For event professionals looking to attract and engage attendees before a tradeshow or conference, it is essential to come up with creative ideas to get attendees excited.

From interactive activities to promotional campaigns, there are numerous strategies you can use. Here we have compiled 13 of the most effective ways to boost attendee engagement before your next tradeshow or conference.

1. Start A Conversation Online

Engage with interested attendees on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook by creating an event page that provides updates and information about the tradeshow or conference. Encourage conversations by asking questions, setting up polls, and offering exclusive sneak peeks of featured speakers or products. 

2. Build Anticipation

Keep your audience captivated by teasing upcoming features like speaker announcements and product releases before the event. When releasing details, use visuals and videos to make them more eye-catching and engaging. You can even encourage users to ‘like’ or ‘share’ for additional clues about what will be displayed at the conference or tradeshow! 

3. Give Away Prizes

People love free stuff! Offer prizes for preregistration, exciting photos taken at the event, outfit of the day contests, etc. This will entice people to take notice of your upcoming tradeshow or conference and get creative in winning those prizes! 

4. Issue Exclusive Invites

Invite critical influencers, bloggers, journalists, and other industry leaders by issuing exclusive invites they will not find anywhere else. Being invited personally instead of receiving a generic invite, they can find online makes them feel extra special and increases their chances of attending your show. 

5. Integrate User-Generated Content

User-generated content is often more authentic than professionally shot images used in promotions. Encourage followers to post pictures/videos related to their experiences with you leading up to the right before your event. Have followers use your designated #hashtag when posting so you can track what’s being said about you (and reward those posts accordingly). 

6. Host Informational Webinars 

Educate users interested in participating in your tradeshow/conference through informative webinars hosted before it takes place – this helps build trust towards you and gives attendees valuable knowledge they may not have had otherwise. Plus, it allows potential participants to learn more about what they should expect when attending without actually going there! 

7. Create Interactive Maps

Create interactive maps featuring restaurants nearby that people may want to check out during their stay, attractions nearby that people may want to explore before/after participating in your event, etc. Not only does this provide valuable information for potential attendees, it also serves as a form of advertisement for local businesses!

8. Implement Pre-Conference Activities & Events

Host some pre-event activities at local businesses near your venue that give potential attendees a chance to mingle while also discovering all sorts of interesting tidbits about their surroundings that may influence their decision on whether they attend your conference in person after all.

9. Engage Attendees with Exhibitor Information & Demos

Publish exhibitor information such as booth numbers, company logos, etc., so potential participants can see which companies will be featuring prominently at your event ahead of time and plan accordingly – you could even let exhibitors give live demos (online) during specific timeslots before the actual event kicks off in order get everyone excited about attending!

10. Promote Special Offers via Personalization

Send personalized digital invitations with exclusive ticket discounts or early bird registration offers to your target audience through email, direct mail, or even SMS messaging services. This gesture will make interested attendees feel appreciated and show them that their attendance is valued, making them more likely to attend your event!

11. Reach Out to The Media 

Contact regional newspapers, magazines, and other media outlets online and offline to spread awareness about your upcoming tradeshow/conference so it reaches a broader range of audiences locally and globally, depending on where you are hosting it!

12. Set Up Discussion Panels 

Organize an online panel before the event where industry experts can come together and discuss topics that are relevant to the tradeshow or conference. This is a great way to generate buzz and encourage people to join the conversation and attend your event.

13. Utilize Event Apps 

Develop an app specific to your tradeshow or conference that allows users access to all information regarding the event, such as schedules, agendas, maps, etc., making it easier for them to plan their day ahead of time!

Engaging event attendees before a tradeshow or conference is essential to ensure it is a success. These 13 ideas should help you draw more interest and get guests excited to attend.

Remember that creativity, exclusive invites, and special offers are vital in engaging attendees before the event, so make sure you keep these tactics in mind when planning for your next event!