How to Transform Attendees into Participants Using Technology
People don't want to just be a part of the events they attend. They want to feel a personal connection to them.
Event apps give you and your team a user-friendly platform to build that bond between attendee and conference. And they give conference goers a bevy of information, such as real-time updates, offers, and other information that's customized to each attendees' liking.
And these apps are no longer just nice to have. Your tech-savvy attendees and connection-hungry sponsors expect them; any large event strategy is incomplete without an exploration of how apps might raise the bar for your attendees.
That being said, you can't rely on an event app to do all of your work for you. A poorly built event app can tarnish brand image, create a lackluster guest experience, and leave you without sponsors for your next event. Shore up your app's efficiency — and your event's potential success — by following these four steps:
1. Engage early and often.
Attendees aren't going to find your event just because you want them to. Promote the app well in advance of the event, and get staff and sponsors on the app’s activity stream to start engaging with attendees before the event begins.
Strategic engagement ahead of time can spark social interaction among your guests. Present a content-rich, engaging app prior to your event's kickoff so your event will stand out with attendees from the start.
2. Fill your mobile event app with quality content.
Gone are the days of program guides and booklets, so don’t limit your content with old constraints. Consider what would add depth, excitement, or ease to your guest experience.
You could include an interactive parking map or weather forecast, for example, or articles written by key speakers. Look for ways to add value beyond a schedule or list of speaker bios.
Once you’ve got a solid content strategy, make sure your staff members and volunteers are well-trained on the app. They should be experienced users who are ready to push out great content and engage your attendees, stimulate conversation, and generate momentum before, during, and after your event.
3. Create connections.
It’s no secret that networking is one of the top reasons that many attend conferences. Most event apps offer a networking feature of some kind, whether through its own interface or by leveraging another platform such as LinkedIn.
Encourage guests to use your mobile event app to build connections that last beyond the event. Keep it simple, though — most people aren’t looking for yet another clumsy social networking app to manage.
4. Get sponsors and exhibitors invested.
Mobile event apps are an excellent way for sponsors to connect directly with potential customers, and those sponsorships will help you offset the costs of building and maintaining the app. Sponsors can integrate themselves into event apps through banner ads, sponsored posts, surveys, or interactive polling.
Banners and sponsored posts can be broad-reaching or specifically targeted, and they can easily direct attendees to the sponsor’s website. Surveys and interactive polls, on the other hand, provide a more immediate channel for sponsors to interact with your guests by offering real-time feedback opportunities after a session concludes.
Mobile event apps offer fresh opportunities to create a dynamic experience for your next event. Don’t miss your chance to make a lasting impression and foster connections among your guests that can pay dividends for years to come.
Ronnie Higgins works at Eventbrite, helping event planners level-up their registration game. Born and raised in New Orleans, he enjoys nothing more than helping people get together — whether it’s for a conference, class, or a citywide party like Mardi Gras.