How to Keep Attendees Engaged

How to Keep Attendees Engaged

5 min read

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Whether you’re hosting an in-person event, going completely virtual, or using a hybrid approach, there are several ways to help maximize the audience’s experience – and keep your attendees engaged. Read on for some trusted tips to do this … 

Plan with your audience in mind 

When planning a conference, you should always keep your audience at the forefront because understanding your audience from the get-go will help you in the long run.  


For example, it’s essential to consider attendees’ attention spans while you’re still designing the event and scheduling the itinerary. If you host an online or hybrid event, it’s worth noting that many people have shorter attention spans in those capacities. How can you break up the event content into shorter segments? Or how can you incorporate more interactive portions into your event? 


To plan with your audience, you must also thoroughly understand your target demographics and which people will be attending your event.  Are they working professionals? Stay-at-home parents? Donors? Consider their drive, focus, personalities, behavior, and other vital factors. Each element is critical in shaping how you will best engage conference attendees. 

Keep the schedule interactive 

Do people want to listen to presentations, or do they prefer to participate? Sometimes, a lecture-style conference might serve a purpose, but most prefer some form of interaction. 


The interaction could occur in several ways, whether it’s an in-person or virtual event. Ask your audience questions. If the event is virtual, ask where they are tuning in from. Can you get them to answer questions, fill out a form, or take a poll? You could also consider incorporating wellness checks, even if your event has nothing to do with wellness. Something nice and specific like everybody could use a stretching break or something.  


For example, people at both in-person and virtual events often sit for an extended period and look at screens, which strains the eyes. Could you host an interactive break where you give them a few minutes to look away? Maybe there is a quick screen-free option that facilitates the connection between the attendees? 


If your event introduces something new, give your audience hands-on experience with it. Whether it’s an app, video, virtual reality, or a demo, how can you let them experience it first-hand? Can you simulate it, even if it would traditionally occur online or in an app? 


Ensure you find a proactive way to host a Q&A session, too. Audiences are often expected to keep their questions to themselves until the end of the session.  Instead of asking your audience to do that, risking forgotten questions or even confusion, you could hold multiple Q&As throughout the event. Or, even better, use technology to your advantage. If you have access to an app, you can often set up a feature that allows your audience to submit questions, which you can then prioritize as you see fit. 

Consider hybrid events to increase engagement  

A hybrid event can offer the best of both in-person and virtual events because people can choose which part of the conference appeals to them or fits their schedule. 


They can choose if watching from home is more conducive to their lifestyle or budget. If the individual prefers to be in-person for face-to-face networking, there’s also an option. Some hybrid models work by having people do both: If you host a live session, do follow-up Q&As or optional secondary sessions online. 


A hybrid event can make it easier to ensure you engage everyone in a way that suits their personality type better way that better suits their personality type. too. For example, many dislike speaking to unfamiliar people in a new environment, making an in-person event more nerve-wracking. It might be easier for individuals to ask questions or talk to other attendees online. 

Keep engagement up after your event 

Since hybrid events involve live streaming your content, you can rest assured that your audience is fully engaged in the room and at home. The live stream will let you record your entire event, which you can send to everyone who attended. 


People can rewatch to go over speakers’ presentations, remember your contact information, anything else you could do during a rewatch – take notes? Clarify insights? and more. Your engagement can continue long after your event is over. 

Use mobile apps for events and conferences to communicate with attendees 

One surefire way to encourage engagement and communication is by using an event app or mobile platform. Whether you’re hosting an in-person, virtual, or hybrid event, an app is what you need to enhance communication. 

An event app can remind your audience of your conference’s logistics, like time and location, and provide access to live streams and virtual trade shows. In the mobile app, you could send attendees pre-recorded videos of your sessions and entertainment. Many apps offer features like: 

  • Private messaging 
  • Live chat 
  • Emails and notifications 
  • 1:1 meetings 
  • Breakout rooms 
  • Group meetings 
  • Webinars  

Finding a reliable event app can help ensure you keep your audience engaged before, during, and after the session. 

ConsiderPathable as your event app for conferences

Enhance communication and engagement with the Pathable event app. Our virtual, in-person, and hybrid event platform makes speaking with your attendees easy. We offer multiscreen capabilities, live and on-demand videos and real-time chat features. 


Please schedule a demo of Pathable today to find out how our app can increase event engagement!