3 min read

How to drive engagement beyond your conference

Delivering a great event or meeting should not stop at the closing address and event drinks. Using the right technology, associations can now leverage all the event content to stimulate ongoing engagement and deliver member value post-event.

Jordan Walsh, CEO and Co-Founder of Delegate Connect, addressed the audience at the 2022 Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) about this topic. Here are the key takeaways from his presentation titled Drive Engagement Beyond Your Conference.

 

Delegate Connect at the Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event

 

1. Use the right technology for your in-person, hybrid or virtual events

Technology should be an enabler.

Since the beginning of 2020, technology has shifted the events industry. The fast-paced and increased use of event platforms has created new expectations for event attendees, that organisations need to deliver on to success. In many cases, some of the features have gone from being "backup solutions" to significant assets for event managers.

For them, technology is an enabler, which organisations now should leverage to improve the experience they offer.

 

Top hybrid event features for associations

Technology enabling follow-up webinars, catch-up viewing and detailed data & analytics, combined with great user demand for more digital engagement, has created a huge opportunity to use the capability built during the COVID pandemic, even as events return to in-person or hybrid formats.

In Jordan's words:

Event software can become the association's operating system because that is the core of their business. Just like an event agency for example. They build events to get people together and at the core of an event agency is their event management platform.

 

2. Leverage technology before, during AND after your event

According to research published by Association’s Matter 2021, association member service demand has changed dramatically, with more members wanting access to online content. As such, there has been an overwhelming 86% increase in members wanting to access more webinars, a 77% increase in demand for more regular communication of information updates and a 68% jump in demand for online professional training and development / CPD.

These insights show opportunities for organisations to meet their member's evolving needs, by drawing on technology and content used to host and run events.

To give a very simple example, the keynote presentation used to be a one-time speech for in-person attendees. Now with a modern event platform, the content can be repurposed to be:
 
    • Hosted as a video for catch-up viewing 
    • Streamed as a catch-up webinar
    • Converted into an audio file for use as a podcast episode
    • Summarised as written text or infographic for a blog post
    • Sliced into a highlights video suitable for sharing on social media to prompt discussion, reactions, feedback or to promote a subsequent event

With live streaming, on-demand content or content transcription now common features in event platforms, organisations can plan for some content to be delivered before, during and after their event following the content pyramid:

 

The event content pyramid

 

3. Centralise your data to unlock actionable insights 

Another under-realised benefit: event platforms allow organisations to track how members view and engage with the content offered before, during and after the event. With these event analytics features, associations can turn this data into insights and improve the experience they offer through their events.

To go one step further, with technology as the enabler across all aspects of their events, associations need to be looking at event technology as an integral part of their offering. Along with their member management tools or CRM, they need to be looking at their events and webinars as a core piece of their business. 

As explained in Jordan's keynote:

Event technology has the potential to facilitate growth and play an ongoing important role. Many professionals are forming their own communities on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. We feel it is time that associations reclaimed professional networking as part of their broader engagement strategy with owned and branded sites, content and communities.

The role of the professional association is changing and those that are technologically savvy and invest in capability will thrive rather than be disrupted. 

 

If you want to know more about how event technology can support your association, get in touch with our event specialists.

 

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