When it comes to events, the attendee experience is everything. Satisfied attendees will support your organization, do business with your sponsors, and, above all, will talk about their experience with others and make sure to attend next year’s event. So how do you keep attendees satisfied? Simply put it is meeting their needs and the reasons behind attending an event and exceeding their expectation from the quality of sessions and depth of speakers to the vibe of the venue and a hundred other things that keep event planners busy for months to get the details right. One part of the event experience that we have been dwelling for the past year and a half is attendees digital expectation.
Bringing technology to an event for the sake of being hi-tech is not the answer if it is not done for the right reasons and not deployed properly. In fact it may create confusion and end up being a distraction. The past two years we have seen a massive adoption in using social media, mobile apps, hybrid events and pre/post event community sites that not only enhance the overall experience but have also helped to increase attendance. Although at first this was done by event planners that were early adopters of technology tools, this has now created a series of basic expectation from attendees point of view. And I think we have now gone back to the basics again, letting the basic economics, ROI and attendees needs and requirement drive technology adoption.
I will not talk about ‘registration’, ‘social media’, ‘A/V’, ‘hybrid events’ and ‘private social sites’ and leave it for the experts in those fields but instead will focus on what we know best which is Mobile & Smartphone usage at events by attendees. What I’ll cover in the next few blogposts is why do event planners need to be aware of this opportunity and how can properly integrating your event with today’s advanced mobile capability enhance the overall experience, improve face to face networking, drive attendee engagement, help create new sponsorship opportunities and even make events greener.
Bug again what are attendees expectations that warrants the time and money investment in bringing an event specific mobile app into the mix?
- Access to event information from agenda to speaker bios, maps, etc. right from their phone in one place.
- Knowing more about other delegates and exhibitors right on their laptop/iPad or Blackberry phone, in order to help them improve face to face networking and continuing the discussion post event.
- Being able to be part of the event, provide real-time feedback, ask questions and participate in the discussion.
- Connecting to the digital side of the event through already existing social networks established.
- Getting real-time information on changes, announcements and other time sensitive content.
- Customizing their plans for the event from the schedule to the list of favorite speakers and sponsors they like to follow.
The trick in fact is an integrated, easy to use mobile app that will not become a distraction but instead a valuable information medium to enhance the overall experience for attendees and to better navigate, enjoy, learn and connect at the conference, tradeshow or festival they are attending.
With EventMobi we have tried to answer these needs with a platform that is simple to setup and affordable for event organizers and easy and useful for attendees. In the next few weeks I will discuss in more details each of the above needs and requirements and how a well designed mobile solution can exceed your attendees expectation for digital networking and information consumption on location at your event.