In today’s consumer-driven world, smart brands need to seize every opportunity to build relationships, generate goodwill, and earn the trust of their people. Given the massive amount of budget allocated to events, the pressure is on to return the investment ten-fold.

Because of the highly competitive and fast-paced nature of events, it is important to look for ways to enhance attendee engagement. Here are some techniques and tools companies can use to keep up with the industry.

Improve the Layout

It only takes one wrong detail to leave a bad impression. This rings especially true for the overall format of your event and the layout you associate with it.

Many things in this regard are variables – the event’s specifics, location and expected number of guests, etc. That being said, there are common threads that every good layout contains.

A good layout has to be inviting, engaging, and most importantly easy to move through.

For common ports of entry like registration, some helpful signage (that is always on theme) will go along way. If you’re anticipating more hiccups along the way, though, you might consider plugging some event staff in to direct crowd control.

Above all, you need to make it as smooth and easy as possible for your attendees to find the next step in their journey.

Event producers have to appraise the location weeks or months before the actual event, and have contingency plans to fall back on. This is why having a good event RFP is very important. A poor event is one where attendees struggle to find where they want to be and therefore become disengaged.

Utilize Big Data

While it’s great to have near endless possibilities for people to embrace, you can easily overwhelm your attendees by offering far too many options. That’s where the magic of modern data and A.I. can save you and your attendees a massive headache.

Data analytics expert Bill Bosak explains how big data can create a more personalized experience by using the information made available when an attendee registers before the event.

For example, your attendees can put down that they work in as a regional manager. From there, your smart data can connect the dots and recommend breakout sessions about on-site management, building a network across cities and more.

Big data is also a great way to convey information to an audience. Simon Austin’s article on Verizon Connect lists some of big data’s benefits including how presenters who visualize statistics using infographics are “43% more effective in persuading an audience to take a particular course of action.” As the purpose of events is audience engagement, organizers that use data as part of their preparation strategy can create a much more effective event.

Artificial Intelligence

AI is the technology on everybody’s lips right now and many events, like the World AI Show in Mumbai, are now based around promoting the technology. However, event producers can also use AI behind the scenes to improve attendee engagement, as the technology can select the best vendors for certain events.

Using different data points, AI is able to cross reference event requirements with the vendors who have applied in order to find the best matches. This means that those visiting the events will be seeing more brands and companies that are suited to their needs.

VR and AR

Along with AI, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are also transforming the event experience. Using either a smart device or a headset, event attendees are able to have a digital sensory experience. Using VR,vendors can create interactive brand stories, provide virtual tours, and even demo products. VR also has the capability to allow people to experience the event without going to the actual location.

AR on the other hand allows people to use their own devices to enhance an event. A good example of AR is how it can allow more people to see a brand’s product. For instance, Volkswagen created an application for its Golf Cabriolet that allowed people to explore the car through their phone. This can apply to any product and will reduce lines and crowding.

Events are effective ways to sell products and create brand noise. A good event will engage the attendees in multiple ways, which will mean they are more likely to have a positive experience.

The CPG crew extends a special thanks to contributing author Natalie Grayson for ideating and penning this guest post.