23 Fresh Event Engagement Ideas that Will Strengthen Your Community & Boost ROI

The best events are ones that actively encourage attendee participation. You want your attendees buzzing—not snoozing—on the big day, so they can enjoy the results of your hard work!

That’s why we’ve curated 23 unique event engagement ideas, including special strategies for:

  • Pre-event and post-event engagement
  • Annual conferences
  • Virtual events

Ready for some audience engagement examples to make your next event better than ever? Let’s jump in!

What Is Event Engagement and Why Does It Matter?

Event engagement refers to the level of attendee interaction, participation, and connection at an event. This might include activities, brand activations, discussions, and more!

So why is engagement important in an event? Attendee engagement is so valuable because it helps you to:

  • Produce greater event ROI. Engaged attendees are more likely to become loyal customers, leads, advocates, and repeat attendees. A strong and consistent supporter base saves you money in the long run!
  • Collect live feedback. Knowing how your audience feels about your event helps you troubleshoot as necessary, and the sooner you get that feedback the better. Highly-engaged attendees can give you that data on the spot.
  • Inspire attendees to register for next year. The more positive your attendee experience is, the easier it is to start securing pre-registrations for your next event! Event engagement helps motivate your attendees to come back again for future events.
  • Builds a year-round community. Audience participation activities help your attendees form connections, which in turn grows and strengthens the community that keeps your organization active. Creating opportunities for engagement between attendees as peers and colleagues is a crucial part of event engagement.

Want to create better attendee experiences at all of your upcoming events? Check out this 1-hour Events Masterclass session, Event Apps 101: Your Playbook to Creating Engaging Event Experiences, for tips from industry experts. 🎓

How Do You Measure Event Engagement?

There are a few ways that you can measure event engagement:

  • Social media engagement metrics. These include how many new followers, likes, and shares you get. Plus, you can also track how many people use your event hashtag.
  • Event attendance tracking. This ensures you can take note of how many of your RSVPs actually attend the day of.
  • Satisfaction surveys. Don’t just gather useful information in the comments section—you can also set a goal for what you’d like your “scores” to be on each quantitative question!
  • Lead generation. Whether lead capture is a goal of your organization, sponsors, or vendors, this data shows you how many attendees found something valuable to engage with post-event.

Did you know that all of these event metrics can be measured through event apps? Tracking conference activities doesn’t have to be a chore. By using an Event App like EventMobi, you can automatically gather the data you need while providing more opportunities for attendee engagement through your event.

9 Event Engagement Ideas

So how do you engage at events? Well, here are 9 options that are great for events of all sorts! For those wondering how to make virtual events more engaging, many of these ideas can easily be adapted to the virtual space.

A list of the 9 event engagement ideas covered below, including using a mobile event app, prioritizing accessibility, and gamification.

Make a few “tracks” for different segments

Not all of your attendees will have the same wants and goals! Consider your top segments, and offer a variety of programming tracks so everyone can customize their ideal event experience. Give them plenty of conference interactive activities to participate in and they’ll have a reason to stick around throughout the day.

For example, the Programming› 2024 conference includes tracks for:

  • Artifacts
  • Arts
  • Posters and Demos
  • Programming with AI
  • Research Papers
  • Student Research Competition
  • Workshops

When you’re creating your event run of show, think about what tracks you’ll include!

Use a mobile app

We can’t overstate the value of a fantastic mobile event app! Whether as a form of virtual event engagement or to facilitate your in person event engagement ideas, an app makes everything easy.

This essential tool can boost attendee engagement with:

  • Interactive agendas and custom schedules
  • Networking tools, including profile and messaging functions
  • Interactive mapping
  • Touchless check-in
  • Gamification and live polls
  • And more!

Gone are the days of easy-to-lose folders with printed event schedules. With a mobile app, attendees are encouraged to engage with all aspects of your event in one easy spot.


A spirit of competition goes a long way for event engagement!

Encourage attendees to connect (and compete!) with gamification tools like:

  • A point and leaderboard system
  • Badges on their event apps
  • Scavenger hunts

Sometimes a good prize is all it takes to nudge your introverted attendees out of their shells.

Recommended Resource: Ready to engage attendees at your next event through gamification, but not sure where to start? Check out the ultimate guide to gamification! 🎉

Prioritize accessibility

Attendees with disabilities are often unintentionally excluded from events they’re interested in due to a lack of consideration for access needs.

To make your event welcoming to all attendees, we encourage you to implement accessibility tools and features including:

  • Live captioning
  • Ramps and elevators for in person events
  • Mask and filtered air considerations
  • Accessible parking
  • Bathroom access
  • Sign language interpreters
  • Quiet rooms
  • Hybrid options

Creating a more accessible event is one of the best ways to ensure all of your attendees can fully engage with your activities and sessions. After all, there are plenty of attendees with accessibility needs who would love to engage with your event—all you need to do is give them the opportunity!

Networking tools

Networking is one of the top reasons that professionals attend conferences. However, breaking the ice can feel a little intimidating for new attendees.

Help attendees form connections with networking tools like:

  • Speed-networking
  • Coffee chats
  • Attendee matchmaking
  • Live chats
  • Mobile apps

Social wall

Setting up a social wall brings virtual engagement into in person events, and gives attendees an idea of how far the reach of your event goes. Plus, it’ll make people smile to see their excited posts pop up for everyone to see!

Wellness room

An often-overlooked part of member experience is how at ease members feel with an organization. Events are exciting, but can also get very overwhelming, especially when they span throughout a whole day or weekend.

Setting up a room for meditation, led yoga, or just a space for quiet will give attendees the decompression time they need to re-energize for another big conference day.

