The use of technology is standard practice for today’s events, and there are countless ways it can be used to enhance the attendee experience before, during, and even after the event. But do you know the best ways to use event tech?
Event technologists know all the tricks to maximize the use of technology for your event. From building mobile apps to running livestreams to enabling event bots and more, they not only turn digital dreams into (virtual) reality but also keep your event running without a glitch.
In the third blog in our Myth vs. Reality series, Chip Begley, Director, Event Technology & Production, and Cindy Keating, Sr. Event Technologist, get technical as they share the truth about event tech.
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Myth: If you build it, they will come.
Reality: When it comes to mobile apps, you must plan for more than just build and launch.
Having a mobile app for an event doesn’t mean that everyone will download it. You have to include it as part of your marketing plan so attendees know that it’s available and important. Communicate early and often for high early adoption rates.
For example, ask attendees to complete specific tasks in the app prior to the event to help them become familiar with its navigation. In one communication, have the attendees update their profile picture and post to the discussion boards or activity feeds. In another communication, have them read more about the newest speakers that were added. This not only helps the attendee learn to use the mobile app but also makes event check-in more seamless with fewer questions about downloading and navigating the app.
Myth: The venue Wi-Fi is sufficient for all event needs.
Reality: That may be true sometimes but not always. It’s worthwhile to look into other options.
Most events require some sort of access to internet. For some, the hotel Wi-Fi could be sufficient, but it will not always meet every event’s needs. At the very least, you should have a dedicated hardwired internet line for your speaker presentations (general session room) or any other mission critical components so they do not get interrupted by any Wi-Fi glitches.
Capabilities that require additional Wi-Fi bandwidth include polling/ARS, on-demand badge printing, product demos, and gamification. Mapping out the show flow to get a clear understanding of when and where attendees will be accessing Wi-Fi is a great exercise to ensure you are choosing the correct bandwidth. The “where” is just as critical. If you have a large group in an intimate area where people will be accessing social media, uploading videos, or answering audience polling questions, you may need to add additional access points to support the user density.
Myth: On-demand badge printing is too expensive.
Reality: There are many affordable options for quick and seamless entry for your attendees.
Adding up the cost to print badges and the labor to collate, alphabetize, and stuff them, the increase in cost (if any) to use on-demand badge printing is negligible. The added ability to confirm the attendee’s name and badge credentials will cut down on time and expense for reprints, and the check-in experience is seamless and has a modern feel that will impress conference attendees. Finally, reporting is a breeze! As people check in, they are marked as a participant. You have dashboards that can give you the total number checked in, the percentage of registrants who have checked in, and the peak arrival times that can help you plan and staff accordingly for future events.
Myth: Once the event is over, the work is done.
Reality: Thanks to technology, the event experience doesn’t have to end when the meeting ends.
There is a lot of work that goes into creating a mobile app for attendees for the event, so you want to maximize its usage. Resources and on-demand content can continually be added to drive the attendees back with targeted marketing campaigns. For exhibitors or sponsors, it can be used for post-event marketing to reach out to attendees and vice versa. You can also host special events virtually post-event without investing in a new platform.
Most mobile apps allow access for several months post-event. Confirm that timeframe with your event technology team to take full advantage of the opportunities.
Director, Event Technology & Production
Meetings & Incentives Worldwide, Inc.
Sr. Event Technologist, Event Technology & Production
Meetings & Incentives Worldwide, Inc.