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Making sure you have satisfied attendees at every stage of the event lifecycle is what most organisers strive for when managing events. It is also one of the most important performance metrics used when measuring event success. Your guests want to feel their investment of time and money is worth their while – so it’s important to make a good impression, right from the start.
And this is exactly where technology can help.
In fact, keeping your attendees happy and engaged is one of the most important benefits of using event management software. By making things easier for your attendees and offering the right kind of information at the right time, these systems can help create the lasting impressions you need to build engagement and loyalty over time.
Have a look at how event management software can help you deliver the smooth and seamless experience your attendees want from your events:
1) Invites and Websites Build Excitement
Creating personalised experiences is something we’ve seen some businesses do very well over recent years. Think of Google, Spotify and Amazon, all suggesting personalised recommendations based on what they know about us. In fact, our relationship with them has become so personalised that we’ve come to expect this level of understanding from our other engagements and that includes the event experience.
When a potential attendee reads your event invitation or takes a look at your website they want to feel a connection with the message. They want to know that it has been personalised and applies to them alone. With event management software you can create your very own personalised messages and web pages regardless of how many attendees you need to look after. For example, you can build one landing page for your corporate audience and another for your academics. Both have a vested interest in attending your event – but they have different goals and very different ideas on why your event matters to them.
Related article: 10 Tips for Designing Great Event Websites
2) Registration Becomes Effortless
The registration process is usually the first and most critical touch point your attendees have with your event and it’s important that you get it right. The more complicated it is, the more your attendees will move on and look elsewhere. They want to be able to book sessions, get involved in the social networking and pay through a secure method.
With good registration tools you can do all this and more. You can create different registration paths for attendees, where each is led through a set of registration questions specific to their selected category. For example, an exhibitor is asked about stand sizes, whereas journalists are asked to upload accreditation documents. No longer do you need to ask questions that are not relevant to the attendee. Using responsive systems means your attendee can register from wherever they are and from whatever device they want to use.
Listen On-Demand: 10 Easy Steps to Enhance Your Event’s Registration Experience
3) Event Communication is a Lot Easier
When your attendee has registered it’s super important that the communications they receive from there on in are relevant and timely. Receiving an automatic confirmation of their booking is just the start. You will then want to ensure that they receive regular email updates on all event information. The key is that having started the ‘personalised journey’ you need to continue it on. Event management systems can help you save a lot of time communicating information with attendees. Plus you save your attendee time by sending them only what they need.
4) Event Check-In Is a Breeze
Check in is another crucial area where technology can have a significant impact on first impressions when people arrive at an event. Your attendees don’t want to start their journey standing in long registration queues or waiting for someone to help them out.
By using a self-service check in solution, you can significantly reduce lines and offer a much faster check in experience where people can print and scan their badges in seconds. The kiosks will also always display the most up to date registration information which means even your walk ins won’t have any trouble finding their details on the system.
5) All Attendees Can Have Their Say
You can also use event management software to great effect to enhance your education programme. Many attendees will be happy to vote on issues or pose questions from behind the security blanket of their laptop, mobile or other device. This is where the technology comes into its own. No one attends an event to be left out. Attendees want to be active (otherwise why attend). Increasing the engagement of your attendees is likely lead to higher satisfaction survey results, which is good for you. However, it is also very good for delegates, they contribute and expand their personal development.
6) Notifications are Welcomed
Using an event app to keep your attendees up to date with all that happens as the event continues is a great way of enhancing their experience. You will want your delegates to be able to access the very latest event information. You can use push notifications in a variety of ways. Just as your car Sat Nav will always provide you with the quickest route to your destination, so too can a push notification warn you about the length of food lines at lunch. An event app will likely have maps and floorplans enabling attendees to save time in getting around the venue. If a room for a session has changed you can use a push notification to let people know. Communication on the go is important if you really want to enhance your attendees’ experience.
7) Networking is Enhanced
Networking with attendees, speakers and suppliers is one of the key reasons that people attend events. In addition to the education that is on offer, attendees come to network and make connections. Think about how your technology can enable attendees to connect before, during and after the event. Enabling attendees to access and use networking tools will enhance their experience. It will help them connect with other like-minded people at the event, which they will value as it makes good use of their time. The tools also allow them to control what information they share with others.
8) You Can Keep Your Content Working
Even for Superman it would be a challenge to absorb all the great educational content on offer at your event. With many events running simultaneous tracks it’s impossible. This is where access to presentations especially after the event is important. A resource library on the event app offers a good option to help your delegates dig into the content once the event has finished. Even attendees that went to the live session may well want to replay it again on demand. There are always things that can be seen a second time around. It’s one of the reasons that people play the same movie time and again.
9) Make it Easy to Share Feedback
It is common practice to ask for feedback from attendees as soon as your event has closed. The information gleaned can be extremely useful. It is essential that the questions are personalised accordingly. You can use the software to enable you to see which sessions they attended, which exhibitors they were interested and a whole lot more besides. That provides you with a great starting point to ask your follow up questions.
Once the questions have been asked you have a great opportunity to keep in touch with the attendees. There is no need to start from scratch and search for brand new attendees. You already have attendees that you can work with to get you started for your next event.
Giving feedback is usually more for the benefit of the planner than the attendee but it doesn’t need to be. You have the technology tools to keep your attendees advised on how their feedback will be listened to, understood and acted upon. That act alone helps improve the attendee experience.
10) Personal Data is Secured
Personal data and how it is looked after by event planners continues to come under the spotlight. Attendees are asked to provide a lot of personal data when they register for an event. As highlighted already, personalised experiences leave a lasting impression on delegates. However, for the attendee to provide personal data they must believe that the planner has solid and secure technology systems in place.
GDPR tools and data security tools are the answer. Event management systems can help organisations track and manage any consent they get from their attendees in a GDPR compliant way. Data security tools provide peace of mind to delegates that their personal data is well looked after. This will build loyalty and trust, and help you create the kind of long-term relationships you want with attendees.
Related article: 8 Bad Data Security Habits Event Planners Should Quit
Education, networking and social elements are woven into the fabric of (almost all) events. In the same way, event management software should be integrated into the event planning and delivery to help improve the attendee experience.
Technology should enhance rather than hinder and that is why strategic thinking needs to be exercised throughout the process. You cannot spend time personalising event invitations and then not apply the same degree of critical thought when it comes to evaluating the experience.
If your thinking is joined up, if the software supports the experience and if you put yourself in the shoes of the attendee, then you’re on the right track to delivering the event experiences your attendees want.
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