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Meet us at The Meetings Show 2017

CrowdComms are delighted to be amongst the 3,000 meetings industry professionals attending The Meetings Show from the 13th -15th June.

The show is a highlight in every event proff’s diary and now enters its fifth year running. The networking event takes place at Olympia London and is an absolute must-attend!

This year CrowdComms look forward to exhibiting again, as well as participating in a couple of speaker and panel sessions. If you’re planning on attending this event, or you’re interested in registering (it’s free!), then make sure to pay us a visit at stand K206.

Speaker Sessions

If you fancy learning more about event apps and how to choose the right event app for you, Dee Brannick will be leading a session at 10.15am on Wednesday 14th. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn more about the different services available and the questions to ask to ensure you get the most out of your event app.

 

Dee will also participate in a panel session on 12.55pm on Wednesday 14th. This session will explore ways in which event apps boost interaction between speakers and attendees. The experts on the panel will provide you with useful tools and insights to make sure interaction thrives at your events.

The Meetings Show is the perfect opportunity to grow your network with like-minded event professionals. So, for all your event app needs make sure to attend our speaker sessions and pop into stand K206 for a chat with the team. We look forward to seeing you!

Case Study: Using Gamification to Boost Engagement

CrowdComms saw an excellent use of gamification as part of an event app whilst on site at a recent conference for a large pharmaceutical company.  Gamification is the perfect tool to boost networking and engagement amongst attendees.

250 challenges were available on the event app throughout the three-day conference and showed a carefully orchestrated and highly effective use of gamification. Below are just some of the ways audience participation games were used at this conference, and how they helped fulfil the organisers’ aims for the event.

Gamification in Practice

Gamification was used to encourage engagement with the event app in the lead up to the conference. Attendees could win points for creating their profiles. Uploading your name and picture within 24 hours of the event app launch would earn you maximum points.

Stickers were hidden throughout the venue, each sticker had a different code which could be entered on the event app for 50, 100 or 200 points. Event app users also answered a crop of daily questions which were tiered bronze, silver and gold. This was a great way of getting people to move around the venue and to promote attendee-to-attendee networking.

Attendees were also quizzed on the city of Madrid, where the conference was held. These questions were a refreshing change for the delegates and, although games are optional, the competitive aspect makes them very popular!

At this conference gamification was woven into the fabric of the event, hidden gems were everywhere which meant even more points for the more intuitive delegates. On the social wall, random codes were tweeted out and hidden in the event app itself.

Attendees also received points for good deeds, for example saving the company money by sharing a room with a fellow attendee would earn you 500 points!

At the end of the three day conference the winner came away with around 36,500 points, a very impressive score!

Overall

This was an original and inventive way to use gamification as a part of an event app. It’s an excellent example of how to integrate games directly into an event, all whilst boosting audience engagement and valuable networking opportunities.

Snapchat Geofilters: A No-brainer For Your Next Event

In the past Snapchat was regarded merely as a fun and simple photo sharing app, and only recently as an essential social media platform for events. In fact, the platform could be the perfect match for your event app.

For a long time, Snapchat has used geofilters.  A geofilter can be applied to your photo that’s linked to a specific area.  Previously, geofilters were only available in certain cities or at huge events such as Glastonbury Festival. However, in February 2016 Snapchat announced that custom geofilters could now be bought by anyone for smaller areas and events. Filters can be purchased for areas ranging from 20,000 sq. foot to 5 million for a maximum of 30 days.

How Can Snapchat be Used at Your Event?

When you think of social media for events, Snapchat may not be your first thought. But with 150 million daily users this platform can’t be ignored, and it was created with events in mind!

It is the perfect place to boost FOMO.  Snapchatters who document their day minute by minute, or even just the occasional selfie, will give your event so much more exposure. In an early blog post Snapchat themselves said that, “if you can’t make it to an event… you [can] feel like you’re right there!”

Geofilters are highly engaging and shareable, they can be utilized for any event, from conferences to weddings, and will work seamlessly with your event app.

CrowdComms can add a direct link from the social media page of your event app to Snapchat. So your attendees can go from the app and share a selfie on Snapchat with your filter, both of which will match your brand or theme perfectly.

They still haven’t hit mainstream event marketing. They’re fresh and interesting so it’s important to jump on the bandwagon before everyone else does!

And They’re tried and Tested By Yours Truly!

To see what all the fuss is about we decided to purchase a custom CrowdComms geofilter for our UK office. It was so cheap and easy! We paid £5 for an area of 70,000 sq. feet for 24 hours and used the CrowdComms logo.  Our filter was very simple but we have seen some beautifully designed Geofilters online, any event or event app branding can be catered for.

Our filter was approved and it went live three hours after we paid.  You can also track who is using your filter online and how many people are seeing it.  As a result, pictures that are shared on a consumer’s story will reach more people.

After hearing about these filters and trying them our for ourselves, we believe they are an absolute no brainer for any event, especially if you’re using an event app. Reaching so many people and creating FOMO around your event for such a low cost, why wouldn’t you? Plus, it’s just such a fun way to market your event!

