Setting up your event app is a great first step toward giving your attendees the networking and productivity they want from your event. With just a bit of added effort, you can jump-start discussions, community building, and adoption that will help define the attendee experience.
What Your App’s Private Social Network Can Do:
Your attendees will discover that using the social features of your Attendify app is intuitive and frictionless, but it’s always a good idea to give users a quick overview of the main features:
- Activity Stream – this is where all of the public comments, communications, photos and social interactions are visible to the entire community. Think of the activity stream as the digital pulse of what’s happening at your event.
- Social Sharing – your event app gives attendees a voice to share their experience, and share they will! Whether attendees interact by posting photos, messages, likes, comments, or respond to interactive polls, they’ll have a blast! Those digital interactions will in-turn help break the ice for in-person engagement.
- Attendee Profiles – give every participant the ability to share his or her personal information, including name, title, company, contact information, and bio and be discovered by other attendees. Your Attendify app lists all of the attendees at the event and any interaction they have with others through the app.
- Event Guide – is your attendee’s window into what’s happening. It lets them know what, when, and where activities and presentations are scheduled. It lists speakers, their bios and sessions. Sponsors and a description of each firm’s offerings are also included.
How to Build a Community in the App:
Once your attendees download the app and understand what the social features are used for, it will be easier to get the party started with these five best practices:
1. Create your own Conference Profile – A lot of event planners don’t create profiles even though they build the event apps. Having a profile let’s you engage your customers, hear about problems when they arise, and get instant feedback on the fruits of your labors. It also helps you put a “stamp of approval” on the in-app messaging and interactions. When attendees see that you’re talking, they’ll talk too.
2. Add Seed Content– Post some photos, start some conversations, and get the activity stream humming. When people see that there’s a conversation going on before they even arrive—chatter about the speakers, topics, or schedule, for example—they’re more likely to join in. It’s like the long lines at the South By Southwest Festival. If there’s a line of people, attendees assume there must be something good going on (like free tacos), so they get in line too.
3. Welcome New Users – No one likes to arrive at a party where they don’t know anyone. It’s awkward and uncomfortable. Make your attendees feel welcome by using the @ mention feature just like it’s used on Twitter. It’s a nice conversation starter and helps your attendees notice that there’s an actual conversation going on within the app.
4. Use Quick Polls – Short surveys, whether they’re serious or a little silly, are overlooked as social tools. Even Twitter has a polling feature for good reason. They’re fun for participants and they can help you discover sentiments, generate conversations, and uncover insights that can be valuable to your organization.
5. Leverage Push Notifications – Interruptions can be annoying. On the other hand, useful, relevant information—room changes, more tickets available for the sold-out evening event, or a surprise celebrity speaker—sent via text can be pleasing and much appreciated by your guests. It’s also one of the best ways to draw people back into the app, which is where all the action is, right?
Rome wasn’t built in a day and app communities and conversations don’t (usually) start themselves. Someone has to get the wheels turning and as the event planner, it really should be you.