This post was written with Daniel Elder (Comexposium),
Lauren Williams and Miranda Carter (etouches).
Marketing, technology and innovation are all critical contributors to event success, but they are also common pain points for event organisers. The struggle seems to be knowing exactly what technology is relevant to your event and how to use it to create the best possible delegate experience (DX).
As our world becomes more digitized we have a natural tendency to rely on technology to enable our interactions with each other, yet there is nothing more critical to a delegate or event participant than making meaningful connections. Which brings us to two critical questions:
- How can technology facilitate and enhance human connections at my event?
- How do I make sure my technology program is enriching the DX?
Tech implementations that do nothing more than showcase bells and whistles have no real purpose and will leave delegates cold. So, to start you on your journey towards authentic buy-in from your delegates, Daniel Elder, Global CDO for iMedia, ad:tech and MMS has shortlisted for us some of the best technology trends that really add value to your DX.
1. iBeacons and RFID: Nothing new from a tech perspective, but most event organisers still aren’t leveraging or executing iBeacon or RFID technology well. Often used to keep track of the number of delegates in a room and analyse common routes they’re taking, this information is great for planning signage, sponsorship costs and exhibition hall routes, but the attendees themselves aren’t seeing any value from this technology.
Delegates want technology that surprises and delights them. Push notifications are a great use of your iBeacons. For example, you could set up this technology by a sponsored coffee bar, and when a delegate walks past they’ll get a push notification saying: “Stop and have a coffee break, brought to you by etouches!” Imagine how you could use iBeacons and RFID to send delegates helpful reminders, unlock prizes in scavenger hunts, or simply improve their DX by letting them know what is going on around them. Overall, it is the little things that bring technology value to your DX.
2. App communities: An app is more than just a mobile friendly version of your event website, your website should already be mobile friendly, and an app that just showcases event information has no value. Instead, an app needs to facilitate communication and engagement pre, during and post-event. Include things like delegate directories with their information and photos so attendees can message each other and setup meetings prior to the event. Allow them to build their own agendas, partake in live polls and especially include gamification.
Gamifying your app, no matter the industry, has been proven to be extremely successful. People are competitive by nature, plus it’s a fun way to drive engagement. For example, have attendees collect points by using the app in different ways and showcase a leaderboard with the most active delegates. Display this leaderboard throughout your event to keep the momentum going with prizes at the end. Not only does this motivate people to download the app, but it keeps them active on it throughout your event, creating value for both you and your delegates.
3. Social sign-on: Again, social sign-on is nothing new, but using it for social advocacy is becoming huge. So it’s important to use social sign-on with mediums that are truly relevant for your industry. LinkedIn, for example, is crucial for business and networking events; Twitter not so much. Not only does social sign-on create value for delegates by saving time during the registration process, it also encourages them to share their DX on the networks that are important to you, the event organiser. People love sharing that they are attending your event, and the important thing is to make it easy for them to do so. It basically pays for itself as delegates are sharing with relevant, highly valued social and networking circles. If others know it’s coming from a friend, colleague or trusted connection, then they will be more interested in registering for your event than through traditional social marketing.
These are just some of the technologies to rethink and enhance to truly create a better DX. Others include APIs, centralised data, marketing automation, inbound marketing, digital signage and virtual reality. You can find out more about these in Daniel’s webinar.
And remember, no matter what technology you consider adopting to enhance your DX, it’s important to keep an open mind, set clear objectives, and ask yourself if it creates value for you and your delegates. Most importantly, innovations should facilitate and enhance delegate interactions, not replace them.
To learn more about event tech innovation, watch our webinar featuring Daniel Elder, Global Chief Digital Officer, Comexposium, as he explores the topic even further!
Written by: Lauren Mumford