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November 27th, 2014

file9961243010662Corporate events have a purpose. Events may be facilitating business relationships between companies or within companies, they may be promoting products, easing the exchange of ideas, breaking new ground, or celebrating past accomplishments. Whatever the purpose of your business event, it’s extremely likely that you can . . .

Make it Better by Making It a Game

Events can be overwhelming for attendees. Gamification can help your guests cut through the noise and get to the task at hand. Networking games accomplish goals, help attendees relax, and break the ice—all in one! Consider these networking game families as the beginning (or beginning, middle, and end) of your next meeting, trade show exhibit, or corporate event:

  1. Arcade Games—although arcade games may not have an academic reputation, there are many good reasons why they’re so popular. They’re engaging and accessible since the rules are easy to understand and follow, yet they’re compelling and challenging in their own right. They’re also relaxing and exciting—somehow at the same time. Use this to your advantage by offering an arcade game in your event app—you’ll set the mood for fun and help put guests at ease. Be certain to tie game players into a live leaderboard, show player names and profiles, offer prizes relevant to your event, or possibly provide a gamer-tech lounge as ways to pull attendees together into a common experience.
  2. Trivia and Quizzes—trivia night has been popular at restaurants and pubs for years, and for good reasons. This style of gaming takes absolutely NO explanation, so anyone who can read is competition ready. As an extra bonus, quizzes and trivia can cover any topic, so it’s easy to make this gaming educational and relevant. For networking and event purposes, consider personal trivia regarding speakers, company or industry leaders, or team members—such as “Which team member served in the Peace Corps in Mongolia?”—giving interesting topics to start conversations.
  3. Puzzles—although more solitary and less active than other game forms, puzzles appeal strongly to many types of people. Puzzles such as picture scrambles, word games, and code-breaking can still be event-themed. Live leaderboards can display winners by profiles and fastest times, and consider offering prizes at a common gathering area where like-minded people can meet.
  4. Getting-to-Know-You Games—your event comes with a new and fascinating group of people. Traditional icebreaker and introduction games can be run through your app, established as forums, or even hosted the traditional way—in person–with your app sending out the message, “Icebreaker Games in the Green Room at 5pm.”
  5. Quests and Scavenger Hunts—always an excellent and easy way to get people moving, exploring new territory and meeting new people, quests and scavenger hunts can easily get people into the spirit of adventure. For event relevant content, have participants search for facts, clues, or for location-specific iBeacons that offer great networking potential as participants, inevitably, meet other people on “the quest.”

Next week we’ll discuss gamification for team building!

 

November 20th, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASponsorships are a major part of events! As if your event app wasn’t doing enough already—your app provides a number of new and unique sponsorship opportunities that can bring in advertisers and their campaign budgets! Consider these options as you look to increase your sponsorship revenue.

App Sponsor – your event app will arguably be the most universally utilized feature of your event. Whether for a conference, a meeting, a corporate event, a trade show or a conference, every attendee, facilitator, speaker, vendor, educator, executive, and exhibitor will use your app for one purpose or another. Therefore, your app sponsorship is prime-time advertising—holding the potential to repeatedly reach the eyes, ears, and minds of every single participant in your event! An app sponsorship comes with high-visibility.

App Page Sponsors – if a single sponsor is willing to adopt the entire app sponsorship—that’s excellent news; however, it may be more profitable to break  the app sponsorship into smaller segments, allowing for more opportunities and a larger profit overall.  App page sponsorships also allow businesses to obtain advertising space and sponsorships that are targeted to their location, their service, or their ideal audience. Furthermore, your mobile event app has opportunities for embedded videos—giving your page sponsors the chance to run promotion and demonstration materials through video.

Game Sponsors – as one of the hottest new trends for improving networking, interaction, engagement and learning, gamification is taking the Event Industry by storm. Delightfully, there are hundreds of ideas for games that can enhance your event—and each game can have its own sponsor!

Branded Kiosk Sponsors – attendees should be able to access your app from their own mobile devices, but it’s an excellent idea to offer registration kiosks and information kiosks as well, and iPad rentals are a popular choice for universally accessing event apps at meetings and conferences. Kiosks and iPads (also cell phone charging stations) have external sponsorship potential in the form of wraps and other branding.

