Best Event Industry Articles: Volume 5

Posted by Matt Milloway on Oct 23, 2015

AppBurst’s “Best Event Industry Articles” series aims to share insight related to the event industry from around the internet with a focus on mobile technology. Content sources range from event industry-specific blogs to major technology websites and everything in between. Along with original Apps For Events blog posts, we hope these summaries serve to better educate our readers on mobile technology and the many benefits of event apps.

Volume 5 articles come from Event Manager Blog, Velvet Chainsaw, and TSNN.

Conferences Need to Better Serve Attendee ROI

Most event hosts consider their own ROI from sponsorships, registration fees, and so forth before emphasizing the benefits of attendees. Jeff Hurt on Velvet Chainsaw Consulting rightly believes the future conference, however, is all about increasing the ROI for attendees:

Actually, the fundamental job of future conferences is threefold: To facilitate and guide the social process of attendee’s learning, [to] help paying attendees remember their new learning and [to] assist attendees in the application of that learning on the job. It’s only when the three steps above occur that the attendee’s ROI increases. And then that attendee is willing to return to your event.” (Read Article)

All three of Jeff’s points are addressed by mobile event apps:

Users of mobile event apps enjoy interaction with other attendees and colleagues via social media, contact directories, and push messages—all of which facilitate the process of learning and urging attendees to not only access the right content, but interact and collaborate to engage in event material.

The ability to integrate news feeds, webinars, and PDF documents (e.g. abstracts, presentations, and white papers) into a mobile app gives attendees a database of content to access back on the job.

Common Trade Show Mistakes

From not emphasizing research to focusing on quantity over quality, a number of missteps can derail the returns from attending an exhibition. Other mistakes to avoid are greatly mitigated by utilizing a mobile event app. One example is the effective integration of popular social media networks to connect with others at the event; attendees are given everything they need in one convenient spot.

Connect with people on Twitter and Facebook that you spoke with so that after the trade show, they’ll continue to hear about your company. You can also use it to connect with people that you might not have had a chance to meet at your booth. Use LinkedIn after the trade show to connect with people in a more professional manner.” (Read Article)

Leads are also “probably the biggest mistake you can make. You spend time and money at a trade show to try to collect leads to increase sales, it doesn’t make sense to not use the most valuable information you collected to your advantage. Send your leads a personal message immediately following the trade show to remind them of who you are.” The idea of communication—or the lack thereof—is a must-have at trade shows and mobile apps cover both social media and direct communication.

Questions to Ask at Event Registration

A guest post on Event Manager Blog emphasizes the importance of registration to gather details and highlights 10 questions to ask attendees; topics range from basics like payment and roommate information to allergies and emergency contacts. The article also notes that social media handles should be acquired:

Research what’s being talked about on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn — and refine your social media strategy, push conference information to the right audience, and build excitement before the event (e.g. posting teaser videos from presenters or exhibitors).” (Read Article)

Acquiring information from attendees and utilizing social media can be greatly aided by a mobile event app. Consider asking for information in a pre-event survey located in the event app; details can be gathered in a content management system for easy access at any time. Sending information to the right audience and building excitement before the event—even using the specific example of a teaser video—is perfect for an event app. Consider an opening splash video as a teaser and utilize attendee user authentication to segment content and give information tailored to specific attendees.

Debriefing Your Event

Reflecting on events after the big weekend is vital to improve and evolve the meeting or conference in years to come. Understanding how to go about the internal debriefing process is just as important. On one hand, the success (and failures) of planning the event from an internal standpoint is important to improve efficiency in subsequent years; this type of debrief focuses on the back-end. The attendee experience and levels of engagement during the event is also important and considered the front-end:

Front end debriefs can take the form of a live Q+A session at the event, short surveys that are integrated with an event app that ask for feedback after each session, a longer survey sent out post event, an email or social media campaign asking for feedback in an inventive way, or even in a little research, where you see what attendees are saying about their experience at your event on various online channels.” (Read Article)

Mobile event apps enable planners and organizers to accomplish every suggestion for front-end debriefs. From live polling and integrated surveys to emailing attendees directly in the app and integrating social media, event apps engage attendees and generate tangible information for improving the event experience.

To learn about AppBurst's mobile event apps and to speak with a representative: