Humans are social by nature. We are inherently driven to connect and create moments of belonging. This is where in-person events shine — they satisfy this innate human need while fostering a sense of community. By bringing participants together, you enable engagement on various levels, whether through direct communication, nonverbal cues or even physical touch, such as a handshake with an industry peer. All these factors elevate an in-person event’s programming and how it can activate your audience. But are you missing out on opportunities to enhance your impact in today’s tech-savvy climate?
Leveraging digital capabilities through an event platform can be an invaluable part of your in-person event’s success. By incorporating the platform’s interactive technology, you can better engage audiences, strengthen your programming, and gain valuable data insights to enhance future events. Deliberating whether to incorporate an event platform at your next in-person event? Read on to learn six advantages to doing just that — plus, click the button below to download our free Event Platforms Guidebook and explore even more ways to elevate your upcoming events with a platform’s digital capabilities.
1. Boost audience engagement
According to the Encore Fall 2022 Planner Pulse Report, nearly half of event professionals want to improve attendee engagement at their upcoming events. While this may seem like a daunting task, including digital capabilities can serve as a key way to help boost audience participation. How? They offer exciting ways to engage your attendees.
Event platforms, like Chime Live ℠, are an excellent tool for this. From the get-go, you set the tone for a more interactive experience with its second screen technology. Attendees can participate with your content while it’s being delivered, directly from their own Encore-provided iPad. Whether via chat, virtual break-out rooms, gamification elements or connecting via social feeds, the platform’s experience opens up new opportunities for presenters and attendees alike to engage on a more intimate level than in the past. Chime Live is also unique in the way that it supports choreographed event design, allowing you to focus attendees on what they need to see or do in the platform. Push slides and pop-up interactive polls, Q&A and more — right on cue.
2. Strengthen your programming
When it comes to your event, the more targeted the content is for your audience, the more likely it will resonate and leave a lasting impression. With an event platform, you can strengthen your programming by engaging participants pre-event to check their pulse on topics that will be presented so you can best tailor the messaging. Send pre-event surveys and knowledge checks to assess how much background information to cover, encourage discussions via forums to learn about your attendees’ interests, and even provide helpful resources — including white papers or videos — for your audience to learn from beforehand.
Once your event comes to a close, you can use the platform’s tools to drive long-term engagement and reach. This provides people who couldn’t attend a way to connect with your programming while enhancing the overall experience for those who did. Simply include video content in your event platform’s resource section and choose how long you’d like the media to be available – for many event platforms, you can request that it be accessible 365 days a year. You can also efficiently repurpose and reshare event videos, clips and other digital content via email, social posts or blogs. This feeds your marketing pipeline and can expand your impact by allowing you to reach and engage new audiences even after your event has ended. Another advantage? These capabilities help you maximize your return on investment (ROI). With so many benefits at your fingertips, it’s no wonder that 78 percent of businesses that use an event application say it contributes to a positive event ROI.
3. Grow sponsorship reach
Did you know you can offer more sponsorship packages when your event includes digital components? Depending on the platform, you can add a sponsor banner or enhanced branding, empowering you to deliver additional promotional opportunities. With physical and digital options to choose from, businesses have the flexibility to choose the level of participation that makes the most sense for them, which can increase the ROI of their investment.
As mentioned above, using an event platform can also extend the shelf life of your programming, as your content can be available on-demand after the initial live event has ended. This means that sponsors’ logos and other branding elements will continue to be seen by potential customers. If you’re looking to attract sponsors for your next event, adding these digital capabilities will work in your favor.
4. Enable smarter networking
Meeting and event professionals know that one of the most important elements of a successful event is networking. It’s not enough to just have people in the same room; participants should be able to connect with each other on a deeper level. Utilizing an event platform simplifies and facilitates this process — it can help identify attendees who have shared interests or attributes and encourage them to build strong professional relationships with each other. Event platforms can take job titles, interests, skills, backgrounds and even more customizable factors into account to make sure attendees can learn about and meet others who share similar goals or interests.
This makes it easier for everyone attending an in-person event to find the right person to talk to without having to filter through hundreds of people they have little in common with. Additionally, this digital capability facilitates professional development by helping participants identify potential mentors or career opportunities within their network.
5. Gain valuable data insights
At traditional in-person events, you can track attendance and observe attendees’ reactions to the programming. But you gain more specific data by connecting your audience with an event platform, which features a live analytics dashboard. With this tool, you can track not only attendance, but also participant engagement and event results. This type of functionality can demonstrate how engaged attendees were and even get their responses to the experience via surveys or feedback forms.
Because digital components allow for more interaction during presentations than typical offline events — thanks to features such as polling and Q&A — you can gather streamlined data on participants’ preferences and continually develop more tailored content that speaks to their interests. The platform makes it easy to track all this data and more, so you’re equipped with the insights that will help you craft future events that are even more engaging and relevant to the needs of your audience.
6. Impress participants with great-to-know info
Using an event platform, you can present participants with powerful and important information that is easily accessible. Not only does this add to the event experience for all involved, but it can also empower you with more control over your event offerings than ever before. Feature a detailed agenda, bios on each speaker and even multiple language options to enhance how inclusive your programming is for diverse audiences.
Will your event include break-out sessions? With an event platform, you can include personalized tracks for each attendee based on your specific requirements. Your event platform’s “toolset” can be customized to your needs — simply bookmark potential items you’re interested in offering. These may range from preloaded destination information to helpful contact info to nearby sites attendees may want to check out while they’re in the area.
Incorporating digital capabilities with an event platform
According to the 2022 Global Meetings and Events Forecast conducted by American Express, 73 percent of event professionals are very optimistic about their ability to use technology to enhance the attendee experience.
By leaning into digital components, planners can create opportunities for their events to engage audiences in new and memorable ways with an event platform. However, your success in doing so is dependent on your technology. It’s critical to have a user-friendly platform that can host events on any device — whether desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile phone — and that offers easy-to-use digital features that can breathe fresh life into your programming and deliver your desired outcomes.
Want to explore how to deliver more impactful, seamless events of any size, location or complexity? Download our Event Platforms with Boundless Possibilities Guidebook.
Interested in learning how Encore can elevate your next event through our end-to-end event platforms and strategic solutions? Our experts offer free consultations if you want to discuss your specific needs. We’d love to help you develop a transformative experience for all attendees — so that your events can foster a new level of community, inspiration and connection.