Digital events and online meets are the new silver bullet. Everyone wants to get on one, and everyone is hosting one. Add it to your business and marketing strategy, and you can’t go wrong. Right? Wrong. It’s always possible to bite the bullet (or two) when the competition heats up, and everyone’s running after the same idea.
If one hasn’t done the homework, it is possible to end up as another Me-Too gig on the event calendar that fails to excite participation from speakers and guests. If you are looking to build a great panel, this can be a deal-breaker. So what are the secrets to an outstanding digital event – one they’ll be talking about long after everyone’s logged out?
How to Increase Participation at Digital Events?
Bypass The Cliches & Co-Create The Theme
‘#NewNormal vs #NextNormal’. ‘Rebooting growth engines’. ‘Innovating in uncertainty’. We’ve heard it all by now, haven’t we? Still, we are stuck on how to increase participation in events.
The well of topic ideas for digital events is drying up fast. No better time for lateral thinking. Why not bring your audiences into the party, for a start?
Create a contest inviting ideas for your next webinar or digital event on social media. Send out reminder mailers and messages to maximize participation. Create a group on LinkedIn, Facebook and Reddit (yes, it’s a goldmine, in case you haven’t been digging around lately) to create your very own contest community.
Finally, get their minds ticking by incentivizing them with cool rewards. Turn the reward into the best part of the gig as you explore Xoxoday PLUM’s handpicked global catalogue of over 20,000 perks, discounts, vouchers, branded currencies, merchandise, benefits, gifts and experiences.
How to Get Audience Participation? Spread The Word and Make it Interesting
With nearly every brand pushing its digital event online, you’d have to forgive the audience for their short-lived memory. And yet, there’s no skipping the promotion plan – you need a powerful one. While you’ll doubtless come up with a strategy that ticks all the important boxes – videos, social media posts and blogs - you’ll need to do a little more to cut through the noise.
A surefire way to game attention span is, well, gamification. Ask your speakers and guests to share videos (if that’s not feasible, a static creative / photograph will do) along with a short byte talking about their participation at the digital event.
Alternatively, delete a word from their byte (or from the quoted text of the creative) and tease your online community to guess the missing term. Consider this an appetizer to come up with your contest versions and ideas.
Get creative with your promotion, and you’ll increase your attendee engagement figure 10X, perhaps more. The best part? You’ll have done it all at Zero Cost (pretty much).
As always, the X-factor in success is the pot-of-gold-at-the-end-of-the-rainbow), so don’t forget to sugarcoat your contest invite with surprise folks will find it hard to say NO to. Just log onto PLUM’s never-ending universe of happiness.
How to increase attendance at meetings? Sway Your Speakers with Eventbrite
The date of your digital event, trade show, or exhibition is drawing nearer. What about the big shots? How to increase webinar attendance? How do you ensure participation by leaders and visionaries who have logged in there, done that, and probably been approached by several other brands and organizers hosting programs similar to yours?
Considering that they are juggling multiple offers, how do you tilt the table in your favour? As always, the key to the schtick lies in the carrot.
In the magical concept of motivation. And while the workings of the mind aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, legends in the domain of behavioural psychology have left behind helpful breadcrumbs of ideas to help us get a grip over what can be a deceptively complicated topic.
At its heart, though, the premise of motivation is simple enough: Press the right buttons, touch the right chords and you can get even the most indifferent, most inscrutable human to dance to your tune.
American psychologist Herzberg – one of the most influential names in business management – gifts us the Two Factor Theory or the Motivation-Hygiene Theory which says that there are some factors (Motivators) that increase the satisfaction of a task, as opposed to others (Hygiene) which reduce it.
Motivation theorist Victor Vroom, on his part, is known for his Theory of Expectancy says that humans get productive if they believe that their efforts will lead to success, and for which they will get a reward.
American behaviourist and inventor B.F.Skinner, in his Operant Conditioning Theory, identifies positive reinforcements – such as praise, trophy and money - that increase the possibility of desired behaviour. And suggests, by way of corollary, that people who have ‘tasted blood’ once (that is, have achieved success and been suitably compensated as a result) tend to apply more effort and involvement the next time around, creating a self-sustaining loop that generates more and more output from the same level of input.
Herzberg’s job satisfaction. Vroom’s lollipop. Skinner’s reinforcement. They all seem to collide at the sweet intersection of GRATIFICATION: A concept that, while carrying different meanings for different people, has several common, underlying themes.
As an event organizer or moderator, it’s essential to know what they are, so that you can leverage them strategically to land the precise fish you want for your next big trade show, exhibition or digital gig.
Increase Digital Audience Engagement by Gratification & Incentivization
Gratification Can Alter ‘Behavior Potential’
The promise of gratification (reward, incentive, gift) may cause your dream participant or speaker to consider your digital event or trade show seriously, but they will need more than that. And will have at least two questions for you: ONE - How desirable or attractive is the reward or participation incentives (in other words, does it feature on their Wish List?).
TWO - How aligned is it to their personality and psyche (in other words, does it resonate with their universe of interests, or is it too generic or ‘alien’?) As an event manager, you’ll have to tick both boxes.
Gratification makes People Hungry & Restless
In anticipation of the big prize, that is. It’s called the Goal Gradient Effect. Championed by Clark Hull in 1932 and validated by a Columbia University Study, the Goal Gradient Theory says that the closer we approach our target, the more impatient we become to reach it.
You must have come across SMS and notifications from your favourite grocery store or airline saying that you are just one more purchase away from winning a bumper prize or entering the next higher privilege club. With a little rejoinder reminding you that you only have 2 hours to grab the offer and claim your spot. You’ve fallen for it on more than one occasion, didn’t you? That’s because this stuff works.
As an event planner or marketer, you need to have a PhD on managing this manic mix of impatience, edacity (some will prefer ‘greed’ and that’s fine) and FOMO (Fear-Of-Missing-Out).
Gratification is Mysterious Easy to Master with PLUM
Xoxoday PLUM isn’t just the gold standard when it comes to rewarding performance and involvement. It’s also a great way to ensure both. If you are trying to reel in premium participants and industry VIPs for your next digital event, PLUM does the hard work for you in at least 5 unique ways.
PLUM’s catalogue features trending and desirable items that are bound to get your event participants excited.
Gratification delayed is gratification denied. As per studies, a pre-paid incentive (i.e., one that is shared before the event) is far more effective than one that is promised ‘sometime in the hoary future’. As ‘human’ beings, we want everything NOW. And with PLUM, we can.
Given PLUM’s wide range of choices, it’s easy to match the gratification to the spirit of the occasion as well as the personality of the receiver. Explore an ever-expanding universe of perks, discounts, vouchers, branded currencies, merchandize, benefits, gifts and experiences covering every possible niche and interest area such as e-commerce, utilities, recharges, groceries, books, gadgets, wellness, learning, fashion & wearables, entertainment, dining, travel, cash / prepaid cards and much more - all redeemable in any country.
Xoxoday can be easily integrated with your organizational tech processes and effortlessly deployed over a Plug-and-Play format anytime and anywhere. Not only that. PLUM’s omnichannel nature makes it compatible with any delivery medium your systems are comfortable with, such as On-Screen, SMS, Email, WhatsApp, QR Codes, Notifications and several others.
Control the timing of the gratification to heighten anticipation and follow it up by satiating hunger with awesome rewards and experiences. Access’s treasure trove of incentives to elevate the status of your event into a ‘Must Attend. Most importantly, brand your buzz and ensure repeat participation from speakers, panellists and attendees with a ‘giveaway’ that makes sure they never ‘go away.