In planning a successful corporate event, engagement is key.

The ultimate goal of your conference or rally should be not only to deliver your leadership’s messages but to build and strengthen your employees’ buy-in. The best way to achieve that is to ensure that people are excited to attend and still thinking positively about their experience long after they leave. Give them a good reason to take those few days out of their lives and you’ll have earned their long-term loyalty and advocacy.

The most important ingredient of a successful event is attendance.

Where corporate events are concerned, your strongest method for building attendance is to stoke not only excitement but brand pride. Employees want to know that they are more than just cogs in a machine, and a good internal communication strategy can guarantee that your employees not only look forward to the event, but that they feel appreciated and honored to participate.

Once they are there, you want your audience to actively engage with the experience. Remember, all the pre-event excitement in the world gives you no ROI if that excitement isn’t justified after people arrive. An experiential approach to your event maintains and builds upon the anticipation your attendees arrive with, and that momentum – both during and after your event – is what ultimately determines its success.

As you can see in the video above, a comprehensive engagement campaign yields powerful results, especially when you look beyond the simple numbers. Getting your people actively involved with your brand mission creates brand advocates, and this is how you drive positive change at the heart of your business. There are myriad examples of brands whose employees are their own best advertising, and while these companies can be found across a wide variety of industries, the fundamental message is the same: happy and engaged employees are the best path to continued success.

It can be easy to think of your event as a message that is only delivered on its listed calendar days, but think instead in terms of creating an experience for your employees. This reframing, along with remembering to nurture your human capital on the days both leading up to and following the event, is invaluable. Not only are you ensuring that people experience and participate in your brand’s mission, but you are also facilitating their continued support of that mission well past the final day of your event.