Tips & Thoughts: How to Engage Event Registrants, Non-registrants, Attendees and Absentees

Tips & Thoughts How to Engage Event Registrants, Non-registrants, Attendees and Absentees

Not everyone who goes to Changi Airport is a flier. In fact, some are mere spectators of Jewel’s amazing indoor waterfall, the Kinetic Rain Sculpture or the Orchid Garden, while others are perky shoppers, diners or moviegoers.

It would be a cruel thing to miss these wondrous attractions from the “World’s Best Airport”. But, more than meets the eye is the lasting experience that every flier or visitor takes back home that leaves them in awe and engaged.   

So, how do you engage an audience?

Regardless of the presentation or event you are hosting, it is important to capture your audience’s attention, not just during, but before and even after the event. This would mean being able to manage and get everyone involved – registrants, non-registrants, attendees and absentees throughout the event cycle. 

Take a look at the insights below. These are tips to help you manage event audiences and thoughts to get them engaged.

Registrants – respondents who signed up

The registration process is crucial to the overall result of your event, so allocate ample time in planning and full attention in gathering registrants to meet your target numbers. 

Moreso, this period is the starting point of engagement. Collect relevant information from the registrants like complete contact name, company name, business address, contact numbers, email address, job title and social media accounts, and use these data to connect with them and for nurturing purposes. 

Leverage multiple promotional channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Website, reach prospects, but be sure to custom this approach based on their usage habits. Choose the platforms they often use so that they could easily find the information they need. 

Include CTA buttons to make it easy for them to navigate and access landing pages, and remember to make your email copies short, comprehensive and include details like event title, date, time, venue, and maybe a 3-bullet takeaways. 

Use an event management platform to manage repetitive tasks like tracking of registrations and sending auto response copies such as “thank you” email which should be received by the registrant upon signing up. 

Moreover, the thank you email must include words of acknowledgement and again, the event details. Also, attach a link to your calendar to give them the option to schedule an appointment just in case they are interested to talk. This could help shorten the lead generation process.

Some registrants may encounter difficulties along the way and send you a manually written email, so check your inbox regularly. Your prompt reply could translate to the thought of your willingness to assist and somehow please them.

Create a nurturing scheme that would remind them of the upcoming event. Below is an example of a month-long registration period:

Registrants Nurturing Scheme

Non-registrants are people who clicked or opened the email invite, but did not sign up. “Not interested” may be one of the reasons, but consider other possible factors like schedule and travel. Some of them may be truly interested to attend, but were grabbed of the chance to do so. In this case, create a follow up email that informs of your intention to invite them to future events. And may be on the side, ask them the reason why they failed to register. This will give you the idea on what to do next.

If they are willing to continue communicating, send them references like newsletters, case studies and blogs that are relevant to their business. This could give them the impression of how knowledgeable you are about their industry, and possibly build interest in them to know what products or solutions you might have that can help their business grow.

See if they are willing to talk.

You may use this nurturing scheme:

Non-registrants Nurturing Scheme

Attendees – registered, confirmed, attended the event

For event attendees, your nurturing scheme would probably or ideally look like this:

Attendees Nurturing Scheme

Proper nurturing can help increase your conversion rates. Here are a few things to bear in mind:

  • During the session, set proper expectations of how the program will flow.
  • Encourage them to ask questions and express their thoughts. 
  • Don’t miss to acknowledge their comments to make them feel that their insights are important.
  • Create an interactive mood by providing tools that would get them to participate in activities such as Q&A and ice breakers. This may be conditional though, and should be based on the type of event you are hosting.
  • Document the event by taking pictures and videos, and utilize these materials in your post-event press releases. It’s a way of showing your appreciation to them for having joined your network.
  • Have a social media moderator who will manage the live stream and respond to tweets and comments to increase social media visibility.
  • After the presentation, engage the attendees in casual conversation as they might have questions they missed to ask earlier.

After the event, take proper nurturing steps to drive leads through the sales funnel.

Absentees – signed up, confirmed, but failed to show up

Take a similar approach to non-registrants for this type. Check back with them and ask why they failed to attend. The fact that they took the time to sign up and confirm to attend the event is full proof of their interest. Although, and for some reason, they failed to show up, draw optimism on the notion and use it to help them get back on track.

The best action to take is to send them a follow up email that features the highlights of the event, and express your intention to connect by offering usable materials relevant to their industry. This will surely make them feel important and involved. 

And of course, see if they are open to talk.

Your nurturing scheme may look like this:

Absentees Nurturing Scheme

Event audiences can be well managed when you have a process in place, but knowing what they need by delving into their thoughts and feelings, just as how Singapore Changi Airport impresses and pleases its fliers and visitors with comfort and gaiety, will definitely get your registrants, non-registrants, attendees and absentees, engaged.