Have you tried using technology to help you plan events?
Currently, very few planners use event technology – meaning that many are missing out on the opportunity to grow their events and better track and measure their ROI.
So, why aren’t planners using event technology? It might just be a simple lack of knowing what’s out there. So we’ve compiled a quick list of the 3 things you probably didn’t know about event technology.
1) Event technology makes your job easier. And it’s affordable.
Event planning is a stressful job. In fact, Forbes recently ranked event planning as the 5th most stressful job in 2016, along with enlisted soldiers and airline pilots. There are steps that can be taken to make planning events a little easier on yourself! Using event technology will help you automate manual tasks, so that you can focus on what really matters – the attendee experience.
One way that event planners can use technology to lighten their workload? Automating the online registration process. Instead of going through binders and spreadsheets full of names to check attendees in, manage your event electronically. Bonus: it makes registration easier for attendees, too!
Mobile event apps further reduce the need for printed items, like schedules and maps. Less printed event collateral means huge savings on printing and shipping costs. Plus, it often renders a heavy tote bag unnecessary and travels easily with attendees, helping to keep them engaged during the show.
Planners can build, source, book, and manage their event in one place with smarter event technology. Great events don’t just happen – planners need technology to help with the more manual tasks, freeing the event planner to put on an amazing event.
You can afford it! When planners think of using event tech to run their meetings and events, there’s a fear of a high price tag that will pull resources away from running the actual event. But, in many cases, event software can be tried for free (Lanyon has a great option for free event management software!)
2) Event technology can help the Attendee Journey and increase your engagement with your attendees.
The right event technology can also help event planners analyze the event data – and improve the Attendee Journey™ (which is the lifecycle of your attendees experience at an event, from promotion, registration, check-in, lead-tracking, session access, follow up and surveys) for next year’s event. Knowing what sessions attendees are going to and which exhibitors they’re visiting can help the event planner better plan and prepare.
The key to mastering the Attendee Journey is to view each point at which attendees interact with an event — from registration to follow-up surveys — as an opportunity to learn about your attendees’ expectations – and then exceed them.
A tech tool like session access control can also be a pivotal part of this attendee journey. Allowing attendees to register for sessions they’d like to attend, and then having badge scanners at the doors of those sessions, enables the planner to ensure there is enough seating and allow access for the session. Also, it allows attendees to pre-plan their event and choose which sessions they would like to see before they get there.
It can also help you engage your attendees in real-time during the event. Utilizing the right event mobile app can enable your event to have a social wall, where attendees can post pictures, thoughts, tweets and utilize your event’s hashtag. This creates an interactive experience at your event.
Real-time surveys are another great tool that event technology can provide. Pushing out a survey to your attendees while at the event, can enable you to make adjustments on the fly to your content and/or experience.
Post-event, event technology provides a wealth of data on the event giving the planner the insights to make necessary changes for future events. It also helps the planner provide real-time results, feedback and data to their business unit, so that they can prove ROI from their event.
3) The largest conferences in the world use event technology, but events of any size can benefit from it.
Organizing an event for more than 150,000 registrants can be daunting – and it’s nearly impossible without event technology. Can you imagine a check-in process where 150,000 attendees stand in line, waiting for their name to be checked off a list manually? Luckily, you don’t have to.
Salesforce’s Dreamforce, one of the largest and most successful conferences in the world, uses event technology to help with the on-site check-in, session access control, and sponsor and exhibitor lead management.
Your event doesn’t have to be on the same scale as Dreamforce to benefit from event technology. Software is scalable and can help you plan and run your events and meetings, whether it’s a flagship conference or a one-on-one meeting.
Event technology isn’t a daunting or challenging thing to adopt for an event planner. Wondering whether or not the investment is worth the cost is a normal concern before instituting new software, however planners who use event technology will see increased engagement and ROI.