What’s your main goal when planning an event? Is it to increase revenue, spread awareness about your brand, raise money for a cause, or to generate new business? No matter what your event goal may be, there are three sub-goals you should try to meet with every event you host:
- Cater to your attendee’s needs
- Respond to your attendee’s interests
- Provide a unique, exciting experience
If you find that your events don’t hit any one of these three objectives, consider improving your event experience by incorporating event technology. You’d be surprised at just how easily you can anticipate your attendee’s needs, quickly adapt to their interests, and provide an engaging experience by just incorporating technology in key areas of your event.
Here are three key areas in your venue that can benefit from the use of event technology.
Whether you’re running a large conference or a small meet and greet, people tend to arrive at the event the same time, so you’ll need an efficient way to get them all through the door. People hate waiting in lines, especially when the bottleneck is being caused by poor planning. Using technology before the event and on-site can help speed up this process so you can get your attendees in the door with less hassle. To improve your check-in process, consider customizing the confirmation or registration emails that are sent out when a customer buys a ticket or chooses to attend your event online. Giving attendees all of the information they need ahead of time, such as directions to the venue, parking, location of the entrances, and a clear list of what is and is not allowed at the event will help clear up confusion before they arrive. In addition, if you’ll be scanning ticket barcodes, make sure your scanning solution works at the specific places you’ll be using them to eliminate any last-minute surprises. You can also allow customers to help themselves by offering a number of different check-in options, such as self-check in through a mobile event app or a VIP “priority” check in line.
- On-Site Tracking
When we think of attendee tracking, we tend to frame it in a way that benefits event organizers, but attendees can also benefit from event tracking. Knowing what an attendee is interested in, which areas or sessions they attend on-site at the event, and even which areas they tend to avoid or not dwell can give you key insights into their interests. If you use an event app, you can potentially track the attendee’s movement within the venue as well as their activity within the app. In addition to mobile app tracking options, events that use printed badges or credentials can embed tracking chips into their passes to track each attendee’s onsite movement. Partnering this type of tracking with RFID, Bluetooth Geofencing, or beacons to push notifications to attendees whenever they wander close to an “activation site” can be a powerful way to influence your attendee’s behavior.
- Predict Attendee Needs
Many organizers tend to focus on the specific needs of their attendee demographic and forget to address some basic needs that apply to all attendees. Small amenities that we take for granted like free, fast Wifi or the ability to charge a mobile device can be overlooked for larger operational needs like adequate access to bathrooms, vendor stations, etc. When scoping out your venue, get a sense for the strength and availability of the wifi network. Can your attendees access the network for free without throttling speeds? Can the network handle a large amount of users accessing at one time without being bogged down? In addition, try to pinpoint key areas where attendees might congregate or linger to charge their phone. If there’s a spare outlet available, consider hooking up a charging station to the outlet rather than allowing attendees to fight it out over the right to charge.
There are many other ways event technology can help make your next event a smoother experience for all. Try to analyze your last event and pinpoint areas where you can do better on-site. If you find that old hardware or manual processes caused a bottleneck or made your attendee’s experience less than optimal, look into ways new technology or automation can help you improve.