6 Ways Marketers Can Use Technology To Boost Event Engagement
Published on 07/09/2016
Technology creates interactive experiences in our everyday lives, from smart connected devices through to self service shopping tills (albeit a slightly less satisfying technological experience…) The general consensus though is that as a society we’re not passive anymore; we are engaged, and this expectation is no different to when it comes to events.
Technology is changing events to meet consumer demands and advances in how we interact with each other and brands. Attending an event has progressed from simple RSVPs and static venues to hyper-connected event space and increased engagement. Event marketers and planners should look to incorporate technology throughout the lifecycle of the event, from pre to post launch.
1. Social Media
Seems obvious, but social media is making big waves in the event industry, allowing brands to build stronger relationships with attendees and prospects before, during and after the event, boosting engagement.
• Targeted paid social media activity allows you to promote your event to a relevant audience that aligns with your target demographics such as age, interests and location – just to name a few.
• Creating a social media campaign around your event not only raises awareness but it can create an opportunity for real time engagement. For added attendee participation, encourage event members to live tweet specific items during the action, such as a photo of their delegate badge, or their favourite spot at the venue. Further incentive to do this could involve a prize awarded to the first 10 people who share an update using the event hashtag.
2. Wearable Technology
Since the release of the Apple Watch, that not only tells the time but also tracks your health and integrates with other iOS and Apple products, wearable technology is gradually breaking into the event industry. Offer attendees a wristband that connects with their credit card so they can easily pay for food and beverages, or supply guests with wireless headphones where they can customise their journey and receive bespoke communications based on attitudinal data you’ve obtained. Wearable technology is still new on the event horizon but it’s a trend that event marketers and planners should begin to consider to boost engagement.
3. Mobile App
Developing an app for your event boosts engagement between you and your attendees and also between guests themselves. The app could feature a map of the venue and allow users to create their own itinerary for each exhibition stand or stall they want to visit. Event marketers should look to enable instant chat functionality to create a platform for attendees to communicate with one another and have discussions prior and during the event, increasing the buzz and momentum. Fun fact: 85% of the time spent on smartphones is using apps.
• Monitor the data coming through from the app so you can tailor marketing messages to attendees, creating a personalised experience.
• Using an app to replace paper agendas creates a different events culture, putting attendees in a better position to interact, shake hands and engage with any special offline features you have at your event.
4. Lead Capturing
For business events, lead capturing is essential, but it can be more than just a goldfish bowl of business cards. Whilst business cards are still a fashionable item, to input this data into your sales tool is a laborious process, wasting precious time. There are lead capturing tools out there that enable efficient lead generation in that they can be fully integrated with CRM software.
• If you are hosting an event, supply all delegates with a lanyard displaying individual barcodes that hold their business details, making it easy for vendors to generate leads.
• If you are attending an event and have your own pop-up exhibition stand, you can then use your lead capturing tool to scan willing delegates badges and select where they are in the sales funnel.
5. Sensory Technology
We covered this in our previous blog post that looked at the best examples of event marketing at the 2012 London Olympics, where Coca Cola created an immersive event that used sensory technology. Sensory technology, which relies on touch to make a sound or trigger a light, is a brilliant way of encouraging event engagement. Participants want to feel part of your event, not mere onlookers, so providing them with a dynamic platform to get fully involved in your event is a guaranteed way to ensure your brand remains memorable.
6. Embedded Venue Technology
Where you host your event, or what your pop-up exhibition stand looks like is crucial in driving engagement and interest about your company. Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, there’s various ways to incorporate technology into the walls of your venue itself, creating more opportunities for a shared experience. Temporary inflatable event structures have the capacity to embed flat screen TVs, phone charging hubs, audio and more into your event space.
• Use TVs to feature the Twitter live stream, a way to drive more user participation and promote your event campaign.
• Wifi is a must, but phone battery is out of your control. Don’t miss out on any opportunity for your event activity to be shared online; provide phone charging hubs.
• Music and sound is a stimulant, so maintain the buzz with subtle but effective background music.
To see how our bespoke inflatable event structures can fulfill your technological needs and drive more engagement throughout your event’s lifespan, contact your nearest Global Partner or UK HQ and let us help you organise a creative and memorable event.