Last Updated on December 8, 2023
Discover 10 audience engagement tools to elevate your events. Foster interaction, boost loyalty, and create unforgettable experiences.
The best events are memorable—in a good way. You want attendees to look back fondly at your event and have such a good time that there’s no question of whether they’ll come back next year. This is where audience engagement comes into play. The more involved attendees are in the day’s activities, the more they will hold your event in high esteem. But creating the right mix of engagement, participation, and excitement is tricky if you don’t have the right tools.
What are audience engagement tools?
Audience engagement tools are software and apps that create a place for your event attendees to interact with your event. They come in many shapes and forms, from quiz software and live polling tools to platforms that let you run Q&A sessions in real time or help users network with other attendees.
Here are some of the most popular types of audience engagement tools:
Live polling: Ask for real-time feedback on a question during a talk or presentation
Q&A: Encourage attendees to get involved by sharing their questions
Social media: Bring together all social media mentions and hashtags about your event in one central place
Interactive slides: Make it easy for attendees to interact with presentation slides
Gamification: Create a healthy sense of competition between attendees with games, a leaderboard, and prizes
Networking: Help attendees connect with relevant sponsors and speakers via one-to-one or group conversations
How audience engagement tools will benefit your event
Increase participation: Engagement tools make it easy for attendees to get involved in your event, whether that’s by sharing a question, taking part in a contest, or providing feedback on talks.
Boost retention: Attendees are more likely to come back to your events if they have a good time. Engagement tools help them feel like a part of the event, which ultimately increases loyalty and the chance o them returning next time.
Increase awareness and reach: Encouraging attendees to engage on social media will help spread the word about your event and reach more people.
Create a sense of community: People love to feel a part of something. Engagement tools bring attendees together and create a sense of connection and involvement.
Gain valuable feedback: Attendees can share their thoughts and feedback about your event via engagement tools. This gives you ample insights to use to improve your events next time.
What to look for when choosing an audience engagement tool
When choosing which audience engagement tools to use for your event, think about your overall goals, your audience, and what level of engagement is necessary. For example, an intimate seminar with a handful of attendees requires a different level of engagement than a national conference hosting thousands of attendees.
You might decide to bring several tools into the mix depending on your goals—you might decide to integrate a social media wall where attendees can share their experience with other audience members as well as an interactive quiz tool that tests audience knowledge on key topics.
10 audience engagement tools
To help you out, here’s a selection of audience engagement tools you can use to foster discussion, spark conversations, and encourage interaction.
One of the easiest ways to encourage event interaction is through a dedicated hashtag. Attendees can share their thoughts and experiences on their favorite social media channels, giving you a wealth of promotional content to use throughout the day and beyond.
But trying to keep track of who posted what and where can quickly become overwhelming, especially if you’re event has more than 50 or so attendees. Everwall automatically collects and curates relevant social media conversations and displays them on screens around your event. As well as physical boards full of rich attendee-created content, you can add a social wall on your website for non-attendees to participate. This creates a buzz around your event and incites a sense of FOMO for people who aren’t there.
Whether you’re hosting a conference, a workshop, or an arts festival, a social media wall is a great way to bring attendees together through engaging attendee-led content.
Annual music event Life Is Beautiful festival wanted to put social media front and center. It wanted attendees to see content in real-time which, in turn, would inspire them to post their own experiences, images, and videos under the official hashtag. The festival used Everwall to display more than 8,400 social media posts throughout the event and reach over 107 million people.
Give your customers a say with Mentimeter, a mobile voting app that collects and shares results in real-time through branded graphs and charts. This can be a great way to gather audience opinions, test knowledge, and use audience participation to hammer home a specific point in a keynote session. Alternatively, you can use it to generate fun feedback, like which canape was the best.
The idea is that attendees (whether in-person or virtual) download the app and cast their votes on designated topics. You can then reveal the results and share them in post-event marketing materials or live throughout the day.
Slides are a common part of many events, particularly conferences, seminars, and work-related sessions. Turn them into interactive elements with Glisser, a tool that lets you share slides to multiple mobile devices at once. Attendees can read the slides from their cell phones and comment on them with useful feedback or questions. They can also share individual slides on their social networks to add multimedia content to their event reviews.
And, if you want to avoid the post-event ritual of sending slides out via email, the tool lets attendees download the slides they’re interested in to share with colleagues or friends.
4. Crowd Mics
There’s nothing worse that hosting a Q&A session where attendees can’t hear the questions. You get caught in a game of repeating every question back through the mic, which can waste time and impact attention spans. Instead, use a tool like Crowd Mics to turn your audience’s phones into wireless microphones.
You’ll no longer need to repeat questions or hire a runner to sprint from one attendee to another, but you’ll still have complete control over who speaks through a moderated iPad interface. Crowd Mics also comes with comment and polling features, which are nice additions.
Keep audience attention spans during every session with Youengage, a tool that lets you create eye-catching polls and quizzes for attendees. Audience members can interact with the big screen by voting, but you can also use the tool to crowdsource relevant questions or spark conversations around session topics. This is ideal for panel discussions or events that feature some kind of debate element.
If you want to inject a bit of good old-fashioned fun into your event, try using a tool like LoQuiz. As the name suggests, you can set up a quiz for attendees to participate in, but you can also create a variety of engaging games, such as treasure hunts that use photos or written clues to help players find the answer.
The app is controlled via a tablet and uses GPS technology to create an accurate, real-time map of your event space.
Continuing the fun, Captello has a library of over 50 interactive games that you can customize and brand to fit your event. You can create a healthy sense of competition with a big-screen leaderboard and reward attendees with real prizes.
Phot booths encourage attendees to share visual content from your event (props are obviously optional!). With Snapbar, attendees can choose different backgrounds for their photos or add text and digital stickers. With the new AI feature, attendees can also enhance their photos before they share them online. Even better, you can combine all the photos taken on the day into a big, happy post-event collage to use in promotional content and marketing.
Bringing people together at an event is critical for engagement, but it can be tricky if you have hundreds—or even thousands—of attendees. Slido is a polling and Q&A tool that lets users create and share audience participation reports. The live polls feature turns presentations into two-way conversations and the audience Q&A capabilities allow attendees to ask questions anonymously from the comfort of their seat. Slido also has some interactive game features, including live quizzes and trivia games to test knowledge.
Swapcard is an all-in-one virtual event platform that has a number of audience engagement tools built in. Users can connect with other attendees by exploring profiles and starting direct conversations and you can set up live discussions to run alongside workshops, talks, and keynotes. There’s also a built-in marketplace where sponsors can promote their products and services in a virtual-style booth scenario.
Choose the right audience engagement tools to level up your events
Audience engagement tools can be a great way to encourage audience participation and boost loyalty around your events. With the help of these tools, you can run quizzes, create interactive talks, and ensure attendees feel involved every step of the way.
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