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Live events provide endless opportunities for brands of all types to connect with consumers. From on-site activations and sponsored stages to branded freebies and VIP experiences, achieving visibility can, simply put, be bought. But in today’s saturated entertainment space, with its sporting events and food festivals and concerts galore, how can a brand leave a lasting impression, not to mention keep the connection? The answer is simple: enhance the fan experience with conversational messaging.

Show consumers the real-time benefits of texting with your brand. Don’t underestimate these three winning tips for delivering more engaging and responsive customer experiences at live events with texting.

Answer questions & concerns

The fun begins as soon as users opt-in. Be proactive by sending pre-event updates and start-time reminders. Once the event is in session, the capability to two-way text becomes invaluable. Case in point: at a recent conference, we opened up our text lines to provide guests with quick answers for questions like, “where is the bathroom?” and “when’s lunch.” SMS allowed us to address two very important topics in record time.

Think about it, if you’re at a crowded park or massive conference space, the last thing you want to do is go on a hunt for a bathroom or water fountain. Use text messaging to help your guests get where they’re going, and make sure you let them know you’re there to help ahead of time.

Drive participation & engagement

Providing a positive experience, like hosting an air-conditioned lounge during a summertime festival, will absolutely increase a consumer’s affinity for your brand—albeit in the moment. It might even get guests to click “follow” on your Instagram page. But how do you keep guests engaged after they’ve cooled down? One idea is to host live contests via text messaging. Allow people to vote for competition winners via text while at a live event, and announce the winner, live.

Texting is an effective way for bringing conferences and panels to life. Some people aren’t comfortable asking questions or bringing up their opinions in a big crowd. Enable SMS so participants can send in their questions, and have someone from your team select a few great ones for the speakers to address live. Guests will appreciate the opportunity to get involved and have some control over the conversation.

Dish out deals & prizes

Make your guests feel like VIPs by offering specials they can access via text. Use SMS to offer text-exclusive discounts or buy-one-get-one deals. SMS is a great platform for upselling, too. What fan, sweating in the bleachers watching their favorite team, wouldn’t be tempted by a popcorn and soda bundle? How about a branded cap and a refillable water bottle?

Keep in mind that your VIPs are probably experiencing sensory overload, and might need a reminder for some of those deals. Offering an hour of drink specials before the show starts? Text your guests a friendly reminder, and be available to answer questions like, “Where’s the bar” and “What time does happy hour end?”

Providing an optimal customer experience is crucial, but exchanging info with consumers can also be mutually beneficial. While event-goers reap the benefits of status updates and discounts, brands can further tap the power of texting to measure their customer experience and get real-time feedback by simply texting a survey link, or asking a few “yes” or “no” questions.  Are you ready to leverage the power of customer texting at your next live event?