Digital Signage Sponsors – if you’re using interactive touch screens as a way to help distribute valuable information from your event app, this digital signage is another excellent chance to provide sponsorship opportunities. For example, envision a sponsorship for the video wall that is displaying social media activity gathered by your app.

Tech Lounge Sponsors – merge the virtual information and connections provided within your app, with a physical gathering place for accessing the app and having face-to-face networking, and you’ve got a Tech Lounge! Imagine the gratitude attendees will feel for the business that sponsors the comfy chairs, fast WiFi, and cell phone charging stations provided by this ideal app-accessing environment.

This concludes our series on event apps! Hopefully, we’ve helped you navigate through the staggering amount of potential that the technology can provide for your events!

CRE Rentals can provide the iPads, digital signage, interactive kiosks, WiFi arrays, and video wall rentals that can optimize your sponsorship potential! Give us a call today! 877-266-7725

November 13th, 2014

8-03-2We’ve been discussing some of the many ways that event apps can enhance your business event, meeting, trade show and more. This week, we look into the amazing reporting features and capabilities that your app can offer—helping you and your clients determine the overall success and the ROI of your event’s efforts!

Due to the miracle of digital technology, your event app will be able to capture virtually (sorry about the pun) any information that you need. Owing to the vast potential of data collection and the enormous quantity of information that you can receive, it’s best to really ask yourself what information you want. Use data from your event app to guarantee that your events improve year after year.

Your event app can gather nearly any data, but popular options include:

  • Tracking  details—by location, volume, and attendees

  • Attendee profiles—who is attending and why

  • Attendee activity—by time, location, sessions, features

  • Social networking activity—the amount, platform, popular times for posting, hashtags used, and content shared

  • Poll and survey results—you’ve asked; they’ve answered

  • Registration details—overall number of guests, attendee demographics, registration preferences, attendance by day for multiple-day events

  • Lead scanning—detailed information on exhibit visitors and sales leads

  • Document requests—popularity of documents, attendee demographics for downloads

  • Customized analytics—reporting based on the precise data that you want to obtain

  • Engagement reports—popularity of speakers, sessions, meetings, and exhibits

  • Information retention—testing and quizzes measuring attendee learning

  • iBeacon and indoor positioning data—analyzing the overall success of your floor plan and more

  • Attendee satisfaction—the likely rate of return, perception of value for attendees

As a leader in the Event App Industry, QuickMobile released a whitepaper entitled, “Top 10 Insights Revealed by Event App Analytics.” Their own insight into event app usage identified the following categories:

  1. Marketing Effectiveness

  2. Attendee Interests

  3. Participation Levels

  4. Preferred Mobile Platforms

  5. Sponsorship and Advertising ROI

  6. What’s Happening in Real-time

  7. Audience Participation Rates

  8. Amount of Networking

  9. Guidance Needed

  10. Impact of your Incentives

It’s easy to be both amazed and overwhelmed by what event app reporting and analytics can capture and illuminate. Once you recover from the massive amount of possibilities, start browsing through the options and select the data that is most relevant to your goals. Your event will be better for it!

Next week we’ll delve into Sponsorships—some of the ways that you can use your event app to bring in advertising and sponsorship revenue!

CRE Rentals can provide the Audience Response Systems, iPad rentals, and Interactive Kiosks that can help you track attendees and use valuable information to your advantage! Give us a call today! 877-266-7725

November 6th, 2014

file0001755351339We’ve been discussing the remarkable power of event apps. One of the greatest benefits of app technology is the immediate feedback that you’re able to gather from your audience, guests, speakers, and exhibitors! Through the use of questionnaires, surveys, question and answer sessions, forums, ratings systems, and comment requests, you can gather the data that you need to make educated assessments on the successes and shortcomings of your event!

We break the ratings and feedback discussion into two parts, during and after the event.

During the Event

Last week, we discussed how instant messaging can help you tailor the content of your sessions based on real-time comments from your audience. Be certain to allow interactive real-time feedback and questions during any lecture, presentation, training or educational session. Consider using an Audience Response System; the ARS keypads can be used for quizzes, ratings, and other interactive, information-gathering activities. Asking for audience feedback offers several advantages:

1. First, it keeps attendees actively engaged and listening, because they know that they’ll be called upon to participate.

