How Meeting Planners Use Technology for Engagement

Posted On: July 13, 2015

These first 15 years of the 21st Century have been absolutely booming with advances in technology. The exponential rise in conveniences and innovations span the spectrum: from apps to improve eating to technologies that improve surgery to devices that capture precision video to products that simplify old ways of doing life. 

Meeting planning companies haven’t been without their own boost of tech-savvy advances. New, smart ways of guiding the experiences of meeting participants via mobile applications and gamification are transforming the landscape for the event industry.

Here’s a recap of some (not all!) of the many ways meeting planners are upping the ante in an industry aimed at creating the best meetings possible. Discover ways your company could improve the engagement of atendees at your well-planned events so objectives are met and your business can flourish:

Registration Apps: Registering for a conference or seminar is often the first interactive experience attendees have with an event planning company. Even though registration apps can be skinned with a company’s branding, making registration simple, intuitive and seamless reflects on the event planning company.

Key to a powerful registration app? capturing the necessary information simply and immediately. There is so much you could gather, consider the following and which are pertinent to your attendees:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Email
  • Airline
  • Arrival time
  • Food restrictions
  • Allergies
  • Emergency contact info
  • Rooming preferences
  • Hotel and venue info and maps
  • Profile photo uploads
  • Check-in

Event-Centric Apps: These apps are tailored to your specific event for the time it runs. The goal is to enhance the mobile experience of attendees. When you accept that participants will be attached to their devices most of the event or conference, being available in the palm of their hand is critical.

These apps offer a variety of ways to engage:

  • Private event networking
  • Access to attendee profiles
  • Photo sharing
  • Comment opportunities
  • Messaging
  • Maps for outings, restaurants and locations
  • Speaker lists and bios
  • Floor plans/directions
  • Hotel and venue information
  • Itinerary
  • Reminders for seminar schedules
  • Personalized scheduling
  • Alerts for change in schedules
  • Ability to take notes during seminars and send reports

Gamification Apps: The word “gamification” often stops people in their tracks. Wait, is it games? Will your attendees be playing video games at your conference or event? Are we talking Tetris? Well, yes and no. Gamification is the integration of game-like activities in non-game environments. There is purpose in the game—unlike video games where it could be argued the purpose is to disengage, event gamification’s overarching goal is to engage.

Event planners can offer games that are event-focused and intended to build community among the attendees all while building engagement with your brand or conference theme. This approach really turns an attendee of an event into an actual participant, which transforms an event to an objective-fulfilling experience.

Here are some gamification models event planners are using:

  • Scavenger hunts on location
  • Quizzes on seminars or keynote speeches
  • Points earned for places visited, seminars heard or feedback sent
  • Points can be gathered to cash in for prizes, purchasing merchandise or donating to local charities
  • Mobile surveys and feedback that encourage instant reflection
  • Leader boards provide participants incentive for engaging in the games
  • Badges and stamps earned with seminar attendance or booth visits
  • Event challenges to earn a set number of points or to find the hidden pictures around the event space

Polls, Reviews, Surveys and Feedback: Apps with these end goals are priceless. Even if all you had was an event app that asked a series of questions about an attendee’s experience it can enhance so much. Simple polls, when well-crafted, can light the engagement fire under an employee. Reviews post-event are always valuable to a company.

Benefits of survey apps:

  • A paperless approach will be well-received for your environmentally-friendly survey
  • It will offer on-the-go opportunity for participants to answer polls while traveling or in the comfort of their homes after the event
  • The feedback you receive could inform the way you approach your next event
  • Offering a small incentive will encourage responses
  • A simple alert or reminder on a smartphone can encourage participation
  • Compiling results of a survey are simplified making an admin’s job that much easier

These event planner apps just barely scratch the surface when you consider all the ways technology could enhance the experience and boost the engagement of your employees during an event. The critical piece to all of this is: planning. Advanced planning practically ensures you’ll have a successful event. Being thoughtful about how participants will move in your event space might just inspire how they move and work back at their desk. Technology can help! Connect with Docherty to help create a powerful, memorable, engaging event.