Scott Andryk is a meetings management, sales and event technology professional with more than 20 years experience as both an organizer and supplier. Scott is currently the senior manager of corporate events at Community Brands.
Out of the Box Engagement Ideas, Perfect for Event App Integration
"My event app smells like freshly baked chocolate chip cookies!"
Well, not exactly...but wouldn't it be cool if it did?
Today's attendee wants events to be experiences. They're looking to see, try, taste and learn. They want to be part of what you're creating or building. You design your events to provide immersive experiences for your attendees, so why shouldn't your app help with that process?
Here are a few ideas and ways to create that immersion:
Messaging and Promotion
Consider have your app open with a welcome video or message from your chief sales officer. “It’s definitely great to be here!” From there, your internal teams get into play — marketing, human resources, product development, and even operations. Invite them to use banners that link to videos, provide in-app coupons with discount codes to local events or promotions, or connect to the CSR event that’ll define their overall event experience. Employ beacons and geofencing. Integrate alerts into your safety and security plan. Most important, develop a messaging and promotional strategy for use within the app – it’s both live and interactive.
Live Event Experiences/Audience Response
Begin by inviting your participants to download and open the app prior to your conference to participate in some crowdsourcing. Give them some opportunities to help shape the event: for example, what do they want to eat poolside on the first night?
Then continue with live polling and interactive sessions throughout the conference. Encourage the audience to ask questions from within the app.
Form a team game in the general session – which region is most prepared to succeed in this new product launch?
Food brings people together. Wasn’t that tomato basil bisque soup at lunch the best you’ve ever tasted? Send the executive chef’s personal recipe to everyone through an alert – right after lunch. Did everyone enjoy the doughnut wall this morning? Forward a link and picture of the doughnuts that will be waiting for them in back in their office, after the event.
Get Your Game On
Gamification is proven to increase audience engagement. But be sure to ask yourself a simple, but very important, question before designing your game – “Is this game going to help us reach our event goals?”
Mission Possible (or whatever you’d like to name it) is designed for ROI, to help you achieve those objectives. Start by creating achievable missions, or tasks, such as attending the opening session, running in the 5K or participating in the CSR initiative. As participants engage, interact and experience, they will earn codes and input them into the app. What they win is up to you! The secret is to create a game for everyone, and one that adds value to your event. It’s Mission Possible.
Connecting People with People, Products, and Purpose
At the end of the day, this is what we do: we connect the dots between everyone and everything. Your app can help.
Here are some questions to ask yourself – and your app provider:
- Is your partner/exhibit floor and map both logo'd and interactive? Does it easily route from here to there?
- Are your attendees connecting?
- Can they request meetings?
- Can they send connection requests with a message, similar to how professionals connect on LinkedIn?
- How about lead/friend scanning, and chatbots?
- The ability to download processes and procedures, and share best practices?
Where would you rate yourself on a scale of 1 – 10 in terms of creating connections?
Your app is a toolbox full of possibilities, all you have to do is give your attendees ways to build connections and you’re guaranteed to increase engagement.