Planning & Promotion

Four Ingenious Ideas to Increase Engagement for Your Next Event

Shikha Chaurasia

“It requires wisdom to understand wisdom: the music is nothing if the audience is deaf.” – Walter Lipmann

The pandemic has changed the way marketers think and act! Now, even audience expectations have never been more erratic. As a result, event engagement, experiences and activities have to be altered to deliver a more transformational experience to attendees. The old engagement tactics like polls and Q&As do work, but it is getting boring for attendees and you may lose out on some potential audience because of it. So, let’s take a look at some ways to create event engagement in 2022.

Virtual Potluck Lunch for Attendees

Even if it’s a virtual event, why should attendees miss out on good food? If your event runs longer than 2-3 hours or even a day, you must have creative lunch break sessions so that attendees get to blow out some steam and have fun conversations. In addition, it will help to re-energize them for more to come. Some creative potluck lunch ideas for events are:
  1. Let’s go green – To celebrate health, you can host a vegetarian lunch featuring salads, casseroles and any other meat-free dishes.
  2. Back to the roots – You can increase engagement amongst attendees by asking them to prepare popular dish from their culture and share a story around it.
  3. Hawaiian lunch – Let’s give attendees the feel of being in the tropics just through a Hawaiian-themed lunch. You can think of shrimps, pineapples, coconuts, barbecued food or more!
  4. What’s your favorite takeout – Your attendees might be busy, so you can just request everyone to get their go-to takeout food from their favorite place.

Invite Artists to Perform Live for Attendees

Taking a departure from the repetitive event engagement stuff will help you think out of the box. Art is often a great way to relax and appreciate life and talent on a deeper level. Why don’t you invite artists to showcase their talent live or host an art workshop for attendees? Engaging attendees in an art workshop together will take your event engagement off the charts! Take a look at some art activities that you can plan for your next event.
  • Invite a caricature artist to sketch willing attendees
  • Organize an interactive art activity to let attendees mingle
  • Bring in speed painters to create high-impact art in a short time
  • You can go creative with ambient art options to encourage attendees to use things around them for art
  • Leverage digital artists to showcase to attendees the power of digital tools

Gaming Sessions and Contests Are In

According to estimations by Emarketer, the population of online gamers will exceed three billion in 2022. Are you blown away by the fact that gamers will make up more than one-third of the world’s total population? You can use the point to your advantage by organizing online gaming sessions for attendees during breakout sessions. This kind of event engagement strategy is sure to bring your event some good press!

Now, what kind of gaming sessions can you organize at your event? Take a look for some great ideas!
  • Minecraft
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • EA Tetris
  • Wii Sports
  • Fortnite Battle Royale
  • Counter-Strike Global Offensive
  • Apex Legends
If you know any other game, you can choose the best option or popular opinion.

Keep an Exciting Element of Surprise

If you want to keep the audience hooked till the end of the event, add an exciting element of surprise! You can let the audience enjoy an experiential session or you can just let them sit back and enjoy a performance. You keep a plethora of activities for your attendees at the end. Here are a few examples:
  • Invite a big social media influencer for a session
  • Book a local band or a prominent artist for a serenading performance
  • You can call a bestselling author and ask them to share their journey or organize a book reading session to promote their new work
  • Call a local celebrity or a famous star to talk about their art and how they do it

Wrapping Up

As the population is still recovering from the brunt of the global pandemic, you need to spread cheer through events! Attendees will only enjoy an event that gives them ample opportunities to relax, network, have fun and learn something interesting. As an organizer, it is your responsibility not to make your audience feel disconnected. Instead, let them have the best time of their lives at your event doing what they love.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you keep virtual events engaging?

Four valuable tactics to keep your attendees engaged in a virtual event are:
  1. Give them the camera and audio access to interact face-to-face
  2. Leverage an event platform that allows engagement activities
  3. Collaborate with artists, influencers or industry experts
  4. Use a setup that enables you, as an organizer, to take the floor when needed

How can event engagement be improved?

Some simple strategies to improve event engagement are:
  1. Use an event app to allow easy communication and interaction
  2. Plan participatory or group activities for attendees
  3. Measure your engagement metrics through social media, event platform and app
  4. Leverage social media for fun contests, giveaways and social sharing

How can I increase my event engagement?

Five simple event engagement ideas are:
  1. Partner with influencers for engaging sessions
  2. Organize exciting contests to ensure participation
  3. Design fun push notifications for attendees
  4. Send out frequent polls between or during sessions
  5. Give away event swag bags