While the world largely took a hiatus from on-site events during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, they’re making a comeback in full force. Around the globe, conferences, meetings, and other corporate events are rediscovering the benefits of gathering together for knowledge sharing and networking. Now more than ever, you want to impress your attendees with an engaging, enriching event. But how?
The answer lies in technology. There are numerous types of apps and tools today that are moving on-site events in the 21st century and making them more immersive, comprehensive experiences. In this guide, discover how event technology can revolutionize your event and find out about the top tools you should have in your toolkit.
At the risk of sounding exaggerated, event technology can take your on-site event from a 2 to a perfect 10. In fact, it makes the event better from the perspective of your event team, your exhibitors or vendors, and your attendees.
For your event organizers and planning team, the right technology can make every aspect of the process run more smoothly. That includes planning the event, booking speakers, selling exhibitor or vendor spots, advertising, registering attendees, checking in attendees and exhibitors, fielding customer service inquiries before and during the event, gathering post-event feedback, and more.
For your exhibitors or vendors, technology can make your event more profitable for them. It can allow them to easily collect contacts from the attendees they meet, gather their own performance data, and more. The more you can benefit their bottom line, the more likely you are to get loyal, returning exhibitors for future events.
Last but not least, your attendees benefit from event technology. They enjoy more efficiency for necessary processes like registration and check-in. They can also enjoy a more engaging, interactive experience throughout the event when you use technology for incentives, interactive surveys, supplementary materials, and so on.
The benefits of event technology lie in the execution. Having the right tools at your disposal and using them to the best of their potential will make a world of difference whether your event has 50 or 5,000 attendees. Consider these top types of onsite event technology solutions for your next event.
A custom event app can be a cornerstone of your event experience. Your app can include vital information for attendees like a map of the event space, an agenda of the various sessions and presentations, and frequently asked questions. It can also keep them on track with reminders and push notifications while also offering them special incentives and vendor ads. For an even better attendee experience, choose an app that lets attendees plan out their own agendas by selecting the sessions they want to attend.
This foundational event platform can also be a way for attendees to engage interactively in presentations. For example, presenters can incorporate surveys and quizzes, interactive visuals, and so on into their presentations so attendees can participate from their seats. This creates a more positive and productive experience for attendees and presenters alike.
Before, during, and after your event, there will be questions and issues that arise from your attendees. Having enough customer service representatives to field all these requests can be challenging and expensive. During your event in particular, you need to be able to reply to questions and requests quickly.
A chatbot can help. Setting up a chatbot to handle common and easy requests allows you to field most questions without any manual attention so you can have fewer representatives and so they can take care of the more complicated requests more quickly.
You can also use a chatbot to gather feedback after the event. You can use it to reach out to attendees and ask about their experience in a convenient and conversational way, generating data you’ll be able to use to enhance future events. For the utmost convenience, your chatbot should be part of your event app so attendees have all the details and resources they need in one place.
Live streaming was the only way most events could take place during the pandemic, but today’s onsite events still greatly benefit from live streaming event software in multiple ways.
First, live streaming your presentations, sessions, and speeches allows you to pull in virtual attendees from all around the world. You can make your event more inclusive for people who cannot practically attend onsite events, like people with mobility issues and physical limitations, people with visual or hearing impairments or other disabilities who struggle to hear, see, or digest in-person presentations, people who don’t speak the primary language of your event and would benefit from subtitles, and more.
Many live streaming platforms also allow you to record your streams so registered attendees can view them later. This is a great way to give attendees access to presentations they wanted to attend but couldn’t due to schedule conflicts, or allow them to rewatch presentations they particularly enjoyed.
For any event, the smallest details can become the largest frustrations if they go wrong, and the registration process is full of opportunities for errors and complications. Registration software can solve and prevent many of these headaches.
Reliable registration technology can provide a smooth and simple registration process for attendees. Make sure you use highly customizable software that allows you to inject any questions you want to gather in your registration: basic contact information as well as topics of interest, fun facts, and more. Particularly advanced registration software like the Canapii platform can also integrate with participants’ hotel and travel bookings for an exceedingly convenient process.
You want your registration process to also integrate smoothly with your related needs. Canapii, for example, can generate name badges for each attendee and presenter, even including scannable codes on these badges to allow vendors to easily collect interested attendees’ contact details, along with facilitating the check-in process for your event. When registration capabilities are part of your event management software, it makes the entire process easier.
Event gamification is one of the top ways to create a more engaging, enjoyable, and educational experience for your attendees. If you’re not familiar, event gamification involves implementing game-like strategies into your event. For example, you may create a point system that lets attendees earn points by visiting exhibitor booths and attending sessions. You could also create a drawing in which attendees earn entries by completing certain tasks.
Event gamification is primarily focused on the attendee experience, but that engagement boost leads to benefits for your exhibitors and your organization too. Depending on how you structure your gamification, you can encourage more interaction between attendees and exhibitors leading to a better ROI for exhibitors.
Your organization then reaps the benefits of better exhibitor profits and attendee experiences in the form of higher attendance and more exhibitor revenue at future events. The right event gamification technology can provide all these benefits with minimal added work on your part.
Social media can be a valuable resource before, during, and after an onsite event if you know how to harness its power properly. Event technology can do the legwork for you.
Before your event, social media can allow you to spread the word and advertise your event. If you integrate your event registration platform with your social media, you’ll be able to send interested attendees directly to your registration so they can sign up quickly and easily.
During your event, you can also use social media integrations to spark social media chatter about the event. With custom hashtags and integration between your event app and social media, you can encourage attendees to share their photos and stories from the event. Not only does this allow for digital networking in the form of these hashtagged conversations but it enhances the visibility of your event. When your next event rolls around, you’re likely to get more interest because of that exposure.
Networking is a major reason people attend professional events, especially onsite events. The right corporate event software is able to facilitate more productive, robust networking.
For example, you can ask questions during registration about topics of interest, fun facts, employers, and so on. With a unified and multi-featured event software like Canapii, you can then generate groups of attendees based on these factors and more. This allows you to play matchmaker and put attendees together with ideal new connections. The result is a higher satisfaction for attendees leading to more profitable future events for you.
Onsite event technology solutions can make a powerful difference in your event while also making your planning and execution process smoother and more time effective. It’s all a matter of choosing the right tools, though.
You can assemble a toolbox of many software products, or you can opt for an all-in-one event platform like Canapii, which handles all the functions above: registration, gamification, chats, networking, social media integration, and live streaming along with a custom event app and so much more. Request a Canapii demo to learn more.