At Eventsforce, we’re big advocates of using whatever tools are available to improve events for both attendees and planners alike and a big part of this involves making the most of the technology readily available right now.
Corporate events have traditionally led the way when it comes to using technology, but association events can be just as suitable – planners simply need to have a slightly different mind-set. Here we’ve outlined some points to consider when you’re looking to introduce technology to your association events.
In the events world, and indeed the wider marketing world, there’s a lot of discussion about the generational group referred to as millennials. This year they will become the largest generation by population, growing larger than the previously leading baby boomer generation, and they have their own set of expectations when it comes to events. They are the connected generation and have been raised in a world where technology is not a gimmick, but a natural part of their existence. It’s important that planners understand this generation and take the time to learn how they like to experience events, because it is radically different to previous generations and technology will play a big part.
That being said, don’t be dragged into the millennial discussion if it isn’t relevant to your association membership. Think carefully about your membership base – what are they expecting from your events?
Don’t just meet expectations
Technology can still have a part to play, even for those sections of your membership that don’t necessarily expect to engage with tech at events. It is about getting the mix right and communicating the benefits of getting involved with the technology from an early stage in the pre-event marketing. This could be as subtle as encouraging delegates to complete their registration process online and use an email on their phone as their ticket, rather than printing it (highlighting the positive environmental impact) or as bold as encouraging use of the event app and all the benefits this will bring. This needs to be done carefully, as pushing the technology too hard may alienate those that don’t want to use it all. Let them mould their own experience.
Don’t be everything to everyone
The likelihood is that your association membership is made up of a variety of generations and a variety of technological capabilities. Creating events that work for them all is tricky, but by no means impossible. If the tech-uptake at events seems relatively low, talk to your members. Ask them what their reservations are about using technology at events so that you can see where the problems are. If they are worried about security or privacy, amend your communication for your next event to put them at ease. If they are concerned about how complicated the tech is, make sure you highlight how the tech will improve their experience and make the event more successful for them.
How have you successfully introduced technology to your association events? Are you seeing millennials impact the way you run your events? Let us know!