A common new client that we encounter in our industry, is one that has been running their event the same way for years with great success and then boom, the recipe no longer seems to be working and they have no idea why. Without going into a full diagnostic overhaul, my initial hunch is they probably are no longer engaging the current demographic. By demographic I am not only referring to your attendees, but your sponsors as well.
Whether you personally care to embrace it or not, we live in an age of technology and instant gratification. People want information right at their fingertips, and by fingertips I don’t mean via their email (that’s totally yesterday, duh!). Queue the continually popular solution: There’s an App for that!
Event Apps are changing the way conferences, trade shows, fundraisers and other special events are communicating with their attendees. Not only is this new technology pleasing to the attendee, but provides great benefit to the event organizers and your potential sponsors; as well.
Before your Event
As soon as a guest registers for you event, send them a link to download your event app. This gives instant access to the demographic of guests you have just attracted. With this information you can predict what will engage them on the event day, provide a means for marketing directly to your audience and provide insightful information on what to expect on the day of your event.
During your Event
Easily communicate the event program, location of breakout sessions (and facilitating signups for these if required) and interactive directional maps. Send push notifications to alert of changes in the program, location change of a speaker, or an emergency. During your event keep attendees engaged with Q&A or polling questions (you can even display their responses in real time on a screen). Another fun function is the ability to allow attendees to networking more effectively with each other. They can connect with individuals with similar interests or within similar markets, organize meetups, share contact information, etc.
After your Event
After your event physically ends, the communication can carry on. Attendees can reference the app to find contact information for a fellow attendee they met, a vendor they noticed at a tradeshow or a sponsor can reach out to their interested audience. Just like LinkedIn is used to create a sense of community that is easily accessible. Above and beyond, probably the most beneficial tool you can use for the after, is feedback! Find out what people liked and did not like in a simple survey. That in and of itself is so valuable to the success of your future events!
There are a wide variety of event apps out there to choose from, so explore the offerings and find the one that fits well with your needs. Ask for testimonials or feedback from other users to get the real scoop, instead of the glorified sales pitch of why one app is better than another. Better yet, use my tried and true method of research: Google It. I bet there are people who have already done the research and have blogged about it for you!
Multi Day Conferences, Special Events and Fundraisers