2. Second, it’s an excellent, easy way to gauge how well your audience understands your material—the feedback helps ensure that the material is clear.

3. Third, most audiences contain a significant portion of introverts—these guests are unlikely to stop a presentation in its tracks with questions, or to go out of their way to offer knowledge and opinions that might enhance the session. Create an easy, streamlined way for attendees to contribute and collaborate by allowing real-time feedback, comments, and questions during sessions! Consider using the following techniques to promote open discussions regarding your event:

  • Live session comments
  • Voting
  • Q&A
  • Live commitment
  • Open space
  • Interactive forecasting

After the Event

Once your event is concluded, it’s the perfect time to ask your attendees for their thoughts, concerns, compliments, and advice on the event as a whole—as well as their ideas on what they’d like to see in future events.  As you construct your surveys, consider the following five suggestions:

  1. Keep your questions short and to the point. Even the most enthusiastic attendee has a limited amount of time to donate. Craft a survey that gets the information you need—quickly.
  2. Ask yourself what you need to know. Since the general patience for surveys is limited, focus on the information that is most vital and design a survey that gets data on those points.
  3. Avoid neutral options. If the majority of your attendees “neither agree nor disagree”—what have you actually learned? Offer answers that give YOU answers.
  4. Encourage real thoughts. Why does a participant “strongly disagree”? Provide an area for open comments and encourage attendees to voice the reasons behind strong feelings.
  5. Use incentives. If you need more advanced feedback, be prepared to offer something tangible in exchange for the time attendees donate to your questionnaire.

Next week we’ll delve into Reporting and ROI—some of the ways that you can use data from your event app to guarantee that your events improve year after year!

CRE Rentals can provide the audience response systems, iPad rentals, and touch screen rentals that can help you gather and display the interactive material gathered from your attendees! Give us a call today! 877-266-7725

 

 

October 28th, 2014

file000282826464We’ve been discussing the vast potential of event apps. Moving forward, we examine another remarkable benefit of this modern day event innovation—real time communication for attendees. In this day and age, we’re used to instant messaging; however, an event app can use instant contact to take your networking, event planning, scheduling, feedback, sessions, and social media to a higher level. Let’s look at all the ways that your event app can instantly connect and facilitate!

  • Individual notifications – one of the simplest ways that your event app can make life easier for your attendees is through individual notifications. These messages can help keep attendees on top of their personalized agenda, meetings, sessions, conversations and more. The world is a happier, less-stressful place when we know that we have an electronic assistant backing us up with gentle reminders about our commitments!
  • Virtual help desk – allow attendees to instantly get assistance from the event organizing staff! Rather than letting guests flounder in uncertainty or hunt through online resources—set up a clear, instant channel that allows your attendees to quickly ask questions from those in-the-know, and then get back to the business at hand.
  • Instant messaging – event networking and scheduling is infinitely easier with direct and instant messaging between attendees. If your event is about connecting people and businesses, allowing them to instantly contact other event participants is a clear winner. Your event app should offer attendees a chance to connect through their event specific profiles, eliminating the need for individuals’ emails and phone numbers to be exchanged prematurely.
  • Group messaging – one step sideways from instant messaging is group messaging—facilitating communication and conversation, while also promoting team-building and communities. This is also a great way to encourage (our next point) brainstorming.
  • Brainstorming and crowdsourcing – if your conference or meeting is looking to solve problems and move projects forward, brainstorming and crowdsourcing are excellent methods for gathering information and insight across a broad collection of experts and innovators. These can be the tools that let your event app help develop the next great idea!
  • Presentation customization – if your business goals revolve around decision-making, if you’re interested in gathering ideas from session attendees, or maybe you’d like to increase interest in your trade show booth or product line, using real-time communication for gathering ideas and content can give you instant material on which to base customized presentations. Instant messaging can be used to help tailor your presentation, AS YOU GIVE IT, to suit your audience precisely.
  • Question and answer sessions – at the end of a lecture or presentation, let your event app facilitate a truly helpful question and answer session—one that allows information and ideas to be exchanged freely.

