Daily Q&A – Day 16 – 3 Practical Tips for Engaging your Audience Before your Event

One of the best things about event organising is the opportunity to interact with attendees well before the event. And this is no longer limited to the occasional email from an interested attendee about ticket pricing, or transport to the venue. Audience pre-event engagement now includes dialogue on social media about the day’s agenda, speakers, and their biographies… and much more!

So, how do you take advantage of these valuable pre-event promotion opportunities to engage with your audience? In today’s instalment of the Daily Q&A challenge we will be looking at how to get people talking about your event well before it happens.

Here come three practical tips:

1. Create buzz before the event with a short and memorable hashtag

Hashtags are a simple way of providing your audience with a virtual water cooler ahead of the event. Expect people to interact with others using the hashtag, perhaps even before reaching out to you the organiser!

Hashtags have the added benefit of aggregating conversation around the event; use Twitter search and/or social media management tools like Hootsuite or Buffer to connect directly with attendees talking about your event, and offer support as appropriate.

2. Use bespoke content to speak to a wider audience

Robert Edmonds’ award winning video and events agency NRG Digital created ten films featuring headline speakers at the 2014 AltFi Summit to engage with different segments of the target audience for the event, and build a bigger picture of what the event was about. And it worked well. Bespoke content does not have to be moving-image though.

Guest blog posts by event partners and supporters, and even pre-event Twitter chats are all valid ways of letting a wider audience than the loyal few who are going to register regardless know about your event. A Twitter chat is a pre-arranged event on Twitter where users converse around a designated hashtag.

3. Invite your audience to ask you questions about the event

Interactive event software developer Zeetings make the point that “inviting, answering and asking questions will give you a heads up on what your audience wants to know and expects to learn.”

They go on to suggest that “this could be done via email, social media, forum or even a survey or poll.” And so it could.

So there you have it. Three excellent tips on creating awareness, engaging your audience and building an online community around your event before it takes place.

So, what are the next steps? I’d like to engage my audience

Perhaps we could help you with inviting and answering questions about your event?

We’ve built an interactive platform for asking and answering questions in real-time at assenty.com. It’s free to post and vote for questions, and incredibly easy to use, simply log in with Twitter, visit the relevant question board and post your question in seconds flat. Questions can be rewarded by the moderator so the ‘asker’ could nab Gold, Silver or Bronze question award, something to tweet about at the event!

No more manually scouring through tweets in your time line. Assenty makes it easy to track questions and their answers; by using a question board hosted on the platform, each question is permanently linked to its answers, and the hashtag automatically added whenever a question, or the question board is shared on social media.

Have a question about building an audience?

Want to build an audience before your event? Have a question you’d like to ask? I’d like to invite you to post it on this question board.

How to add your question:

Here’s an example from the question board, embedded into this blog post:

Stay in the loop

We’re blogging and tweeting our way through the Daily Q&A challenge. For updates, follow @AskWithAssenty on Twitter or like our Facebook page.

Want to run your own?

Fancy running a Q&A yourself? It’s easy to create your own question board. Details here.

Image credit: Hunter Business Review