Events are changing. Every other article you read is about how social media and social communication are pushing the evolution of events and meetings.
But what does that really mean? How can we use new tactics to boost event attendance and the ROI for attendees? And where can we find the tools to accomplish these goals?
I’m assuming that you’re already on the path to using social tech applications for your meetings (at least using attendee-facing apps). If you’re not, please refer to this article on TechsyTalk.com.
In my opinion, it’s a matter of using proper event technology that allows attendees to unlock the power of event social media.
I say “allows attendees” because success will never happen if they’re not on board. I say the “power” of social media because it is, in fact, a powerful communications and engagement medium that’s ours to harness.
So let’s make it work for you!
One of the best reasons to use attendee-facing event technology applications is that they offer more communication options:
- You have more ways to engage with attendees.
- Attendees have more ways to engage with speakers and with each other.
- Sponsors & exhibitors have more ways to engage with leads and prospects.
With all of these engagement options, one call to action is clear: USE THEM!
Do more than just blast your attendees with emails. Move beyond the inbox and use the communications features available with modern event technology.
Not everyone will adopt your event application (to find out how to increase that adoption rate, click here). However, you can use the event app to communicate with your die-hard fans and offer them event exclusives that will turn them into evangelists.
The truth is that we’re all on communication overload. Countless productivity gurus advise us to ignore our inboxes except for short periods throughout the day, and busy people have all but banished social media from their daily routines in order to get important things accomplished without distraction. (Click here for a few ideas on how to do that for yourself.)
With this movement toward less bombardment and your attendees’ increasing willingness to unsubscribe, what are innovative event architects to do?? For us at Hubb, the answer has been a mix of better content and easier engagement.
In addition to leveraging our clients’ membership databases to streamline communication, we also make sure to keep content-rich updates localized where people can see and act on them.
This means getting started early with event communication on social channels using relevant hashtags that will enhance the community experience, as well as sharing visual content that attendees will find interesting.
This shareable content can include:
- retouched photos of previous events
- teaser videos featuring well-known community influencers
- actionable content that entices attendees to engage (like an event quiz or a limited time offer).
Fortunately, event technology is allowing us to extend the life cycle of our engagements. Attendees aren’t limited to a single burst of social communication during the event; now they can use event tech to set up meetings, see the exhibitors, and meet each other well before the Welcome Reception kicks off.
While on-site, attendees can easily become influencers by using well-placed social media tools to extend the thought leadership of the event to their own social circles.
Make no mistake: the ability to display exclusive influence via your conference is a huge benefit to attendees!
To do this, your event technology must include social media as a pillar of engagement. It should easily link to attendees’ social accounts through custom APIs, and the app should make it easy for attendees to engage with speakers and exhibitors on social channels.
And when the show is over, proper event technology allows us to keep engagement going through the use of exclusive content distribution and easy follow-up tools.
Attendees leave your conference with a desire to share what they’ve learned. Give it to them! The right event tech makes it easy to download and consume the right content, whether it’s in the form of slide decks, videos, or PDFs. This also allows your attendees to extend their own thought leadership… which in turn makes your event more valuable!
Lastly, the event community doesn’t need to die when the boxed lunches come out. An attendee app with a full-featured community engagement tool will keep attendees making connections for weeks to come. With the ability to recognize faces of missed connections and follow up using their channels of choice, your event community will live on.
Choosing the Right Tech
These are some of the scenarios you need to consider when choosing an event application for your next big show. There are many other factors to consider, like integration and connectivity, but addressing these modern issues will ensure you have your front-facing features covered.
In my next article, I’ll help you determine what the answers to some of these questions should be by exploring how modern event technology can best keep up with the changing event landscape.
This post was originally published on Social Tables Blog.