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9 Things Planners Need To Know About Event Engagement

By Michaels Entertainment

Table of Contents

Event engagement is one of the most critical factors of any event’s success, whether an industry convention or corporate gathering. If you’re planning an event, here are a few things you need to know about event engagement to ensure a fun and interesting event for your attendees.

What Event Engagement Is

Obviously, planners first must know what event engagement is! Event engagement isn’t complicated—audience engagement refers to an event’s ability to hold the audience’s attention.

A planner always wants their event to be engaging to the audience in some way so it holds their attention and interest throughout. For event planners, audience engagement should occupy much of their organization and planning.

Why Event Engagement Is Important

One of the critical things planners need to know about event engagement is why it matters. A planner could put on the most well-organized and smooth event possible, but it won’t matter much if the audience isn’t engaged throughout.

In most cases, audience engagement is the defining metric for judging an event’s success, so it’s a critical consideration for planners. Planners can measure event engagement in many ways, from in-person conferences with attendees to social media questionnaires, surveys, and more.

The Stages of Event Engagement

Event planners must know that audience engagement isn’t just about having a discussion or conducting a survey after an event. It’s a holistic effort that starts in the pre-event stages and continues after the event finishes. Every stage of event engagement takes on different forms, and audiences must be engaged in all three stages to feel completely engaged throughout.


Even before the event begins, planners must start engaging with their audience and readying the attendees for the event. Pre-event audience engagement should focus on anticipating the event and building a buzz so people get excited, buy more tickets, and arrive ready to engage.

Quality pre-event engagement will help maximize the event’s attendance and spur conversations before attendees arrive. If you want a good momentum of audience engagement throughout the event, start months in advance.

During the Event

Planners must then harvest that momentum earned during the pre-event stage and translate it to the event. Solid engagement throughout the event, whether over a couple of hours or a couple of days, is key to sustaining the energy and interest of the attendees throughout.

Too often, planners put too much effort and resources into the event’s kickoff and ignore the rest, which leads to the energy and excitement gradually fizzling out. Engagement during the event should be consistent and constant. There’s no better way to gauge how well the event is going in real time than engaging with the audience while it’s happening.


Last but not least, there’s the post-event engagement stage. Even when the event ends, the planner’s job to engage with the audience isn’t. Post-event engagement is crucial for assessing the quality of the event and forecasting future events.

Planners want direct feedback from attendees as close to the event ending as possible, as it’s fresh in their minds. What do attendees think went right and what went wrong with audience engagement at the event? With the feedback in mind, planners can assess the success or failure of the pre-event and event engagement and adjust for future events.

Engagement Strategies

We’ve covered the basics of event engagement, and now we’ll offer strategies for each stage of audience engagement to help your next event be as successful as possible!

Pre-Event Engagement Strategies

We’ve discussed how crucial pre-event engagement is to get off on the right foot with the audience, but how do planners do it? First, you want to make it easy for attendees to get ready. For instance, thoroughly explain the registration process, if there is one, so guests don’t arrive at the event confused.

Also, social media is a powerful tool for creating event buzz and engagement. Planners should use tools like Facebook and Instagram to generate anticipation with updates, behind-the-scenes photos, or even a countdown clock. Communication in the pre-event stage with attendees is also key, so having email or text reminders is a great way to open communication lines with guests.

Engagement Strategies for During the Event

Kicking off the event with a large engagement activity, like a group icebreaker or live poll, is a great way to engage with the audience immediately. The beginning is when everyone’s at their most energetic, and you want to harvest all the buzz you’ve generated in the pre-event stage as soon as possible.

Throughout the event, having plenty of participatory activities will keep the audience engaged the entire time. Competitions, quizzes, and other activities are great ways to get the audience involved, and they’ll want to participate if there are prizes and rewards. You’ll also want social media and online participatory activities throughout the event, such as event hashtags, live polls, online discussions, and more.

Post-Event Engagement Strategies

The party’s over, but the event engagement isn’t! Post-event engagement should be a mix of looking back and looking forward as you thank and reward guests for attending and try to generate interest for the next event.

Send thank you cards and encourage guests to share their favorite photos and experiences online. This is why it’s a great idea to have photobooths for events so everyone has a great and fun picture to share! Follow up with attendees with surveys and feedback forms to see what they thought and whether audience engagement was a success or could improve.

Virtual Engagement Strategies

If you’re hosting a virtual gathering or will have many virtual attendees, you must also put in effort to boost virtual event engagement. First, ensure your event has the proper software for a smooth and easy virtual event, such as high-resolution live streaming and message boards.

While people watching on Zoom may not be in the room, they can still engage with other participants through small group discussions and remote team exercises. Their attention is even harder to grab because they’re not at the event and can get distracted more easily, so they’ll likely need more engagement activities to stay interested.


We hope our event engagement guide helps you create the best event possible! Remember Michael’s Entertainment the next time you plan an event and need entertainment, lighting, photography services, and more!

9 Things Planners Need To Know About Event Engagement

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