Here are six ways to create a cohesive community with your content:
1. Use attendee-curated content
It’s important to let attendees influence the conversation. “If we don’t listen to our audience,” McReynolds said, “they’re going to go talk somewhere else.”
2. Solicit suggestions
Use social media and other digital and in-person platforms to glean insights into your audience. In order to give attendees what they want, you need to have an idea of what that is, what you’re doing right, and where you can improve.
3. Listen to feedback
McReynolds cited software marketing company HubSpot’s event INBOUND 2013 and how attendees’ requests and questions were fielded by event staff via Twitter. This provided delegates with instant updates and a tailored, more personalized experience.
4. Respond and demonstrate that attendees’ voices are being heard
HubSpot responded to delegates instantly, McReynolds explained, even offering sessions that had filled up a second time, once event staff realized a lot of attendees were interested in the content. This not only made attendees feel valued, but it gave HubSpot the ability to identify what information its audience craved and deliver more of it.
5. Share openly and often
You can do this by sending push notifications to attendees through an event app, or communicating via social media or the event website. Attendee engagement will deepen if you keep the conversation going. “We trust each other more,” McReynolds said, “because we have the ability to provide opportunities so attendees can share and learn.”
6. Provide peer-to-peer teaching moments
Give attendees time to share with one another. Nowadays, education is easier and easier to access via the Internet, so networking is a crucial component of any in-person conference. Your audience will relish this face-to-face time.