Internal events are time consuming, especially if the event lasts all day. You’re bound to have a high percentage of employees within your company that have a stressful workload and not enough time to do it, so getting them to a full-day event can be difficult. Paradoxically - short events can also discourage attendees as they may not think they’re worthwhile. Providing employees with an incentive can help win them over. Giving them something back for their time (who doesn't love a freebie!). This could be something as simple as handing out a goodie bag as attendees enter, or providing attendees with discount vouchers.
You can then track attendance by using engagement technology to identify who came along. You can certainly do this on a budget if you think smart. One way of doing this could be by conducting a survey asking your target audience specifics around what they would like. This can be a really simple method to get to know your audience in a little more depth - knowing your audience will assist in creating an engaging program that will boost engagement levels. You cannot cater for the requests of absolutely everyone but do listen to their responses and plan accordingly.
Make it unique
Make the experience different from the normal working day. This can work hand-in-hand with incentivising; you could try ideas such as submitting attendees into a prize ballot for example. Using event technology can help you choose a winner and is also an innovative step to encouraging an audience to attend; it’s unique in that it allows the audience to have more of a say and even dictate the conversation if used correctly. You could even try gamifying the event with a quiz, creating a competitive dynamic and announcing a winner at the end, technology allows you to be much more creative.
It’s really important that you convey in the event invitations that you plan to use technology, with a brief description of how it works and what features will be enabled (e.g. you’ll just need to enter a URL into a browser of your choice to get slides, ask questions and vote in polls!).
By live streaming at your event, making it a hybrid event, you can vastly increase your audience by encouraging remote attendance. Glisser has the capability to collaborate with live streaming services such as YouTube Live, Facebook Live, Vimeo and many more, combining audience engagement and live streams into one easily accessible channel.
Another idea is to hype the event up - send out little bits of content, such as movie style teasers, depending on the type of event you could even spread this through your social media channels. You don’t want to give away too much, but just enough to let everyone know how amazing the event is going to be. Get in touch with your design team - they’ll have a few tricks up their sleeve.
Targeting and personalisation
Following on from the previous point - targeting the right people to advertise your event to can be imperative to who turns up. Firstly you’ll need to think about who you want to attend your event and crucially, you need to think about how you’re going to target these people.
Of course you’ll want to harness the powers of your comms team by sending out personalised invites, rather than one generic invite - it’s an effective way to get those bums on seats. If this is going to prove too much of a lengthy process, target team managers - promoting the benefits of attending. If you can get them onside they’ll be able to convince their team members to attend. Always be careful not to overload the invite with too much information, just key concise points with a simple option to register.
Get your comms team on side before sending out any invitations, using audience engagement tech will boost their interest. Work together with them to target key stakeholders and help to spread the word. For bonus points - simply speak to people about the event. Get your close colleagues hyped and utilise the power of word of mouth! Make sure you convey how entertaining and informative the event will be in the invites.
Speaking of invites - you’ll want to promote the event. Ensure that you do this well in advance, keeping it in the forefront of people's minds. You’ll need several stages of invitations and reminders. Even think about printing leaflets, or if you’re a paper-free company, get your design team to mock up something pretty to post on your intranet page.
Stage one involves ‘teasing’ your potential audience with what's to come, this will help to build up a bit of anticipation and excitement, this could involve creating an event countdown clock and sharing snippets of what's to come without giving too much away.
Stage two will be the initial round of invitations, a couple of months before the event date, you’ll want the invite to be comprehensive but try to keep it direct and to the point. Definitely get your comms team involved to help you promote.
Stage three will be advertising and promoting, this is the point you’ll want to send out further details of the event e.g. updates, speaker details. This is the time that you can begin posting leaflets and newsletters, consider this around a month in advance.
Stage four is a reminder or updated invite, similar to stage one but with further details, if you’re using event technology it is definitely worth mentioning at this stage (if you have not already in stage one), this should be a three or so weeks before the events start.
Stage five is where you include further details about incentives and provide a detailed but simple guide on how the audience can onboard onto the event technology, this should be a couple of weeks before the event.
Stage six will be a final reminder with all of the comprehensive details and a final chance to register (if you haven't already reached capacity!). Throughout these stages you'll need to think about conveying what attendees will get out of the event, it may be worth considering promoting as a first come first serve kind of basis - making your event ‘exclusive’ so to speak will paint it in a more prestigious light.
It's worth mentioning that you will have people register that don’t attend, this is why tactics such as incentives can help to keep those who’ve registered interested. No single method on its own is likely to be the key to increasing engagement for your internal events but a mixture of methods will definitely help. It goes without saying that many of these methods depend on the type of internal event - you’re always going to get high attendance for internal events based around employee work hours, pay etc for example and using event technology can really assist in the challenging aspects of measuring attendance as well as feedback. This can be really important for finding out whether your event accomplished its objectives as well as allowing you to make improvements to any future events.
Glisser allows you to record feedback live; exploit this! (but remember, you’ll always need to ensure that the speaker notifies the audience to fill out the feedback polls). Remember to thank your audience, whether that be personally or via email; a simple thank you for attending can go a long way and manners cost nothing. You could even try sharing the event highlights with them!