It’s no secret that engagement at events is crucial to its overall success, and that technology often facilitates that engagement. Event planners today have a plethora of onsite technologies to choose from: event mobile apps, social walls, virtual reality, augmented reality, and wearable technology, just to name a few.
But no matter the technology you choose to increase engagement, the general rule is that it should enhance the attendee experience, and not be a distraction. To guarantee that outcome, it’s important to set the foundation for your onsite technology to thrive and for attendees’ engagement experiences to have a lasting impression.
Invest in Wi-Fi support and back up plans
Technology often relies on Wi-Fi, which is not always reliable and consistent within a hotel or convention center. It’s important that event planners have backup options in case Wi-Fi is not always up and running; or not rely on hotel/venue Wi-Fi all together by investing in its own network. If cost is an issue, consider sponsoring your Wi-Fi service or deploying mobile hot spots close to your onsite technology.
Technology can be new for some attendees, so it’s critical to educate them on how to use it to enhance their experience. Onboarding and technology demos should be fun, interactive, and quick, so that attendees can start taking full advantage of their new powers. If you’re engaging via a mobile app, consider a short how-to/guide video on your digital signage showcasing its notable features. If you showcase something like virtual or augmented reality technology, have someone be there to answer questions or explain how it works. It also may be helpful to send pre-event emails and notifications to attendees to alert them of the new and exciting technology you’re featuring, as well as links to more information and how-tos.
Look for Technology that Can Track Data
Events today are all about how to leverage data for the overall event and marketing strategy rather than execution for one event. Data has been collected in a very rudimentary way for events and in the past it has been every difficult to understand. Now with event analytics platforms such as LOOPD Analytics, event planners can understand what actions they should do to improve their event in terms of engagement. By using event mobile apps and wearable technology, event planners can receive digital and physical metrics that will help them evaluate the true health of their event in real-time. Engagement is full of rich data and event planners should work with the rest of their marketing team to use this data to power future campaigns after the event.
Elevate the Human Experience
When it comes to event engagement, most attendees are specifically looking for new ways to network, learn new best practices, obtain new information and meet new companies and thought leaders. Technology should help attendees know where to go, when to go and who to talk to. By having this level of insight, an attendee can make the most of their time, and have the highest quality experiences with each other. Wearable technology such as the LOOPD Badge is a great way to replace the physical business card with an easier and more contextual way to exchange contact information. Technology should always be easy and fun to use. For example, when an attendee using the Loopd Badge to exchange contact information they then receive their new contact in the Loopd App. It’s crucial that hardware seamlessly integrates with software, so that the end-to-end experience is smooth and consistent.
Overall, it’s important for you to go the extra mile to ensure that your onsite technology will work flawlessly when engaging attendees. Event planners should use event technology where it will facilitate more interactions and experiences at every event, which creates a positive and influential memory for each attendee.
Brian Friedman is the co-founder of Loopd and director of product for mobile, data and engagement at Aventri.