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How to Leverage an Online Community for Year-Round Engagement

October 29, 2019

Trade shows and events have long been the premiere place to engage audiences, connect with constituents and develop meaningful relationships with other industry professionals. The face-to-face aspect of events can’t be replaced, but event engagement is traditionally limited to the actual on-site activities. That begs the question, how can you create an event that doesn’t end on the final day of the show? An online community can help you do just that. 

An event-based community gives event organizers, attendees, exhibitors and sponsors a place to centralize their communication during the offseason. Let’s explore some of the opportunities it presents for a show.

Audience Interests, Trends and Industry Updates

The exhibitors and attendees at your show have a deep knowledge of topics within their industry verticals. Facilitating conversation within your online community helps you stay on top of these trends and share your expertise. You’ll be able to create your own discussion topics and posts to drive conversation while engaging directly with your event audience.

The best part about your event community is your members. With the ability to assign levels to different community members, community managers can create member moderators that continue the discussion throughout the year. For example, moderators can maintain discussions on how to maximize booth visibility, activations to entice attendees or topics that are related to your specific industry. Having a pulse on the concerns and questions posed by members of your community will allow you to make informed decisions about the future of various industry verticals.

Increased Sponsor Visibility and Revenue

With an online community, sponsor visibility is extended to your online platform. Not only do your existing sponsors enjoy more opportunities to connect with your audience directly, you have additional sponsorships to sell. New digital advertising opportunities enable a new source of bottom line revenue and sponsors are treated to year-round visibility with your audience. 

Consider how you might leverage digital packages on your community platform to generate additional revenue or maximize the value in existing sponsorship levels.

New Attendee and Exhibitor Promotion

No one knows the value of your show better than your exhibitors and attendees. They’re the boots on the ground and among your best resources for attracting new audience members to your show. The online event community creates a direct connection between your current audience and the prospective newcomers.

 

As a product consultant with Personify, Benjamin works closely with our Personify Community solution to build, maintain and engage online communities with members and constituents from associations, events and nonprofits around the United States.

 

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Partner Voices

Modern events accumulate huge amounts of data.  Turning that data into an understanding of your audience in order to build attendance can be overwhelming.  Fortunately, business analytics tools like CDS’ Data Sense® can do the heavy lifting, combining your different data sources for a detailed view of your event and audience.  Introducing the Persona Tree!