In a world where the average human attention spans is about as short as a goldfish’s, event organizers are now more hard-pressed than ever to compete for people’s attention. And it’s no longer enough to just grab people’s attention during your event. You also need to do it before and even after your event.
Besides social media, innovative technology can play a critical role in ensuring the success of your events. Here are 6 ideas on using technology effectively to boost event attendance and keep your participants engaged throughout all phases of your events.
1. Simplify the Registration Process
Let’s face it. Most people don’t enjoy the registration part of joining events. It’s slow, tedious, and for many people, unnecessary. But for organizers, event registration plays an important role in gathering attendee data, so you can’t exactly do away with it.
What you can do however, is simplify the process. Fortunately, there are several ways to streamline event registration. For starters, you can stick to asking as little information from registrants as possible, which should prevent people from walking away before submitting the registration form. Event software solutions can also help you hit two birds with one stone. If you have a feature-rich app for your event, you can course registration on this platform by asking contact information before it can be used—an email address and/or phone number should be a great place to start.
2. Consider the Value of an Event App
In the old days, you could get away with a simple website for your conference or exhibition. That’s no longer the case today, as event attendees are constantly attached to their smartphones throughout events, even long after they end.
Event apps allow you to:
- Build interest before the event
- Engage attendees and facilitate interaction during the actual event itself
- Keep in touch with attendees in the weeks that follow with photo and video uploads of the event
- Schedule meetings between attendees
- Provide easy access to important event information
If you're considering a custom app for your next event, take a few ideas from these feature-rich event apps.
3. Use Effective Lighting to Draw Attention to Important Spaces
It’s such a basic strategy, but the right lighting can be one of the most effective ways to make a great impression on your event attendees. Whether it’s for decorative purposes or to draw attention to attractions like stages and exhibits, light can guide people to focal points at your event, all while helping support your brand image and creating the ambience and theme you want.
Before your next event, consider getting a lighting specialist to provide mockups of potential lighting setups. Consider using different colors and lighting intensities, which will have an impact on your attendees’ mood. Think of what effect you want your light to have.
- Is it to raise productivity? If so, blue or cool light should work best.
- Is it to boost energy and interaction? Go with bright red light.
4. Encourage Live Streaming
Don’t forget that some people who are genuinely interested in your event might not be able to make it on the day of. Offering a live steam of what’s happening allows you to engage these people remotely, nurturing interest for your next event.
The good news is that live streaming apps are already widely used. Apps like Periscope, Meerkat, and even Snapchat, Facebook (Live), and Instagram allows users to livestream pretty much everything about their lives from their mobile devices. In last year’s SXSW, Meerkat was arguably the most popular app used by people to livestream their event experience. Likewise, the app was a hit at last year’s Mobile World Congress.
5. Take Advantage of Wearables
While wearable tech like Google Glass and the Apple Watch may seem like the domain of early adopters, being friendly with these gadgets is a great way to show that you're ahead of the curve and want to reach out to tech-savvy attendees.
Event apps can be designed to integrate seamlessly with these devices, showing event information, as well as links to event photos and videos for quick viewing on wearables. These devices can also be used to analyze your attendees’ media consumption habits—useful for providing targeted content in the future.
No matter how you look at it, being friendly with wearables should create a solid impression of your brand as an organizer.
6. Engage Attendees with Interactive Exhibits and Booths
Although business might be the main reason for many people to attend events, that doesn’t mean you should settle for a tame and boring event experience. Attendee engagement is the name of the game here, so you need to make sure interest in your event remains high throughout the entire occasion. You can get creative by using high-tech interactive games and activities, which can also be branded (by exhibitors or sponsors) to have a promotional purpose.
A few ideas for interactive exhibits and booths include:
- Photo Booths – They may not be a new gimmick, but photo booths still have a way of engaging audiences like no other. It’s probably the novelty of printed photos, or perhaps the opportunity it gives for socialization that makes them so popular—either way, make your photo booth exciting with props and other interactive features
- Trivia Booths – Be sure to include trivia questions related to your industry or event theme. You can even reward game winners with a redeemable gift at your information desk.
- Concierge Kiosks – Concierge or information kiosks should serve as a hub for all information related to your event. Include floor maps, relevant exhibits, schedule of activities, and a list of guest speakers.
When thinking of technology to use in your event, try to place yourself in the shoes of your attendees. What tech will most likely see the most use? What tech will most people consider too gimmicky?
The digital age and era of the Internet of things is clearly upon us. Show your guests that your company embraces new technologies by incorporating these ideas into your events. Remember, the purpose of using tech is to increase engagement, so always put the needs of your attendees first. The rest should then follow.
Written by: Tabitha Naylor
With over 20 years of experience in the event industry we firmly believe that great, usable data is the first strong step in creating an unforgettable, engaging experience for all attendees. If you have questions about collecting, analyzing and using event data click below to chat with one of our data specialists absolutely free.