5 Essential Event Planning Tips from 3 Brilliant Companies
When it comes to designing and optimizing an event experience, every interaction counts. From having great content to managing logistics, you need to make sure that attendees get the personalization and attention they need to learn, make new connections, and get to where they need to be. Streamlined planning means that event managers can spend more time delighting attendees while minimizing operational headaches that inevitably happen behind the scenes.
One way that event managers can improve their experiences is through technology. Rather than dealing with paper-based schedules, one-off surveys (that always seem to end up in the recycle bin), confusing venue maps, and disjointed social media experiences, event managers can utilize an app. Here are 5 optimizations that every event manager should aim to make:
1. Go paperless
Paper can quickly become an event manager’s worst nightmare. Why spend thousands of dollars and countless hours on schedules and brochures that the majority of attendees will review just once before losing or shoving into their grab-bags? You can have an event app built in less time, at a fraction of the cost, hassle, and wastefulness of expensive paper.
Google went paperless by leveraging an event app at Export@Google in early 2014. The event brought together over 350 entrepreneurs in Dublin, Ireland, the company wanted 100% of the event’s experience to focus on boosting international sales and facilitating connections. As part of this goal, Google’s events team consolidated all logistics, schedules, speaker information, and social networking capabilities into one app. A 100% adoption rate of the app meant that the event team could spend less time answering logistical questions and more time thinking about engagement.
2. Create real-time communication loops with attendees
At events, questions often come up in-the-moment when staff are spread thin. That’s why the Export@Google team used Attendify’s app-builder to enable real-time conversations and questions. Instead of hunting speakers down or seeking out event staff, attendees could pull out their phones, ask questions, and get answers. With 233 attendee interactions and over 25,000 individual uses of the app, the event team was able to alleviate natural bottlenecks while connecting attendees to information quickly.
3. Enable self-managed, self-contained social networking capabilities
Social networking is an important part of any event experience, but interactions are often challenging to manage. For one, conference attendees may need guidance as to what to share and how. Not to mention, some event teams may prefer to keep their event communications internal to avoid loosing their attendees’ attention in noisy social networks. That’s where the right event app can add enormous value.
AstraZeneca, for instance, hosts regular internal conferences for its global employees. Pursuing a goal to bring its workforce closer together, the events team encourages collaboration and close communication. Using Attendify’s social activity stream, AstraZeneca encourages its employees to share photos, messages, likes, and comments.
Several days before an event, attendees will typically introduce themselves, post photos, and share details about their travel experiences. During each event, team members can share content around sessions and reach out to one another freely. AstraZeneca team members often continue to use these social features for weeks after each event. With the right event app, attendees can communicate without bottlenecks.
4. Track content and engagement data
If you’re planning to host multiple events, you’ll want to collect content and engagement data wherever you can. The right event app can help you automate the process and capture data in real-time: your event management team doesn’t need to be running around your venue to monitor session engagement.
One case study to consider is LeadPages. The company is building a long-term event strategy and regularly uses data from Attendify to make process improvements. After attendees participate in a session for instance, they can go back to their event apps and rate their experiences. The LeadPages team uses this information to refine its conference program and better tailor its marketing campaigns on the whole.
5. Implement regular feedback surveys
Surveys are important for improving event experiences. But far too often, these valuable documents end up in the trash. Event managers need a way to collect and manage this data more systematically and efficiently. LeadPages integrated Attendify with its event registration platform Eventbrite to easily get feedback from poll questions that are attributed to individual attendees. Attendees also have the ability to rate specific sessions and identify areas of improvement. This perspective helps LeadPages create more impactful, engaging content.
The event industry is about to undergo some big changes. Targeting and personalization strategies will play a crucial role in event success. Collecting the right data and engaging with audiences at key touch-points will ensure your attendees love your events even more!
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