All good event apps include the facility to send attendee questions and comments to speakers.
Using this feature on your event app is an easy way to engage your attendees as they will do most of the work! From submitting the questions and comments to voting up the ones they consider most relevant.
We have seen whole agendas at employee events being changed on the fly as a result of attendee questions and comments coming through the event app. Having seen thousands of conferences use this feature, we have some tips to help you maximise the opportunity at every stage of your event.
We believe that discussion on event topics should really begin before the event.
For industry associations, Twitter may be the logical choice for pre-event discussions. For employee meetings Yammer or Chatter may be the application of choice.
But for many organisations the event app is the logical place to start the discussion that will continue through the event. Some event apps will include discussion boards where the organiser can set topics. If your event app offers this facility this is good place to start. If your event includes panel sessions encourage attendees to submit questions or requests for topics via the app in advance.
During the Event
Ensure your speakers remind attendees the availability of the attendee questions and comments facility at the start of each session.
If you don’t have an AV team in each room to display the comments and questions live from the event app on the big screen, provide a tablet so speakers can easily view the questions coming in. They can decide themselves which ones to answer and when.
You will likely have the option to include moderation for each session on your event app where Q&A is in use. If you have the time and staff available to moderate, you benefit from having full control over the content but you lose that feeling of a fast paced, free flowing discussion.
My personal view is let the discussion flow freely unless you feel people in the audience will use it to shamelessly promote their own agenda! Some event planners fear inappropriate content but the likelihood at most conferences and events tends to be low.
At most events time won’t allow your speakers to answer all the attendee questions submitted.
Publishing these answers afterwards will help continue the discussion post event. This can be an important objective for employee events. The new topic specific discussion boards in event apps will also offer attendees an easy way to continue the conversation post event.
App Talk Host: Dee Brannick – CrowdComms, Co-founder