Top 5 Ways Technology Effects Your Conference Success
Technology is a huge component of successful conferences. For instance, it goes without saying nowadays that attendees expect conference planners to provide reliable internet/wifi access throughout the event. And, device charging stations have become commonplace. But, there are five integral technology components that could make a huge impact on the success of your conference.
1. Automated Registration Check-In
Has your organization invested in conference planning software? Many engagement management systems (EMS) like iMIS and Abila come preloaded with event management applications to manage registration and sponsorships. Partnering your EMS with on-site registration technology will allow registrants to check themselves in using kiosks. This will speed up the check-in process and help to eliminate long lines at the registration desk. Offering touch-screen kiosks with badge printing capabilities would be an added bonus. Services like ExpoLogic offer EMS integration to streamline this process on-site.
2. Track Session Attendees
Take your EMS registration process one step further by implementing bar code technology. Program your attendee badges to print with bar codes. This will allow you to track attendee participation during your conference. Simply place staff or volunteers at all session entrances with scanners. Collecting attendee activity will provide big data for post-event evaluations. You will learn which sessions were more popular as well as demographics of attendees in each session. The data can be used to enhance and personalize attendee experiences in future events. It will also allow you to provide feedback to speakers and sponsors.
3. Attendee Interaction App
Let’s face it; we depend on our mobile devices to get us through our daily business life. From getting from point A to point B in the quickest, most direct route, to selecting lunch stops based on reviews, our phones and tablets are essential in helping us to be more efficient. So, it should go without saying that people expect to have the same capabilities during conferences. An interactive conference app will allow attendees to view session descriptions, speaker bios, schedules and room assignments to plan their own customized schedules. You will also have the ability to send push notifications and announcements throughout your event.
4. Lead Retrieval App for Exhibitors
For conferences with tradeshows, lead retrieval systems for exhibitors are essential. Registration systems, as the ones mentioned in items one and two above, which produce bar codes for name badges, will allow exhibitors to track demographics of the visitors to their booths. Offering lead retrieval technology will encourage exhibitor participation and assist in retaining sponsors for future conferences. Exhibitors need to justify return on investment and streamlining lead collections for closing sales goes a long way to that end.
5. Social Media and Shareable Communication Technology
Marketing your event successfully is essential to its success. Social media marketing begins early in the communication process. From “save the date” communications to eblasts announcing session speakers, remember to make everything “shareable.” The easier it is to “share,” the more likely attendees, sponsors and exhibitors will help you spread the word about your upcoming event. Allocating resources for social media graphics is very important in this day and age. Also, including “share this” links on all electronic communications, will encourage people to post your news to their audiences; multiplying your reach organically.
Another way to extend your event’s visibility via organic social media sharing is by assigning #hashtags to the event and creating physical social media experiences on-site. Some conferences add photo booths for selfies or raffle prizes for “liking”, “sharing,” and/or “retweeting.” The most industry exposure your event gets by word-of-mouth, the more relevant it becomes in the eyes of potential participants.