The Whys of WiFi – Part 4 – Virtual Agenda & Custom Apps can Transform Your Event
- The Whys of Wifi Part 1 article we discussed How to Boost Your Event’s Social Media Buzz.
- The Whys of Wifi Part 2 article Event Exhibitors – How to Heat Up Leads shows how to set up your exhibit as a WiFi Hotspot.
- The Whys of Wifi Part 3 article is all about setting up lead generation Digital Sponsorships begins with Great Event Wifi
Now we will talk about how a Virtual Agenda and Custom Apps can Transform Your Event
We’ve all experienced that event that seemed so promising at the beginning. You sign in, all bright and eager, get your program booklet or app, and then eagerly flip through deciding on which talks and happenings you’d like to attend.
The first talk goes pretty well and the question and answer period rocks, but you have to cut out early to make it to the next talk because it’s on the opposite side of the conference center. So after consulting the venue map – twice – you hoof it over to your second talk of the day.
You make it just in time but rather than a room full of excited people, what you find is a closed door with a note tapped on it that says something like, “We’re sorry. Due to a delayed flight this talk is canceled.”
You lean against the wall thinking about the Q&A period you just ran out of. A little less eagerly than before you pull out your program and look at some other talk options. You can’t decide. And how do you know any of those early morning talks are happening either? The beginning of event disappointment has just shadowed your entire event experience.
You note the Starbucks down the hall and decide to get a coffee instead.
Certainly we all know things happen; flights are delayed, speakers get sick. But what doesn’t have to happen is having one of your starry-eyed attendees hike across a conference center only to find that a talk has been canceled.
Event issues such as this are completely preventable with a virtual agenda. You’ve gone to the trouble and expense of providing WiFi services your attendees need to stay connected. But why not go further to help ensure they have a simple amazing experience?
Using the Internet is a simple way to reach your attendees and alert them to:
- Agenda changes
- Updates of any sort
- Alerts, either event related or world related
- Warnings, weather, Internet safety
- Last minute specials
- Spur of the moment gatherings
In order to maximize the user experience when organizing an event make sure your virtual agenda and other digital information is easy for your attendees to access and use by keeping the following tips in mind:
- Make sure urls and log-in information has been provided both before and during the event in easy to see and find locations, both online and off.
- Encourage users to test any event software out ahead of time so they are comfortable during your event. As they register you can hand them a sheet with how to sign in and maybe even a nearby lounge you can direct them to where they can first sign on – you should have an event staff member who is tech savvy on hand in the lounge to help with any kinks people might have.
- Have your design team/programmer create a virtual agenda which showcases important aspects of your agenda so it’s easy to read at a glance.
- Have clear directions and images online which make it a snap for users to find and go to exactly what they need and want.
- Have a clear and present button or chat box which they can click on for online help during the event.
Going Beyond the Virtual Agenda – Create Custom Event Apps for a truly Memorable Event
There are numerous ways to engage with your attendees and provide more than a place to go online to access an updated agenda. In fact the possibilities are pretty much unlimited.
For instance you can have a custom event app or apps which your event attendees can use with their smartphone, iPad (their own or an iPad they rent from you) or other tablet or computer. You can have custom events apps created that:
- sends them instant changes to the agenda (thereby preventing the scenario first mentioned in this article)
- gives them a place to create their own personalized agenda for the conference
- alerts them with valuable information and spur of the moment activities
- asks for their feedback on talks or other event activities
- includes an attendee directory so people can start networking even before the event begins
- offers polls and surveys in real time
- has the capacity for a personalized dashboard for each attendee
- gives them private chat space
- makes it easy to share event information on their social media
- has a guide of the local area and restaurants (including menus)
- helps them navigate the exhibit hall
- has networking tools
- offers digital coupons
- has conference evaluations
- has virtual booths
- gives them quick Q&A options
- offers interaction with speakers
- social check in
- offers instant messaging
- can be used for voting
- has a place to add photos to share on social networks
- offers travel and accommodations assistance
- hotel information
- gives them the ability to order and pay for event merchandise
One of the great things about custom apps for your attendees is that it allows them to access the schedule and other items of interest without having to go through your website first. The easier you can make it on everyone, the happier they are going to be.
Plus, when you’re creating a custom app and online agendas it provides ample opportunity for branding, both yours and your sponsors.
And very importantly, having your agenda, services, and other information online gives you an unparalleled opportunity to gather metrics and other data which you can use not only during the event, but to help you prepare for a future event so you can be more successful than ever.
Need help transforming an event into the one they remember?
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