Next week we’ll delve into ratings and feedback—some of the ways that you can use data from your event app to guarantee that your events improve year after year!

CRE Rentals can provide the iPad rentals, WiFi booster, digital signage, and laptops that can engage attendees and boost ROI! Give us a call today! 877-266-7725

October 23rd, 2014

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Moving into the eighth part of this series on event apps, we’ll look at ways to truly impress your guests with suggestions that utilize apps to personalize an experience just for them! Although your event app has thoroughly covered organization, personalization takes it to a new level; these options and suggestions are about MORE than just keeping tabs on the schedule.  Consider the following possibilities for creating an event app that feels (and IS) uniquely tailored for each attendee.

  • Create your own custom schedule – each attendee is participating in the same event; however, each attendee will have a different experience. That experience begins with the unique goals they bring to the conference, meeting, or trade show. Whether they’re exhibiting, speaking, networking, researching, reporting, or problem-solving, every attendee sees your event through the lens of their individual perspective. They need ways to boil potential activities down to a concentrated form which filters out the most relevant opportunities for them—a custom schedule that provides them with an individualized view of event info!
  • Personalized agendas – for meetings, sessions, and conferences, integrating personalized agendas into your event app is an excellent way to help increase productivity, providing attendees with precisely the information they need to ensure that they’re prepared, before and during sessions.
  • Customized landing pages – customized landing pages help set the tone for your event. Use landing pages to kick off each day of an event or to put the focus on different facets of your event’s mission. Customized landed pages are also an excellent opportunity for sponsorships!
  • Personalized bookmarks – we’re all familiar with bookmarks. Within the context of your event app, personalized bookmarks are an invaluable tool for allowing attendees to keep tabs on the ideas, sessions, documents, forums, speakers, and fellow attendees that are most useful to them.
  • Customized private meeting scheduling – even without an event app, it’s not difficult to arrange a private meeting with someone; however, a good event app should make it possible to arrange private meeting scheduling with the touch of a button. Ideally, attendees will receive a customized list of potential networking contacts, select a fellow attendee with whom they’d like to meet, set a time and receive confirmation, and—most importantly—be given a private meeting room onsite. All of these things can happen through the convenience of your event app—customized for them.

Continuing with this series, we’ll discuss the miraculous ways that your event app can keep every guest, visitor, exhibitor, and attendee instantly updated. Next week—How to Succeed with Event Apps—Part Nine: The Power of Real-Time.”

CRE has digital signage, touch screen kiosks, iPad rentals, laptops, and other event technology that can help you produce a truly stunning event! Give us a call today! 877-266-7725

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 17th, 2014

file0001325346094In the seventh part of this series on event apps, we’ll continue examining the social networking options that can enhance your app. Studies show that many event attendees choose to return to business events year after year because of the chance to renew social connections they’ve formed with colleagues. Clearly, social networking benefits an event on multiple levels by helping businesses, helping attendees, and self-promoting the event itself—increasing attendance for the future.

In our previous post, we discussed LinkedIn, personalized lists, social sharing, Twitter conversations, and meeting scheduling. Moving forward with more options, consider the following possibilities:

  • Forums – forums are a wonderful opportunity for allowing easy communication. Whether your forums are digital meet-and-greets, problem-solving, or brainstorming sessions, they’re an excellent way to start conversations and gauge the feel of the crowd—or the industry!
  • Facilitated Follow-through – your exhibitors and attendees need to take their contacts to the next level. Check to see if your app allows easy integration with Customer Relationship Management tools.
  • Community Wall – social sharing is very valuable when you present it on a community wall. If your attendees and exhibitors extend their social media mentions outside the realm of your event, this certainly helps spread the scope of your event marketing to new and potentially valuable territory; however, there’s a lot to be said for ensuring that you have a great running feed of ideas, comments, experiences, and memories populating a community wall dedicated to the event itself. What better way to present the lively culture that you’ve created?
  • Team Building – depending on the type of event, team building may be part of your mission. If this is the case, the social networking in your event app can be tailored to bring groups together for meetings, content, games, and sessions that are specifically for them.
  • Networking Games – in the future, we’ll run an entire series devoted to the vast and rapidly expanding world of networking games! For the purposes of this series, remember that games have always been a way of bringing people together for fun. In fact, games have been a part of human social networking and interaction . . . most likely since the time of cave paintings. Feel free to read our article, Gamification for Events, giving more detail on the amazing benefits that gamification is having on corporate culture and events!
  • Year-round Engagement – catching up with friends and colleagues is one of the benefits of attending events and conferences. If your event app allows attendees to forge strong new business contacts, you’re much more likely to see increased attendance time after time!

