5 Ways Tech Will Save Your Event
There are some combos just meant to be together: peanut butter and jelly, mac and cheese, cookies and milk…and events and technology?
OK, so maybe events and technology aren’t the first things that come to mind when talking about fab duos.
But the truth is, technology is a vital component of the entire event services spectrum, from event marketing and sales to logistics and execution.
Let’s say your afternoon caffeine fix spills all over your binder, ruining all of your paper documentation. Rather than going into a full-fledged panic mode, technology enables all of your event information to be available digitally and at your fingertips wherever you might need it – saving you from starting your event planning from scratch and stress overload.
The right technologies can:
- Offer valuable insights into what your audiences crave to deliver a more meaningful event experience
- Improve collaboration and ensure your entire team works together in harmony without duplicating efforts
- Reduce stress and time spent planning and managing events so the focus is on accomplishing priority goals
- Provide measurable results to demonstrate to stakeholders the value of your event
Here are five ways technology can be used to save your event from turning into a #fail.
Social media has made it much easier for people to voice their opinion on just about everything and anything. This makes it a powerful technology tool for planners to gain insight into what people think and use that information to tailor and shape event experiences.
Planners can get the pulse of audiences through:
- Social Media – Keep abreast of important careabouts or trending topics simply by joining and participating in several social media groups your audiences are members of.
- BuzzSumo – The gold standard – and free – online tool for finding popular topics or themes people are talking about.
- Polling – Whether it’s a simple Facebook or Twitter poll, or a more in-depth, branching electronic survey, planners can quickly gather insights and feedback on a variety of topics.
- Crowdsourcing – Wondering what keynote to book, discussion topics to include or venue to choose? Get input and ideas from a large group of people quickly and easily through crowdsourcing technology like SharedXP Events.
There are tons of moving pieces when it comes to your event’s physical design – from deciding floorplans and seating arrangements to keeping track of the latest files and deadlines. In addition using AllSeated’s digital planning tools, most planners we know swear by project management tools, like Trello, Basecamp, Asana or AirTable, to manage every process step and to-do list. Another way to save your sanity is to keep all files centrally located in a cloud-based asset storage platform, like Google Drive or DropBox, so they can be accessed anywhere, by anyone.
First impressions matter – and that starts with event registration. Technology tools support everything registration-related, including designing and sending branded, professional-looking email invitations, managing RSVPs and guest lists, and even facilitating the on-site check-in process and name badge printing. Technology also eliminates the stress of managing VIP experiences, like coordinating the endless, yet important tasks and to-dos surrounding arrivals, ticketing, logistics, special event attendance sign-up and tracking and more.
Keep event attendees engaged through technology-based engagement activations. For example, many planners are turning to VR and AR to enhance the event experience. Through VR technology, planners can now “see” a venue before it’s even booked. AR can add digital overlays and effects for guests to interact with – whether that’s a fun event-specific SnapChat Filter or AR-enhanced décor that reveals surprise elements.
Planners also tap technology to enhance the event experience, including digital selfie souvenirs, games and scavenger hunts, social display walls, and networking and braindating,
There are so many data points to collect in and around an event, from individual and aggregate information about attendee profile data to traffic flow and density to feedback and evaluations. Thankfully, technology makes it easier to collect, tabulate and even identify patterns or trends in real-time so adjustments can be made on the fly.
For example, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) wearable beacons and RFID-enabled badges help planners understand attendees’ movements, areas of interest and potential overflow needs. This dwell time information is also valuable to exhibitors or sponsors to quantify the impact of their investment.
And of course, surveys have long been key for gathering feedback. But thanks to technology, it’s now as easy as a simple link sent through an event mobile app push notification to get immediate feedback on sessions, topics or other event details like the room temperature or food and beverage service. A big benefit so planners can address issues while there is still time to do so, compared to receiving that information post-event when nothing could be done.
By embracing event technology in any or all of these areas, you’ll be well on your way to saving your event from preventable slip-ups.
What are your MUST-HAVE tech tools?