Did people actively participate in breakout sessions?
  • Were attendees able to network at the event?

These questions can help businesses determine if they are properly engaging their audience at events. If you want to measure event engagement, you should analyse how much your attendees actively participated in your programme and where they gained the most value. This will help you determine where you are grabbing the attention of your attendees and where you can improve. 

How to build an event engagement strategy?

Your engagement strategy will set the tone for your entire event, so it is crucial that you have a clear plan of what you want to achieve and how you intend to reach your target audience. Whether you’re hosting an industry meet-up or a brand pop-up, events have multiple moving parts which need to be managed effectively in order to drive attendee engagement. 

The first step to establishing a good engagement strategy is content. In order to stand out in today's competitive climate, organisations need to curate an intriguing campaign that will grab audiences and encourage them to become event attendees. This helps to keep your audience immersed in the event experience and gives organisations the opportunity to get creative with their messaging. 

You should ensure that your content plan is interactive and will appeal to a range of attendees. This will inspire your future attendees and will go a long way when it comes to keeping them engaged for your event. It is also wise to start your engagement efforts as early as possible and start the conversation early, giving your audience more time to get excited about your event. 

You then need to consider what methods you will deploy in order to engage your attendees at every stage of your event, from promotion to weeks after the event itself. In the following sections, we showcase some event engagement ideas that will stand out to clients and consumers. These strategies are very versatile and can be scaled to suit the size of your event and target audience. 

Event engagement tips: before your event 

Organising an event involves a lot of moving parts, you need to manage a guest list, find a venue and develop a schedule. These are all important elements of your event but don’t let them overshadow your event engagement strategy. By focusing on engagement early in event planning, you can tap into the mindset of your attendees and create a lot of buzz. 

We’ve highlighted some of our favourite event engagement ideas below that you can use to improve attendance in the lead up to your event.   

Create an event hashtag

It’s no secret that social media is one of the best ways to reach people. Recent evidence has shown that the average person spends 2.5 hours on social media everyday and savvy businesses are using this knowledge to reach more and more customers regularly. By utilising social media you are able to drum up interest for your event more effectively, but the best tool in your arsenal is an event hashtag. 

Hashtags are utilised in social media posts as a means of categorising the content and making it accessible to an interested audience. By establishing a branded hashtag well in advance of your event, you can build a community of potential attendees and drive engagement before you’ve even hired a venue. 

Utilise email marketing 

One of the best ways to improve engagement in events is to utilise a range of marketing channels. One of the best marketing tools to drive engagement is email, as you can send out personalised messaging and ensure your attendees have all the vital information they need. It also allows you to get creative with your messaging and form a relationship with your audience. 

By creating an effective email marketing campaign for your event, you can offer attendees exclusive content, teasers and special announcements to keep them interested in the lead up to the event day. Likewise, you can analyse how your audience are interacting with event emails which will provide valuable insight into what is working with your promotion strategy.  

Provide a digital event brochure 

Events and brochures go hand in hand. An event brochure functions like a roadmap, guiding attendees through the schedule, the featured speakers, as well as other facilities and features of the event. It’s a great way to create some buzz for your event and should be an important addition to your event engagement strategy. 

You can take things a step further by creating a digital brochure for your event, which can be sent to your attendees in the lead up to the big day. At Touch Stay, we can create dynamic digital brochures that are the perfect solution for your event engagement strategy. Our handy digital brochures are the best way to keep your attendees up to date and provide them with a unique marketing material that is much more sustainable than a traditional print brochure. 

Consider event vendors 

When planning your event you will need to get in contact with a range of vendors that can provide assistance and facilities for your attendees. While it may seem removed from event engagement strategies, your event vendors can be a useful resource when it comes to generating interest and giving your attendees something to look forward to.

You can locate vendors via online research and you can even find businesses that specialise in events, giving you so much more freedom with planning. If you’re holding your event at a specific venue, you could ask the management if they have worked with vendors previously and they will be able to recommend local companies and agencies.  

Make it accessible

One of the biggest challenges that most businesses face when hosting an event is accessibility. You need to ensure that your event venue is accessible to ensure that all attendees can actively participate in talks and networking. A great way to make your event more accessible is to make it virtual or have hybrid elements.