Next week we’ll discuss how to really impress your attendees, in the post, How to Succeed with Event Apps—Part Eight: Personalization.”

CRE has all the technology that you need to make your business event successful! Our Digital Signage, Touch Screen rentals, Interactive Kiosks , iPads and iPad minis can enhance your event and increase your app adoption rate. Give us a call today! 877-266-7725

 

 

October 9th, 2014

networkIn the sixth part of this series on event apps, we’ll discuss one of the mainstays of the modern app—Social Networking. Certainly, if there’s one thing that technology has advanced and encouraged for us, it’s our ability to be “connected”; event apps are no different. However, the social networking that happens at business events is, in many ways, more important than the everyday round of “Likes” and “Plus Ones” that we do in our personal digital socializing. Social networking in the business world can mean a difference of millions of dollars in sales and revenue. Undoubtedly, an event app needs a particular kind of format—one that keeps the focus on the business at hand!

Ideally, the social networking features of your app will collect and distribute valuable information—information that allows your attendees to bypass all the basic details and helps them connect with the right people—knowing names, knowing faces, knowing companies, and getting straight into productive meetings.

What social networking opportunities can a good event app provide?

  • Advanced LinkedIn – LinkedIn has risen to the surface as THE social networking site for our professional lives. With its focus on our work, job skills, education, achievements, and contacts, it is the perfect foundation for event networking. The best event apps utilize the extensive information on attendees’ LinkedIn profiles—providing the most complete data, while also saving guests the tedious task of re-entering their information for a single event profile.  A LinkedIn connection adds the extra benefits of importing their professional profile photo and syncing their professional contacts.
  • Personalized Lists – happily, gone are the days when event attendees needed to wander the floors, scrambling to read name tags. A good event app will immediately help attendees locate similar and complimentary guests, exhibitors, sponsors, and speakers.
  • Social Sharing – your app should allow your guests to share their thoughts freely in the form of comments, posts, photos, and tweets. Let these streams-of-consciousness be shared within a special feed dedicated to the event, as well as whatever external social media platform(s) your guests prefer. (TIP: a video wall is an excellent place to display social media activity!)
  • Twitter Conversations – let your app ease communication by making it simple to connect with other attendees through Twitter.
  • Meeting Scheduling – your event may be designed for meetings to occur in general sessions, but if possible, allow direct meeting scheduling between guests. Your app is the most direct way for guests to identify important contacts and schedule meetings.

Stay tuned as we continue with this topic—How to Succeed with Event Apps—Part Seven: More Social Networking!”

CRE has the iPad rentals, laptops, digital signage, and Interactive Kiosks that can enhance your event and increase your app adoption rate. Give us a call today! 877-266-7725

 

 

 

 

 

October 2nd, 2014

colored paperYour attendees have stepped through the door with your event app guiding them along their route. Now that they’ve arrived, they’re ready to begin information sharing and networking—the reasons they came to the event. However, a trade show, exposition, conference, or meeting is a whirlwind of activity and information. A well-designed event app helps event attendees organize all of the information and potential of a business event.

After maps and wayfinding, the next stage of organization for your event app should revolve around the agenda and scheduling. Your attendees may be asking themselves the following questions that your event app can answer:

  • Which speakers are most exciting?
  • Which breakout sessions would I find most helpful?
  • Which exhibitors are most relevant to me?

