Ask These Four Questions Before Sending a Push Alert to Event Attendees

Posted by Matt Milloway on Jan 27, 2016

Push alerts are powerful tools to reach attendees in real-time. From last minute scheduling changes to promotional sponsor messages, push alerts engage users when it matters most and offer a handful of value-added features meant to further expand the benefits of mobile technology over paper programs. Many event planners, however, fail to maximize the benefits from this service by overlooking important considerations regarding timing, context, and more. 

How Timely is the Information? 

Attendees who get inundated with push alerts quickly turn their notifications off or simply stop following updates. Reconsider the timeliness of each message’s subject matter. While it’s okay to occasionally notify users of evergreen information, it’s best to keep notifications around the event itself to topics like room changes, speaker additions, or sponsor messages tied to a giveaway or booth promotion. Overly promoting next year’s event or something else that can wait might backfire; make content relevant and attendees will be eagerly awaiting the next alert.       

Should the Message Direct Users Somewhere?

General push notifications work in many instances, but utilizing a direct link inside of the alert to send attendees directly to particular content in the mobile app is almost always preferred. Alerting everyone to a room change? Link the session detail page in the alert so users can get all of the information they need like duration of the session and relevant speakers. The same holds true for content such as sponsor and exhibitor messages; link push alerts directly to the company’s page directly in the app.

When is the Message Being Sent?

The addition of scheduled push notifications greatly eases the pressure for event planners and organizers who no longer need to be in front of a computer at the time an alert needs to be sent. Yet a game plan still needs to be put in place for scheduled alerts to ensure the maximum reach, while being cognizant of people’s time zones. Avoid scheduling a push message for the middle of the night when a soon-to-be attendee’s phone might wake them up with a loud buzz. If a large portion of the attendee base is traveling from a specific country other than where the host is located, make sure the time difference is accounted for the maximize reach. 

Is There a Better Location for the Alert? 

Many event planners and organizers fall into the trap of sending push alerts that are best shared with attendees elsewhere in the mobile app. If the message is too long or not time sensitive, consider adding the alert to a spot in the app labeled news or updates. These blurbs—however long—can be managed in the mobile app’s admin system and serve a secondary purpose of remaining in the app for reference at a later date. Updates warranting more than a quick-hitting push alert are best left in the app for users to view days or even weeks in the future. Consider sending a message as both a push alert and natively in the mobile app for cases where the information applies to both scenarios. 

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