Corporate 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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!
We’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
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
We’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
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:
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.
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.
Avoid neutral options. If the majority of your attendees “neither agree nor disagree”—what have you actually learned? Offer answers that give YOU answers.
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.
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
We’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
In 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
Your 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:
easily search through opportunities
select the options that interest them the most
quickly access exhibitor and speaker pages that help them decide which sessions to attend
move information on that session into their personal schedule
receive reminders and wayfinding information specific to their selections
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
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.
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 regional 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
Local airports, travel, and flight information
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
Registration location and information
Location and scheduling for sessions
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.”
In the second part of this series on event apps, we’ll discuss two technological breakthroughs that are revolutionizing the event attendee experience. An event app is a unique tool, custom-designed to provide your attendees with all of the relevant meeting, conference, convention, trade show and information that they could ever want—as well as useful knowledge about the area surrounding the venue. It’s an excellent opportunity to provide services for your event visitors, exhibitors, and sponsors—vital services such as information and networking potential. The success of your event app can GREATLY enhance the overall success of your event!
As you begin development of your app, consider these amazing technological breakthroughs that can open a WORLD of opportunities for engaging attendees.
iBeacons – Apple’s offering in the world of device-based location services, iBeacons are a way to create truly customized content delivery. Unlike GPS, which provides geographic location, beacons are a low-energy indoor proximity system able to detect when a device is within its precise vicinity. Their ability to connect and communicate with devices within range makes them a fantastic tool for interactive experiences! For example, imagine walking up to any piece of artwork in a museum and to have your headset immediately provide information on the piece you’re viewing—without pushing buttons, selecting downloads, finding and opening pamphlets, or matching up exhibit numbers. iBeacons give your visitors a tour guide in their pocket—without the hassle of searching, selecting, and scrolling. Imagine beacons that can personally welcome your visitors and direct them to where they need to go.
Augmented Reality – taking iBeacons one step further is the concept of augmented reality. With augmented reality, sensory input such as sound, video and graphics are connected in real-time with environmental elements. In the case of trade shows, for example, this could mean that iBeacons in the app trigger a presentation of video and directional speakers focused on the exact spot where a visitor is standing! For conventions and trade shows, each exhibitor can custom craft an interactive display of directional speakers, customized lights, and 3D graphics—set to amaze and absorb visitors at their booths.
With these options, you have the opportunity to take your event app off the screen and to integrate it into your visitors’ experience. Business events strive to educate, engage, and incorporate people—with products, services, and with professional networking. An event app strengthened with these interactive technologies is primed to SUCCEED!
In this series, we’ll lead you through the complicated event app decision-making process. Apps are changing the face of event management. Yet, while 60% of Meeting and Event Planners intend to use an event app in the future, a full 40% have not used a meeting app in the past and do not plan to use one anytime soon. Whether you’re a total beginner or just beginning anew, here are some tips to get started with app development.
What do Event Planners want from an event app?
The event app industry is quickly becoming saturated with companies offering everything from customized, full-service development options, down to easy drag-and-click do-it-yourself choices. When you’re navigating through the potential providers, ask yourself how well the app developer is able to handle these top five issues.
1. Control of development—Event Planners are highly organized people and they know the needs and wants of their clients and attendees. On average, Event Planners feel more comfortable when they know that they are a part of the event app creation process, every step of the way. Playing a large role in the development process provides two main benefits. First, it helps Event Planners do what they do best—look for potential issues and solve problems. Second, it ensures that the Event Planners themselves are thoroughly knowledgeable about how the app is designed and the features that it offers—since they were fully participating in development.
2. Customized look—Event Planners know that logos and branding are extremely important to their clients. If an event app is customized in its function but it fails to incorporate the unique branding of the event or the corporate sponsor, then it has only completed half of its purpose. Corporate events exist to extend the reach and increase the visibility of a business. An event app must clearly reflect the contribution of the business responsible for its development.
3. Easily updated content—Event Planners are not software engineers. They need assistance setting the framework and foundation of an expert app, but they must be able to take control of the content. One of the main benefits of an event app is the possibility of effortless adjustments to schedules, agendas and more. This benefit is lost if the content management portion of the app is not intuitive.
4. Templates—Event Planners love to have their events continue annually and to grow, year after year. For this ideal situation, the ideal event app offers templates, so that the look and feel of the app remains consistent for subsequent events. Once a customized app is created to suit the particular needs of an event, it is an enormous benefit to have that information available for reuse later on.
5. Adaptability—Event Planners know . . . things change. More than just editing and content updating, how easy is it to add or remove the app’s tools and features, if necessary? Can a fresh, new social media content stream be added? Can a gaming or geolocation feature be included? Ensure that the foundation is in place, but also be certain that there is room for adaptation. Each year that the event continues, it’s vital that new tools and technologies can be included
Stay tuned for our next post, “How to Succeed with Event Apps—Part Two: Tech options to Consider.”
Finishing our six-part series on Evernote, we discuss some of the fascinating tools that have been developed specifically for this amazing organizational program. Although Evernote is designed to keep digital and electronic versions of our notes, its designers understood that some people naturally gravitate towards handwritten note-taking—they may even learn, process, and remember items better when they write in their own script. For these “hands-on” individuals, Evernote has the following magical options.
Evernote Business Notebook by Moleskine – THE traditional notebook, now digitally supported for technological convenience. For creative types and those who LOVE handwritten notes, this notebook allows you to JOT, sketch, or create whatever you like, your way, and then use Evernote’s Document Camera to save the images—even easily share your notes with your team. Your handwritten notes are still searchable—Evernote’s powerful search will recognize the text within your handwriting.
7notes – this app for iPad or iPhone allows you to quickly and accurately take notes in your own handwriting and to have those notes recognized, the text captured and synced into your Evernote account using the app’s state-of-the-art handwriting recognition engine. Anyone who, for business or personal reasons, prefers their own handwriting over fonts, texting or typing, will enjoy having the ability to merge the unique personality of their own script with the convenience of Evernote. This is a particularly useful app for classroom note-taking and business meetings, or for times when a keyboard simply isn’t practical.
Jot Script Evernote Edition – if indeed handwritten notes are your tried-and-true method, then certainly the stylus at hand (so to speak) is an important part of the experience. Jot Script is a company that understands what you’re looking for. If you’ve used previous styluses and found them flimsy, clunky, or imprecise, then give this implement a try. It’s designed to allow your handwriting to flow freely, as well as to let your notes flow directly into Evernote.
WritePad – this iPad/iPhone app allows you to write directly on the screen of your device, and it instantly converts your handwritten notes into computer text. Your notes can be synced to Evernote, and also Tweeted, posted to Facebook, emailed, integrated into maps, contacts, printed, exported as PDFs, translated into other languages, and MORE!
Pebble Smartwatch – as our final suggestion, we include a wearable designed to work with Evernote. If hands-on is your style, this offering may be for you. May your thoughts never be further from you . . . than your own wrist.
In conclusion, Apps will continue to develop and be developed—making each step in our lives, each glitch that we experience, easier to overcome. As we move into the future, we hope that technology will continue to streamline our effectiveness, allowing us to have more time for the things that really matter.