Pre-Event Engagement: Building Anticipation and Excitement Before Your Event

Pre-event engagement

Undoubtedly, meticulous planning is the cornerstone of any successful event, demanding innumerable hours of dedication. However, one can’t help but wonder about the extent to which attendees invest time in their own pre-event preparations. While a select few may diligently establish objectives and goals, the majority seldom take a moment to contemplate their potential contributions, impact, or intentions beforehand. It seems that the persistent challenge of balancing multiple priorities often eclipses the need for intentional preparation among event-goers, leaving ample room for growth and enhancement.


In this article, we will explore the significance of pre-event engagement for event professionals and provide you with insightful tips & tricks to generate anticipation and excitement among your target audience before the event takes place. From leveraging the power of social media to creating engaging email marketing campaigns, we will cover all aspects of pre-event engagement to ensure your event becomes the must-attend occasion in your industry. Timing is at the essence, let’s dive right into it!

Understanding Pre-Event Engagement

In today’s competitive event landscape, catching the attention of potential attendees early on is crucial for success. Engaging your target audience well before the event takes place can set the tone for a memorable experience and help ensure that your event stands out among the rest.

What is pre-event engagement?

Pre-event engagement refers to the process of interacting with and generating interest among your target audience before the actual event takes place. It is a crucial component of event planning that helps create a connection between event organizers and attendees, setting the stage for a successful and well-attended event.

Pre-event engagement strategies can include various tactics like social media campaigns, email marketing, and countdowns in revealing speaker lineups and event programs to build anticipation and excitement among potential attendees.

Why is pre-event engagement crucial for successful events?

Pre-event engagement is essential for several reasons:

  1. Increasing event attendance: When potential attendees are engaged and excited about an event, they are more likely to register and attend. Pre-event engagement helps create a buzz around the event, drawing more people to participate. It also helps to create FOMO for the ones who won’t be able to attend this time around but will make sure to attend the next time. 
  2. Building relationships: Establishing a connection with your audience before the event helps foster trust and credibility. This can lead to long-term relationships with attendees and potentially convert them into loyal customers or clients.
  3. Creating personalized experiences: By engaging with your audience before the event, you can gain valuable insights into their preferences and expectations. This allows you to tailor your event content and activities to better suit their needs, resulting in a more satisfying and memorable experience for attendees.
  4. Promoting brand awareness: Engaging with your audience before the event helps increase awareness of your brand or organization. This can lead to more people discovering and becoming interested in what you have to offer.
  5. Generating word-of-mouth marketing: When attendees are excited about your event, they are more likely to share their enthusiasm with others. This can result in increased word-of-mouth marketing, helping to further promote your event and attract additional attendees.

Pre-event engagement plays a vital role in the overall success of your event. By understanding its importance and implementing effective strategies to engage your audience before the event, you can build anticipation, excitement, and ultimately, create a memorable and successful event.


Strategies for Boosting Pre-Event Engagement

In this section, we will explore various strategies that can help event organizers increase pre-event engagement, making it easier to connect with potential attendees and create excitement around the event.

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Maximize event communications

Timely communication with attendees: To keep attendees informed and engaged, it’s crucial to maintain open lines of communication. Make sure you have a user-friendly website, a regularly updated FAQ section, and easily accessible contact information for inquiries.

Momentum: Design your communication calendar so that it keeps your audience informed and excited about your event updates. Building momentum is pivotal to engaging your attendees from the very beginning when they are considering buying their ticket to after the event when they are reflecting on their participation.

SMS updates and reminders: If you are using an event mobile app, it’s best practice to rely on their notification system to send reminders. Don’t spam your audience, less is more when it comes to crucial reminders. Keep it to the most essentials and your key reminders so that attendees are more attentive when these pop-up. However, sending SMS is an effective way to remind attendees if they booked one-on-one meetings with someone attending the event. We don’t want anyone to be stood-up!

Social media responsiveness: Engaging with your audience through social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn is essential for maintaining interest and creating buzz around your event. Respond promptly to comments and messages, share relevant content, and encourage attendees to share their thoughts and experiences. Event organizers also tend to prepare a social toolkit for attendees to use to promote their attendance on their own social networks.

Prepare for and market event registration

Detailed registration process: Having a straightforward and informative registration process is crucial to make it easy for potential attendees to sign up. For example, you could include a simple step-by-step guide on your event website, outlining how to register, what information is needed, and what to expect after registration.

Early bird registration promotion: Everyone loves a good deal, so offering early bird pricing or other incentives can encourage people to register sooner. For instance, you could offer discounted tickets, exclusive merchandise, or a VIP meet-and-greet with a speaker for the first 50 registrants.

Ticket availability and registration deadlines: Create a sense of urgency by clearly communicating ticket availability and registration deadlines. Share updates on social media or through email campaigns, like “Only 100 tickets left!” or “Last day to register at the early bird price!” This can prompt potential attendees to take action and secure their spot.

Utilize social media

Tiktok and Instagram content: Use social media platforms with live content to share stories and video content to share information about your event and create engaging content. For example, share behind-the-scenes photos on Instagram to give your audience a sneak peek of the event preparations. Create short-story style videos of past attendees sharing their takeaways and talking about their event highlights and memorable experiences.

Engaging and interactive content: Create content that encourages interaction, such as polls, quizzes, or giveaways. For instance, you could create a poll asking attendees to vote for their favorite speaker or a quiz to test their knowledge about the event topic. This can increase engagement and make your event more memorable.

Coordinate a countdown

Social media countdown timer: Build anticipation by sharing a countdown to your event on social media. Post daily updates, accompanied by engaging visuals, to remind your audience about the event and create excitement.

Email campaigns: Schedule a series of emails leading up to the event that include a countdown and share relevant information. For example, you could send an email one week before the event with a packing checklist, or a “48 hours Know Before You Go” email with last-minute reminders and tips.

Creating a sense of FOMO: Fear of missing out (FOMO) can be a powerful motivator. Share exclusive content, highlights, or testimonials from past events to show potential attendees what they might miss if they don’t attend your event. Learn more about the importance of FOMO in event marketing to utilize this strategy effectively.

Listen to your audience

Monitoring discussions on event platforms: Keep an eye on conversations happening on your event’s social media channels, discussion forums, and other online platforms. By monitoring these discussions, you can address concerns, answer questions, and gain valuable insights into what your audience is thinking.

Gathering feedback and adjusting strategies: Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from your attendees before the event. Send out surveys or directly ask questions on social media to gather opinions and suggestions. Use this feedback to refine your pre-event engagement strategies and ensure your event meets the expectations of your audience.


Creative Pre-Event Engagement Ideas

Use social channels to start the conversation: Encourage attendees to discuss the event and share their thoughts by creating interactive content and discussions on your social media channels. Share fun facts about the event location or highlight interesting aspects of the event, like unique speakers or engaging activities.

Introduce the hashtag early: Create an event-specific hashtag and encourage its use before, during, and after the event. Familiarize attendees with the hashtag by including it in your promotional materials and social media posts. Encouraging the use of the hashtag early helps to create a sense of community and increases the visibility of your event. It will also make it easier on your team to monitor the online activity and increase your responsiveness. Check out these best practices for using event hashtags to make the most of this strategy.

Maximize email marketing: Craft engaging emails that provide value to your attendees. Answer frequently asked questions, promote sponsors and vendors, and highlight any special features of your event app. Personalize these emails to make them more appealing and consider using eye-catching subject lines to improve open rates.

Offer customizable agendas: Empower your attendees to create personalized experiences by allowing them to build their own event agendas. Provide tracks for specific topics and speakers, so attendees can tailor their schedules to their interests. This not only enhances their overall event experience but also increases the likelihood of them engaging with your event content. If you also have limited capacity with some sessions, it will increase pre-event booking from attendees.

Conduct pre-event survey questions: Use pre-event surveys to gather attendee feedback and preferences. By understanding what your attendees are looking forward to and what they expect from your event, you can adjust your event offerings to better meet their needs.

Be a matchmaker: Foster networking opportunities before the event by connecting attendees with potential partners or like-minded individuals. Utilize event apps  to help attendees find people with similar interests or choose a networking experience that requires some level of participation pre-event. Make it social easier for your attendees to start connecting before the event so that they can already book meetings ahead of time. They will be looking forward to these meetings and will be excited to book more while onsite. It’s all about creating more value before even attending the event.


Measuring Pre-Event Engagement Success

Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs): Monitoring KPIs is essential for understanding the effectiveness of your pre-event engagement strategies. Some important KPIs to track include registration numbers, email open rates, social media engagement, and website traffic. Analyze these metrics to identify areas for improvement and adjust your strategies as needed.

Gathering attendee feedback: Collecting feedback from attendees before the event is crucial for understanding their needs and expectations. Use surveys, social media polls, or direct questions to gather their thoughts and opinions. This information will help you make data-driven decisions and improve your overall event planning process.

Conclusion

Pre-event engagement plays a vital role in ensuring the success of your event. By understanding its importance, implementing creative strategies, and monitoring your success, you can build anticipation and excitement among your attendees. Start implementing these pre-event engagement strategies today and watch your event’s success soar. Don’t forget to check out more content on our blog for additional event planning tips and insights!

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