By livestreaming any speeches or panels, you can extend your event offering to those who were not able to attend and vastly increase engagement. When you host a virtual event or incorporate virtual elements into your event, you can reach a much wider audience. It can also greatly increase engagement as a recent survey has shown that 57.2% of attendees are more able to focus in a virtual event setting

Below we have some quick tips for how to make virtual events more engaging:

  • Use a live chat so that attendees can communicate 
  • Encourage the use of cameras and microphones for discussions 
  • Have a moderator on hand to check the live chat and answer any questions 
  • Use polls to check in with your audience and measure their engagement and comprehension 

Audience engagement ideas for event day

Now that you know how to improve attendee engagement before your event, let’s dive into how you can increase audience participation on the actual day. There are a range of methods you can use to improve audience engagement at your event, from dynamic schedules to effective contingency planning. 

Make the schedule dynamic 

People are inherently different, so it is important to utilise a variety of engagement strategies for your event. To do this, consider changing up the formats of your talks and presentations to make your schedule more dynamic. You could shorten talks to include Q&A time or have more designated break out sessions to foster discussion between attendees.  

Keeping things varied will make your event more appealing to a wider pool of attendees. You should also think about the venue as well and the space you have available. A theatre set up is better for talks and presentations and quieter spaces can be utilised for breakout sessions and workshops. 

Allow for breaks 

Try not to overfill your programme as this could cause attendees to lose interest and get overwhelmed. Talks should be limited to around an hour and a half to keep the attention of your attendees. Evidence shows that the average adult attention span in modern day is about 8.25 seconds, so hours of talks is not the way to engage your event attendees.

Giving attendees breaks will allow them to digest the information and process it more effectively. It also gives them time to reflect on what they have learned and how they might gain value from it. Likewise, it allows your attendees to forge connections with one another and network, which is the main draw of corporate events. 

Provide networking opportunities 

Corporate and industry events are a great opportunity for networking and attendees expect there to be blocks of time in the programme to connect with others in their field. You can do this by having regular breaks, as previously mentioned. This is much more informal and will allow attendees to enjoy a flowing conversation rather than structured networking. 

Alternatively, you might want to designate time in the event schedule for networking and incorporate icebreakers to help people break out of their shells. Statistics show that 41% of people want to network more often, so by having allotted time for networking you can tap into this desire among your attendees. 

Engagement ideas for after your event

So, you skilfully engaged your audience and overall the event was a huge success. But what do you do now?

Event marketing should continue long after the event has taken place. You want to build on the excitement of the day and keep your attendees engaged with your organisation. Below, we list some engagement ideas for events that you can use to keep the conversation going once your event has wrapped up.  

Send attendee surveys

Surveys are a powerful tool for boosting event engagement as you can gather a lot of insight about the experience of your attendees. You can ask various questions about parts of the event like, content, venue, speakers and overall satisfaction. This feedback can help you determine what went well and where there is room to improve for future events. 

Sharing a survey provides a platform for attendees to actively engage with your event even after it has ended. By inviting attendees to share their thoughts and opinions, you encourage them to reflect on their experience and feel like their input is valued.

Offer swag bags 

No event is complete without some swag. Swag bags are a common feature of many events and provide attendees with branded goodies at the start or end of the event. Swag bags typically include a plethora of branded items, like pens, notebooks, lanyards and much more. This allows businesses to get creative and reward their attendees for their participation.

But swag bags can help promote your event well after it happens, which makes them a valuable tool for driving engagement. Statistics suggest that 6 out of 10 people keep hold of promotional products for up to 2 years. You can leverage this data by curating an exciting goodie bag for your attendees knowing that they will likely be writing with your branded pen at their next meeting. 

Create a community 

After planning your event and hosting the perfect day, you have all the components to create a community dedicated to your event. You likely already have a social media page for your event as well as a branded hashtag, which will allow you to keep the conversation going with your attendees long after your event has ended. 

You should regularly engage with your audience after the event to gain further insights and feedback about what you can improve. Likewise, you can tap into a sense of nostalgia by sharing content from the event and reminding your attendees of how valuable their participation was. This will help to keep your event relevant and also allows you to continue your engagement efforts if your event is held annually. 


In conclusion, effective attendee engagement is pivotal for the success of any event. By prioritising engagement throughout the event planning process and leveraging various strategies, organisations can foster meaningful connections with their audience. 

From utilising social media hashtags and email marketing to providing dynamic schedules and networking opportunities, there are numerous ways to keep attendees actively involved before, during, and after the event. 

Do you want to elevate your events and boost attendee engagement? At Touch Stay, we provide dynamic, digital event brochures that are the perfect addition to any event marketing strategy.

Start your free trial now to discover how digital brochures can take your event engagement to new heights.