Brand activation

Dedicating attention to your event branding is how you introduce attendees to your organization’s identity. A brand activation, especially a physical one like inviting attendees to write associated words about the event on a large board, can get your attendees to actively connect.

You can also have your sponsors hold brand activations at your event. Not only will it boost audience engagement, but it’ll also add value to your event sponsorship package.

End of day raffle

Want to keep people around through to the end of an event? The secret’s in the raffle tickets! This can combine with your event registration desk ideas to foster excitement from the moment attendees check in. With a few high-value prizes at the ready, attendees will stick around as long as they can to see if they’ve won.

4 Ideas for Pre-Event Engagement

But how do you drive engagement at an event if you don’t have the attendee numbers? Well, your event engagement strategy should begin long before doors open. Here are 4 ways to boost attendee engagement before your event kicks off!

Countdown to event

It’s a simple thing, but a countdown on your website—and one actively promoted on social media!—keeps your event at the front of attendees’ minds. If your organization has a brick-and-mortar location, you can also set up a physical countdown.

Robust FAQ page

Any part of your event site can be important to your audience engagement strategy. The right FAQ information, such as noting that the event is available by public transit, is often enough to turn a “maybe” into a “yes”!

In your FAQ, include information such as:

  • Your start and end times
  • The location of your event (and how to get there)
  • The parking situation
  • The cost of tickets
  • Your mask policy
  • Your code of conduct

Dedicated hashtag

Choose the hashtag you want for your event, and shout it far and wide! This will help you track social media engagement and prevent the confusion of multiple attendee-made hashtags.

Speaker & moderator resources

Preparing your speakers and moderators makes all the difference in the quality of your event—and, as a result, your attendee engagement!

No less than a week before the event, provide them with:

  • Directions
  • The event schedule
  • How to use your event app
  • Points of contact
  • Moderator guidelines

Don’t forget to thank your speakers afterward!

3 Ideas for Post-Event Engagement

When the event is over, keep your attendees engaged with:

Ideas for post-event engagement include providing resources, following up, and sending out a post-event survey.

Special resources

Did your guest speakers suggest reading material? Do you want to provide some networking resources from partner associations? Relevant and valuable bonus content gives you new ways to connect with attendees after the event is done!

Follow-up mini events

You don’t need to add on three more conferences to keep people engaged. Hosting virtual workshops or small pop-up events is a great way to remind attendees that you’re still here in between the big events, and prevents event fatigue.

Post-event survey

Your post-event survey is where you get the definitive answer to “How did we do?” Not only will you gather valuable feedback, but you also open up an opportunity for event engagement once your attendees have had time to go home and rest.

3 Annual Conference Engagement Ideas

Planning a conference is no small feat! Here are 3 special ideas to include in your event engagement strategy.

Pre-event survey

With an event as large as a conference, it pays to ask attendees questions nice and early.

Send out a pre-event survey with questions about:

  • What attendees liked about last year’s conference
  • Any questions they have about attending
  • Who they’d like to see as a speaker
  • Their hopes and goals in attending

This information can help you customize your programming tracks and be sure that you’re providing as much value as possible for your event.


Event badges serve as a useful icebreaker for attendees and can help your volunteers keep an eye on peoples’ needs. For example, if someone is looking lost with a “first-time attendee” badge, it’s a quick fix to give them directions.

Other useful badges include:

  • Guest of honor
  • Vendor
  • Sponsor
  • Staff
  • Volunteer

EOD discounted registration for next year

Effective conference engagement ideas can reach beyond the present. Take advantage of the post-conference high by offering discounted registration at the desk for next year’s event! This can help you fill slots fast and build up some ticket revenue early in the planning process.

4 Virtual Event Engagement Ideas

Virtual event engagement makes some event planners nervous, but there are actually some great tools and strategies you can use to make the experience positive!

Live chats

Where in-person events require people to be quiet during panels, virtual events have the benefit of live chats. Encourage participants to share their thoughts in the chat—but be sure to have a separate Q&A function for the speakers or moderators to keep an eye on!

Live polls

Have you ever found yourself wondering “Is this going well?” in the middle of a conversation? Live polling is the perfect place to get that answer during virtual events!

Having a poll ready for a simple question like “How many of you have heard of [x]?” helps your speakers engage the audience from afar when reading the room isn’t so straightforward.

Regular breaks

Just because people attend virtual events from home doesn’t mean they don’t need breaks. According to a survey from Market.us, only 7% of participants are interested in staying for lengthy virtual events, and that it’s “imperative to schedule breaks every 25 minutes.”

It might feel odd to take a break, but in reality, those 25 minutes can keep participants from dropping off altogether.

Virtual breakout rooms

One key to virtual event engagement is making space for breakout sessions! Small-group conversations add a degree of intimacy to the virtual conference experience and can prevent potential feelings of disconnect or isolation.

Amplifying Attendee Engagement with Event Management Software

Looking for the tools to take your event engagement strategy to the next level? At EventMobi, we have all of the features you need to make any of the 23 event ideas above a reality!

Our toolkit includes:

  • Mobile event apps to put the conference experience in attendees’ hands
  • Custom badge design and printing
  • Virtual and hybrid event solutions
  • Gamification tools including live polling
  • Exhibitor lead capture
  • Interactive event apps
  • And more!

Connect with us today to see how we can take your event engagement to the next level.

Engage Your Attendees with Enthusiasm

No matter what kind of event you’re hosting, from the most intimate workshop to the grandest conference, event engagement can make or break your day. Take these event engagement ideas as a starting point for your own imagination to make your next event memorable and compelling! With the right toolkit and some creativity, you’ll be sure to see your attendees return year after year. 

Wondering how you can increase attendee engagement with a mobile Event App? 👀 Watch these 8 quick videos to see EventMobi in action.