Unsurprisingly, The Power of Event Data, a recent survey by Cvent and EventMarketer reported 88% of event attendees found technologies improved their onsite event experience.
The report highlights the changing expectation from delegates for a more interactive, digital conference experience. Undoubtedly, today it’s a matter of necessity conference hosts integrate technology into both the planning and staging of their event.
We give you the low down on the technology that can boost your conference to the next level.
Onsite event technology for your conference
The technology that audiences interact with onsite is what makes the largest impact on delegate experience.
So, what are delegates specifically looking for?
A speedy registration process
Seventy-five per cent of attendees nominated technology that sped up the registration process as the most invaluable.
Delegates want a streamlined quick process that minimises the ‘administration’ side of a conference so they can quickly dive into the true value – the program.
Our automated name badge system allows for delegates to directly collect their name badge with minimal fuss. It can also quickly cater for last minute changes to delegate information that all too often happens close to a conference commencing.
75% nominated technology that sped up the registration process as the most invaluable.
Learning, sharing and networking opportunities
Following on from a fast registration process, attendees favoured event technology that:
- Fosters better learning (44%)
- Captures content they can share with their professional networks (41%)
- Sets up meetings with exhibitors, partners and fellow attendees (40%)
- Facilitates meetings with fellow attendees (37%)
- Creates a fun and entertaining environment (19%)
This is where a tailored conference app is ideal.
Darren Edwards, Director at Invisage Creative Services, says conference apps are in high demand and provide an advantage that no other event-industry technology can offer.
“Native Event apps are rapidly becoming the tool of choice and can deliver content and engage your audience well beyond the walls of the event. Now, it’s entirely possible to build an attendee experience around the benefits – utility, connection and recognition – afforded by mobile devices,” says Darren
These days you can tailor a conference app specifically to your event. Here are the five things – outside of the event agenda – attendees rate as the most valuable on an event app:
- Exhibitor profiles
- Attendee messaging and networking
- Attendee profiles
- Speaker profiles
- Maps and floor plans
The cost saving and engaging benefits of conference apps for hosts are also vast including e-posters, live polling and real-time evaluation capabilities.
Conference apps are in high demand and provide an advantage that no other event-industry technology can offer.
Pre and Post Conference Technology
Of course, while onsite technology takes more centre stage, the technology used in the lead up to and post-event still has a large impact on conference experience.
People are so adept at navigating the digital world, they’ve clear expectations for all online interactions. Fail to meet this and you fail to build a best first impression.
A fast and easy conference introduction
For conferences, the first active event experiences are generally formed during the registration and call for submission stages. Both require technology that:
- is fast and easy to use and navigate
- can securely process payments and protect private information
- allow additional stage editing for users (i.e. second stage submissions or additional registration booking changes)
From a hosts perspective, it’s also important for both software to have full reporting capabilities. This means you will be able to tap into the data for planning and marketing purposes.
We recommend using technology that’s been specifically created for the event industry.
Easy, clear and regular communications
Okay, email is certainly not a new technology by any stretch of the imagination. But with 94% of event attendees viewing emails as the prime source of information prior to the event – it sure is an important one.
Through smart, strategic email communications you can build the profile of your event and fulfil attendee expectations.
With email software, such as MailChimp or iConnect, you can easily tap into in-built templates, segment your communications and utilise the valuable data capabilities.
A working, well-planned website
Okay not another surprise, but at 77%, websites quickly follow emails as the next relevant source of information for attendees.
Just like emails, a modern, well planned and informative website forms part of the overall conference experience. At a minimum your conference website should:
- be a modern, professional looking website that effectively represents your conference brand
- be fast, responsive and easy to navigate
- clearly communicate key event information such as key dates, location, program and FAWs
- be continually updated with relevant information
- ensure all relevant links work – such as registration and call for submissions
A social experience
Interestingly, The Power of Event Data report found attendees tap into different event social media channels both prior to an event and onsite.
In the lead up to an event, attendees are most likely to use LinkedIn (96%) followed by Facebook (93%) and YouTube (79%).
At the event, attendees prefer using Twitter (81%), Facebook (71%) and Instagram (70%).
This is invaluable data for the creation of event marketing plans aimed at reaching audiences and creating engagement.
Dedicated event social media groups are a great way to extend networking opportunities and maintain communication with your target audience for annual events. At the event, social media such as Twitter can be used to encourage engagement and event promotion.
Dedicated event social media groups are a great way to extend networking opportunities and maintain communication with your target audience for annual events.
In addition to improving the delegate experience, the data analytics afforded from each of the above technologies is an invaluable tool for organisers.
Results can be used for planning future events, event evaluation, current and future marketing, sponsorship strategies and so on.
By seamlessly integrating technology into each stage of your conference, you’ll be boosting the conference experience for all involved.