You event app should have a searchable agenda with detailed information on the meetings, speakers, presentations, demonstrations, sessions, and exhibitors. Attendees should be able to:

  1. easily search through opportunities
  2. select the options that interest them the most
  3. quickly access exhibitor and speaker pages that help them decide which sessions to attend
  4. move information on that session into their personal schedule
  5. receive reminders and wayfinding information specific to their selections
  6. access session presentation slides, speaker notes, and documents related to the sessions

For additional organizational support, your app can provide:

  • Documents and abstracts – if the goal of any business event is to facilitate networking and information-sharing, then your app should allow attendees to easily gather the materials they need on the sessions they’ve attended. Activate document viewing and sharing.
  • Virtual literature – promotional pamphlets and light informational reading can be presented and distributed through connections on the app for speakers, sessions, services and exhibitors.
  • Notes and note taking – present note taking and voice recording options that allow attendees to capture important ideas or comments on sessions they attend.
  • To-Do lists – allow list-making to help attendees accomplish their goals.
  • Personal online briefcase – this service allows attendees quick and easy access to the relevant information that they would like to distribute about themselves and their business.
  • Registration, check-ins and ticketing – from event registration to session check-ins, your event app needs to gather attendee information and collect data on floor tracking. Use your app to facilitate this detail for attendees so that you can provide detailed data for your clients.
  • Reservations – room booking and sponsored suite reservations are an excellent additional service.
  • Table arrangements – make this step easier on yourself, your staff, and your guests. Let everyone know where they “stand” with seating.
  • Translation services – a quick translation service or multiple language app may be useful depending on your industry and event location.
  • Multiple events – if you’re lucky enough to have regular events and repeat visitors, your app should immediately connect them with information about your events—past, present, and future.
  • Lead retrieval – for both attendees and exhibitors, gathering information on potential business leads is critical!

Stay tuned to this series! Next week—How to Succeed with Event Apps—Part Six: Social Networking.”

CRE has Event Production Technology and the latest hardware to support your business event. Whether you need iPads rentals, Charging Stations or Interactive Kiosks, give us a call today! 877-266-7725

September 25th, 2014

In the fourth part of this series on event apps, we’ll discuss the foundation of wayfinding. Your event attendees are guests, many of whom are new to your conference, meeting, or trade show venue. From the moment your attendees leave their home or office, your event app should be in place—showing them the path directly to your registration desk.

Pre-Event Wayfinding

Hopefully, your event app has been live and active FAR before your event occurs. If so, you’re in the position to help guide your attendees as they make their own travel and accommodation plans. Consider building the following local and map w glassregional information into your app, providing extra convenience and allowing your guests to build a better overall experience:

  • Detailed hotel options with easy reservations
  • Local restaurant choices
  • Supplemental services such as dry cleaning, printing, and office supplies
  • Shopping for recreation or last minute personal items
  • Local attractions for after hours, sight-seeing, or places of interest
  • Weather
  • Local airports, travel, and flight information
  • Parking
  • Public transportation

On-Site Wayfinding

As soon as your guests reach the venue, they should receive detailed on-sight navigation information, such as highly interactive venue or trade show floor maps. These maps should have searching and zooming capabilities, links for speaker profiles and exhibitor pages—helping your attendees navigate the venue itself and obtain the services and sessions that they need. Your interactive maps can contain any or all of the following options:

  • Interactive floor plans
  • Interactive check-ins
  • Venue maps
  • Registration location and information
  • Sponsors
  • Location and scheduling for sessions
  • Exhibitor pages
  • Booth types
  • Speaker profiles
  • Searching, zooming, and printing

Explore the full potential of interactive show mapping with these two services:

  • MapYourShow – The interactive floor plan and integrated directory are the meat and potatoes of this event mapping service—assisting you with management, sponsorships, floor plan creation, exhibition, and attendance.
  • ExpoRep – Beginning with your map, this service rebuilds it using their software—creating an interactive map from nearly any file type. They add your branding, provide training, and offer tools to manage inventory. Their maps provide access to full exhibitor profiles, searching, booth types, availability, registration, and sponsors. They can also include documents or additional relevant links, such as exhibitor contracts and important show information.

Stay tuned to this series! Next week—How to Succeed with Event Apps—Part Five: Organization.”

CRE has Event Production Technology and the latest hardware to support your event app. Whether you need iPads, laptops, digital signage, or Interactive Kiosks, give us a call today! 877-266-7725

 

 

 

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