Four Top Ways Meeting Apps Boost Virtual Engagement
Virtual meetings are the mainstay across the globe in 2020. When people get together to exchange ideas, they’re turning to technology as the conduit for connection. Sure, there have been plenty of event planners executing virtual meetings for years but, as an industry, we’ve had a tight learning curve of roughly five months to try and extract as much benefit from virtual engagement as possible. Of course, the technology platform that is selected is paramount in meeting success – based on objectives, attendee counts, security & sponsor presence. Once you’ve selected your meeting platform, it’s time to consider how a Mobile Meeting App can boost virtual engagement. Meeting-specific mobile apps—which, by the way, are increasingly becoming the norm, can leverage connectivity, communication, collaboration and even gamification to not only help attendees plan for and navigate an event, but also stay engaged as the programming unfolds. With over 6 years of experience with multiple mobile app platforms, we have distilled down the top ways a mobile meeting app can actually increase your attendee engagement and your return on investment.
Did you ever want to reach over and look into your audience’s head? These are features that can capture your attendees’ thoughts and feedback in a way that is engaging, interactive and effective. For those of us who’s professional careers revolve around bringing people together, we know a meeting or event cannot achieve its purpose without participant engagement. The days of having speakers talk at an audience are long gone. The world is creeping into our meeting rooms vying for attendee attention and it’s up to us to keep them mentally in the room and participating. Planners are using polling in non-traditional ways such as integrating it into gamification or using polls to roll-play scenarios to see how their audience would react. The most savvy of planners are not only able to keep attendees engaged but actually use their feedback to drive the direction of each session and upcoming discussions. Meetings could scarcely become more relevant than when reacting to the trends and feedback discovered in the room.
Attendee Social Interaction
Through social feeds, mobile apps provide an excellent medium to harness the power of social and create a sense of belonging, culture and connectedness. Conversation walls or social feeds are features within a mobile event app that provide attendees an opportunity to post comments and pictures during your event. Your activity feed works like other mainstream social media apps, and allows the users to like, comment, and follow content that they find interesting. Users can engage with each other, your vendors, and your event activities within the secure confines of your event app. Event attendees can engage and build a rapport through social feeds which gives them that enhanced opportunity to truly connect and bring value to each other. Information posted on your activity feed can draw attention to the speakers, content, and activities your event has to offer. This engagement is a great opportunity for your sponsors as it can drive awareness and facilitate connections with a broader audience. When attendees see other app users sharing their experiences, they’ll want to seek out the interesting events they might not have noticed otherwise. I’ll just go ahead and say it – FOMO.
Push notifications present a great way to keep attendees in the know with the most up-to-date information, keep them engaged and can even help to generate revenue. Things like program changes, sponsor messages, special offers and surveys can be pushed out to your entire audience in real-time. Conference planners of 20 years ago would have killed for this functionality! Today, we work in an advancing world where paper agendas and even laptops are becoming old hat at events; attendees are happily reminded about meeting locations, times and session topics through push notifications. Planners can be proactive in controlling the messaging and truly see that impact to event ROI we all seek.
Digital sponsorships are nothing new, they’re just usually implemented in conjunction with other, physical branding opportunities such as brochures or giveaways. A huge advantage of digital sponsorships is that they are optimized for analytics. Recording attendee data is essential for proving ROI and informing any necessary improvements. Digital allows us to arm a sponsorship sales team with the ability to provide engagement data, such as clicks, impressions, comments, or any other relevant actions that attendees may be taking. However, one well-documented drawback for virtual meetings is that they provide a much more limited landscape for sponsor placement. To the rescue comes the mobile event app and the ability to truly provide meaningful sponsor placement, messaging, analytics and survey functionality. If sponsors are a driver of your virtual event programming, it’s a must have!
A mobile app may not be your first thought for a virtual event but it is just as beneficial whether the event is virtual, hybrid or in person. Getting creative with alternate uses for app features that we would normally use at a face to face meeting can be the best way to ensure that your virtual event is just as engaging and an added bonus is all the extra data and reporting that comes along with it!