Keep Attendees Coming Back with an Event Community

Attendees move between venues as part of a regular event community gathering enabled by event technology.

How can event organizers keep attendees coming back so they stay engaged year round? Some will say that the idea of an event community is a pipe dream. The answer, however, may just be a matter of finding the right tools and tactics. Combine the best event technology with a solid community management strategy, and you have the winning formula.

For decades, attendee attrition has been an issue for B2B event organizers, and it’s a costly problem. When you lose a certain percentage of your attendees every year, you end up devoting a big chunk of your marketing budget to attracting new audiences. If those funds were just redirected to nurturing attendee loyalty in the first place, they could have twice the impact. 

What’s the Secret to Success?

Whether it’s through an event app or a virtual event platform, event technology can help you reduce attendee churn. That’s because it provides the foundation for an event community. For associations, it also means delivering the kind of year-round engagement that gives members added value for money on their annual fees. Your annual conference may be one of your biggest selling points, but your association can offer so much more with an event community.

Building on a webinar produced with EventMB, EventMobi has created a new guide on best practices for building an event community.

Watch the webinar below, read further to learn more, and download the eBook nowThe Secret to Successful Attendee Retention: Year-Round Engagement.

Why an Event Community Is Good for Your Event Marketing Budget

The benefits of maintaining a loyal attendee base can’t be denied. For example, the chances of converting an existing customer are 60% to 70%, while the likelihood of converting a new prospect is 5% to 20%. Existing, satisfied customers are also more likely to convince others to buy. This logic applies as much to events as it does to consumer purchases.

There are already many year-round engagement tactics, but they are not necessarily the most efficient ways to build a community. Some organizers use year-round tactics such as advertising, monthly magazines, content offers, and pre-event discounts to draw attention to the annual event. However, it’s a fragmented approach that often lacks the continuous, two-way engagement necessary to build a community and cultivate attendee loyalty.

How Event Technology Helps Grow an Event Community

Attendees join a regular association committee meeting on their event community platform -- months after their annual conference.

Virtual event platforms helped to keep attendees connected during the pandemic, but the rise in event technology also presents another opportunity. 

Why not bring all of your outreach initiatives under one roof with a user-friendly platform? Event technology can be the answer to year-round engagement, even for in-person events. 

Whether it’s an event app or a virtual event platform — or the all-purpose event technology that EventMobi specializes in — the right tools matter. This kind of digital connectivity will keep attendees engaged at all points between your major events.

Why an Event Community Is More Cost Effective

Beyond providing your attendees with more value, an event community can also make your event tech more cost effective for you in the long run.

The more small-scale events that you hold, the cheaper it becomes on a per-event basis. Even in terms of the time invested in learning a new platform, it’s more efficient to use the same event technology for all your community needs.

Moreover, hosting a series of smaller events throughout the year means more opportunities to attract (and retain) new attendees. Smaller, more affordable local gatherings and webinars can even be a stepping stone to attending your annual conference.

Is an Event Management Platform Enough?

Of course, executing all of these ideas takes work. Adding yet another engagement platform isn’t the only thing needed to build a community that will keep attendees coming back.  

Event technology gives you the tools necessary to build the foundations of an event community, but you still need an overarching strategy — and someone to manage it. In other words, a skilled community manager with a concrete plan is as essential as your event platform. 

A community manager demonstrates both specialized training and interpersonal skills as she communicates with association members on the pone and via event platform messaging.

That’s where our new guide, The Secret to Successful Attendee Retention: Year-Round Engagement, comes in handy. Download the eBook now to learn the most successful strategies for managing your event community. Topics include:

  • Understanding why event communities fail
  • Breaking down all the ways that communities can help organizers
  • Monetizing an event community
  • Identifying the right kind of community manager
  • Customizing community engagement
  • Claiming the space between annual events
  • Leveraging event platforms as community platforms
  • Developing a blueprint for community engagement 
the 7 best strategies for maintaining year-round engagement from your event community: a mindset toward evolution, continuity through discussions, centralization through a user-friendly platform, upcycling of event content, co-creation and consensus-making, monetization, and data mining.

Grow an Event Community for Long-Term ROI

In conclusion, the benefits are potentially enormous for organizers that make the leap from virtual event platforms to event community platforms — well beyond increasing attendee retention. 

In the long run, building on the engagement that’s already taking place around online events will give you better ROI. And when it comes to revenue growth at in-person events, there are equally clear benefits. Keep the conversation and enthusiasm going by centralizing access to all your event’s resources and networking features on one platform.

Don’t forget to download the eBook!

The Secret to Successful Attendee Retention:

Year-Round Engagement