As an event agency, your business depends on audience interest and engagement. That's what companies are looking for when they make decisions about where they're going to participate or have a presence. To attract exciting, dynamic organisations to your event, you need to have an engaged audience – and vice versa.

What can you do to start this cycle and build a successful exhibition or conference? When applied in a strategic manner, there's one tool in your box that can make a world of difference: technology.

Integrating more technology into your event can help audience engagement soar in more ways than one. Here are a few:

  1. Drive interest in your event through social media. Long before your show begins, you can harness the power of social media to build up awareness, interest and excitement in your event. According to SocialMediaExaminer's 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 92 per cent of organisations said social media efforts have increased exposure for their business, which is not surprising given that the UN Broadband Commission recently revealed that 1.9 billion people around the world are now active on these networks. You can also apply social apps in creative ways to boost participation on event day.
  2. Encourage participants to incite visitors' interest through exciting visuals. If the companies at your show are able to build more attractive, intriguing stands, they'll generate more interest and attendees will have a positive, enjoyable experience. Creating the right foundation for stands to include three-dimensional designs and large display screens could set your show apart from others that are less polished and not nearly as memorable.
  3. Provide a hands-on experience with interactive elements. Similarly, the more audience members can touch, play and explore, the more engaged they'll be at your event. You can encourage these elements by supporting the power and space demands of having on-location demos and trial products. For example, a software company might want to set up a number of stalls with tablets or laptops that visitors can use to explore its apps or programs. Designing your exhibition halls with this in mind could help to attract companies that want to forge a strong identity at a dynamic show.
  4. Create a digital presence for an online world. The UN Broadband Commission predicted that half of the global population will be online by 2017. People are comfortable with online platforms and are beginning to expect accessibility just about everywhere they go. You can incorporate this into your event by making WiFi available. Other possibilities include offering resources such as event maps through a mobile app or mobile-ready website so people can navigate the show on their smartphones.