Welcome to infographic week where we are going to release one infographic little by little every day. This week’s topic is one of our favorites, UI/UX (user interface/user experience).
Do you know how user experience drives powerful engagement? Not to worry that is what this infographic will help to solve! Each day, three of our blocks are going to answer 4 specific questions: What is user experience? Why is user experience important? How do you improve your user experience (2 parts)? What are the results of good user experience? At the end of the week you will have a full infographic and all the knowledge on user experience to create a successful attendee experience at your next event!
In 2015, one of the biggest trends that I believe will take hold is the importance and focus on attendee experience. From meeting design, to event apps, to innovative surveys and more it will be all about attendees in the New Year. User experience can make your attendees more engaged if you do it right, but you truly need to understand its impact and how to use it at every stage in your event. We are going to go step by step in understanding what user experience is and the positive impact that it can have on your attendees’ engagement at events.
What is user experience?
User experience is made up of several important components. While user experience is made up of a bunch of things, every aspect counts in the long run. In order to understand user experience, you need to know how user interface impacts it. User interface is the way that you design something. When it comes to events, UI is how you design your events from the format, the technology used, the content of the sessions, etc. All of that will lead to your UX or how you measure your UI efforts.
Design is one of the biggest factors for a user’s first impression. With visual data processed faster than text, it is important to use as much imagery and innovative designs as possible in your event promotion, on-site and in any marketing materials. People like William Thompson from Tech Fest in London, does a great job of using catching imagery to excite his attendees from his event website to social media and finally onsite. By doing this before the event even starts, he is giving attendees a taste of what they will experience onsite. Take note and remember you have their attention, now you have to keep it!
Why is user experience important?
UI/UX is more than just finding ways to make your attendees happy, it is about your investors, sponsors, partners, exhibitors and potential leads. People invest in UX because it is based off of hundreds of years of best practices in the real world on the way that humans react to certain things. Think of it this way, you are looking to hire a designer to decorate your house. Would you go for the designer who has a beautiful looking website with examples of their work and coordinating social media pages to match; or would you go for the designer who doesn’t have a website, just a Yelp page with a handful of reviews and no examples of their work? Most likely you would go with the person who has a nicely designed website and shows their work because you are hoping it reflects on what they can actually do.
Image is everything in business. You could lose business on having bad branding, so make the investment in a designer to help with your company or events brand. $1 spent on UX can have an ROI of $100 for your business. If you ask me, it is worth the work in the beginning to see the happy faces of your attendees at your event.
How do you improve your user experience? (Part 1)
Now that we know what UX is and why it is important to your bottom line, we need to know how to use it to actually improve engagement. To start, UX isn’t just used at one part of your planning process; it is about each step in the event life cycle. Think about it for your registration, promotion, content, networking, onsite logistics, and post event communication.
When it comes to using technology at your events you need to have a dedicated individual that is there is respond to any questions attendees and users may have. This can be for your event app and social media accounts. You need to have a quick response time to keep attendees happy and show that you are listing to their needs. 41% of customers expect companies to respond to their request in 6 hours – even quicker if you are onsite! People will remember if they had a bad experience at your event, especially when it comes to registration, problems connecting with speakers and your event app. Keep your attendees happy! Use technologies that make makes sense for your event and know how to use it well to answer any questions.
With your event app or on social media, use gamification to keep attendees involved. Everyone likes friendly competition and being surprised with new opportunities to win something or to be mentioned at the event!
How do you improve your user experience? (Part 2)
As we said, gamification is an important and fun aspect to bring to any event to boost user engagement. However, you need to do more on social. Create an event specific hashtag that attendees can follow for the latest information and to join the conversation on the event. Just do your research and make sure that you have an original hashtag on your hands. Our friends from evvnt wrote a great article for us on the anatomy for the perfect event hashtag.
Once you have a unique hashtag use it on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google+ to stay connected to your audience. While hashtags aren’t used on LinkedIn you cannot ignore this social site when it comes to engaging attendees. See if you event speakers are okay with you putting their LinkedIn information in your emails to attendees. This will allow people to connect with them pre event to get their questions answered and make meetings! Even starting an event group where attendees, exhibitors, suppliers and speakers can communicate.
All of this social activity is something that needs to happen pre, during and post event. Companies that engage attendees at all steps of an event have better ROI and engagement. You also need to remember that your event is not just a one or three day ordeal. You have a community of people that are following your activity. You need to keep updating content and finding a way to start conversations in the community. This will lead to a better user experience in the long run because your event will be seen as more than just a onetime thing. So be sure to update all your social accounts weekly – not just when your event is running!
What are the results of good user experience?
It can be hard to see if you had good or bad user experience if you don’t take the time in the beginning to find ways to measure your results. Obviously if you see people saying bad things about your event on social, you know you didn’t do something right. But you need to see if the steps you took to engage people actually yielded results.
Track the amount of shares that you got on posts related to your event. Put it into a social reporting calendar that starts from your pre event communication. Post event, go back and see what posts did well and got the most conversations started. If you used gamification in your app, go to your app provider for details on how to look at the reports on who was most engaged. Reporting could not be more important when it comes to user interface and experience. You need feedback on what people liked and without reporting you have nothing!
As the infographic states: 95% of people agree, good user experience just makes sense. Take the steps to ensure that your users and attendees will be happy and get them engaged!
Now do you understand the importance of user experience? It is something that happens at your event whether you plan for it or not, so take the time to make sure you are doing it right. Invest time in finding out how you can make the experience better for the attendee from when you start planning your event. Step in their shoes and think what you would be looking for from an event. Then execute it! Make sure you have put the steps in place to measure your results. Keep this full infographic with you when planning your next event to remind you why your attendees are the most important part of your event!
Written by: Kristen Carvalho