In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge talks to the founder and CEO of Engagify, Anders Boulanger.
Engagify helps companies make their events and teams more engaging. Their background is specifically in working trade show floors. Anders shares that his career background is that he is a magician, and he leveraged this skill set at tradeshows to draw engaging attention from his audience while also teaching the marketing methods behind Engagify. Anders shares that he had to start at these events without an existing audience – people had to walk by and be engaged and interested enough to stop. Engagify has codified how they create engagement, command attention, and deepen connection with their audiences. Now, they teach customer facing teams those skills for their clients. ROI means 'returns on interaction’ at Engagify. Anders shares that their mission is to share how to really engage with people, which seems to be a lost art in the business world today.
Josh and Anders explore how to apply these principles to a virtual environment. It’s a lot harder to do that, Anders explains. There was a bit of a chasm Engagify had to cross with the loss of the initial connection that comes with a chance encounter at a physical event. These types of hybrid events are becoming more and more common, Anders shares, with thousands of attendees. Josh and Anders explore how events are better suited when they’re either in person or virtual (but not both.) Hybrid events aren’t just difficult when it comes to building engagement – you can’t really do both at 100% efficiency and success simultaneously. Anders and Josh agree that organizers should generally choose one event method and stick with it (hint: if your event has a virtual offering, expect your in-person attendance to plummet.)
Anders also shares some tips about how to up your engagement level so you can have maximum impact at the events you attend. Start off your presentations by celebrating the success of your company – offer a reward or novelty factor from the get go (perhaps a cash prize, which is Ander’s approach.) However, you have to tread carefully; your attention-grabbing dopamine booster needs to fit in with the story you’re telling. It needs to be relevant to your presentation, otherwise it will come off as a desperate attempt at getting attention. Be methodical in your approach and offer rewards that make sense in the context of your engaging presentation.