Event Planning Tips, Your Event Career
Top 6 Apps and Event Technology to Use at Your Next Event
We’re not suggesting that you go out and buy the $5000 virtual reality equipment to bring your event to the future! We admit it would be incredibly cool to be able to ride a virtual rollercoaster in the middle of a networking conference, but is it necessary? Nah. Is it a bit out of place? Totally.
Event technology shouldn’t only be there for novelty reasons! It should be functional for the event’s goals and purposes, and shouldn’t make people’s lives harder. Event tech should be useful for both attendees and your clients and should sell itself.
Get ready for our list of the 6 ways you can add more technology to your next event!
Online event ticketing platforms
Forget the hassle of distributing physical tickets, go digital! Facebook has made some upgrades to their event ticketing capabilities. Instead of just relying on RSVPs to account for the people who will be coming to an event, you can now sell tickets right on the Facebook event page. According to Facebook, “When you create tickets on Facebook, an identical event will be created on Eventbrite. Ticket sale payouts, refunds, and cancellations must be managed on Eventbrite”. Users can plan events, invite attendees, and sell tickets. There’s also push notifications, check-in options, reserved seating, and mobile barcode scanning that really cater to mobile users. There is a small fee for this ticketing service. Depending on the size of the event and the price per ticket, Universe offers a similar service but they enforce caps their per-ticket cut!
We don’t mean the type that your clients use to track attendees after-the-fact to gauge company marketing success and all that jazz—that’s all up to your client. We mean data collection as it applies to you, the event planner.
If your clients want to invite collaboration from the attendees to mold the event experience, you could suggest the use of surveys. Anywhere from basic Facebook polls on the event page, to a full-fledged survey on Survey Monkey, these types of data collection can allow a level of customization to any event. If your clients choose it, you’ll be able to take the data into consideration when working with them to plan out the schedule of events, and sometimes even use it to determine the types of vendors you should be bringing in. Just make sure that these surveys are short and sweet—nobody wants to fill out a 10-page survey before they can enter a wine and cheese festival.
Every one of the attendees to your client’s event will be coming smartphone in hand—unless you’re throwing an event at a senior’s home.
While we know that a live-tweeting can never simulate attending a real event, it’s a way for organizers and your clients to be able to track attendee engagement and how well they’re doing in real time. It may be difficult to introduce iPads to an event and expect people to use them to tweet about the event voluntarily, but your clients can integrate a relevant and succinct hashtag and work with you to place it in key spots in the event space.
#EventPro right here!
Live Tweeting’s older cousin, event live streaming, doesn’t compare to walking into a conference hall, but you can build some serious FOMO (fear of missing out) from your virtual attendees. Not picking up what I’m putting down? If your client and their event are highly buzzworthy, it’s not uncommon for people to tune into live-streams of these events—think every one of Apple’s keynote events. If there’s hype around an event, don’t take live-streaming or live-tweeting out of the running!
Apps like Periscope give an informal first-person view of an event so remote attendees can live vicariously through in-person attendees. While this may not be useful for formalized conferences, this may work to convert virtual attendees to in-person attendees for music festivals, concerts, and other entertainment-based events.
Snapchat Geo filters
If you’re at all familiar with Snapchat, you’ve probably seen those geo-filters that alert your friends that you’re attending the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, or that you’re currently celebrating a lazy Saturday. But geo-filters can be a cool way to integrate technology into your next event, especially if it’s a wedding!
With the “Our Story” feature coupled by the geo-filter, it’s a great way for the happy couple to review their special day from the perspective of all their guests the day after. Please be aware that these filters aren’t free! They start as low as $6, but it will rise depending on if your clients want to hire a designer, the geographical range, and the duration of the filter!
Cell phone charging stations
While it may seem that this only benefits the attendees, it can also benefit your clients! If your clients want to attract foot traffic to a particular booth or section of the event space, you can set up a charging station there and let the people come to them! This could also be handy if your clients are really trying to encourage the use of mobile communications at the event, or if amateur photography and social sharing are one of the biggest ways they promote their event.
A charging kiosk is also plenty big enough for any sponsors to do some extra advertising. Attendees will likely stick around the station, so if the guy manning the kiosk is friendly enough, he can take the time to charm the pants off cell phone users and meaningfully engage them.
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