Will Google Uptime Transform Live Event Broadcasting?

Google’s Uptime is a video sharing app directly attached to YouTube. Born from Google’s start-up incubator Area 120, it is still very much early days for the app and it is still only available on Apple and Google Play stores.

The app is very simple, it allows you to watch YouTube videos with friends on multiple devices and to leave comments. It is the host of ‘snarky YouTube parties’ according to Engadget.

What Does This Mean for the Events Industry?

So does this concern the events industry and the use of event apps? Well yes, sort of.

It shows a development in the way we should be thinking about live event broadcasting. With Uptime, existing content can be taken and immediately transformed into a live event.  Participants can still interact through the comments (and leave sophisticated opinions in the form of emojis).

As mentioned previously, this app is still in its early stages.  There is talk of adding a livestream feature. This would be perfect for the event app industry; a more personal live event could be easily created. Plus the Google ecosystem means that everybody automatically has an account, praise to the omnipotent Google gods.

Live broadcasting is certainly on the rise with Twitter joining the bandwagon; as well as Facebook, Instagram and of course YouTube. This is exciting for events, especially from an engagement perspective. Livestreams teasing event content or speakers are perfect for creating hype around your event, and their use at the event itself is undoubtable.

And in the Future?

This begs the question, will livestreaming be integrated directly into event apps in the future? That’s an exciting thought. Being able to engage with your whole audience directly in real time through your event app would revolutionise event technology. Unfortunately, that may be a little way off, but it’s certainly not something to rule out for the future.

So, the question stands, will Uptime thrive independently? The consensus suggests no, and that it’s more likely that the idea will be merged directly on to the YouTube app. However its very existence hints to a change in the way we share video content online and, as with every new toy in the technology industry, we should consider how it affects our industry and the opportunities it may create in the future for event broadcasting.

Knowing Your Audience: Is an Event App Right For You?

An event app can bring huge benefits to almost any kind of event. However, when considering this option for your next event, it is vital to know your potential audience.

Knowing Your Audience

To decide whether an event app is right for your event and audience there are a number of points to consider:

  • In the run up to your event consider how reachable your attendees are. Are they contactable within minutes or hours? This will indicate the degree to which your audience use their smartphones and, therefore, how likely they are to engage with your event app.
  • Another good indication of how your audience will receive your app is whether any promotional emails you send are received through mobile or through desktop. This will suggest how often your audience are likely to check their phones. Will they even use an event app?
  • Audience demographics are an obvious consideration. This information will also indicate how specific details of your event app could be tailored to your attendees. Age is a key factor e.g. millennials will almost definitely engage successfully with your event app.
  • It is important to take note of any social media activity at your past events. How often was your event hashtag used? How often was your event discussed online? This will indicate whether your attendees would benefit from a multi-platform event app with an activity feed.

Importance of Planning

Your audience will be at the front of your mind during any decision in your event planning process. This should be the same for your event app. Taking time to define your target audience first will save you a lot of pain in the future, whilst ensuring that your app receives a positive reception from your delegates.

Think about how your attendees will benefit from your event, what is their reason for being there? For example, attendees often agree that networking is one of the most valuable aspects of a conference, so you may want to push this on your event app through the use of gamification.

Event apps work for the majority of audiences, your attendees will love it. However, knowing your audience will allow you to tailor your event app to them, allowing your attendees to make the most of your event.

 

 

 

Event App UX Update: Fun With GiFs/Auto Agenda Updates

We’re constantly looking at ways to improve our event app’s UX. Even small changes can make a big difference to attendees’ and planners’ event app UX. It’s why we dedicate time every day to review and analyse what’s working, what we can improve and what we can add.

With this is mind we’re going to introduce you to two new features that will improve your event attendees’ event app UX.

Fun With GiFs

GiFs are great! Shareable, small and often highly amusing, GiFs are mini-videos squished into a short space. But they’re not just for funny cats (although, please, enjoy the one below on us).

via GIPHY

GiFs can be a great way to share information with your attendees. A short, dynamic GiF can be the perfect way to deliver information. Whether it’s part of a real-time update advising of event changes or a permanent information feature on the event app, GiFs are easy to digest and enhance event engagement.

They are super easy to import into your event app, but if you need help we’re on hand to guide you through the process.

Want to make your own GiFs? This is a good introduction to GiFs with some pointers to resources you can use.

Self-Updating Agendas

It’s a small but significant update: automatic agenda updates.

Until now our event app has required attendees to either refresh the app or log-out and log back in again to view any agenda changes. Following customer feedback, we recognised this was time consuming at best, and at worst could cause attendees to miss out on important updates.

We’ve therefore changed the app’s mechanism so the event app automatically updates to show any changes to their agenda.

Whether it is a last minute change to the speaker line-up, a room switch or session selections made through a third-party system, attendees are now guaranteed to stay in the loop.

 

How To Write Effective Event App Survey Questions

Event app surveys have streamlined the event survey process, boosted response rates and provided event planners and organisers with insightful reporting.

While technology improves the distribution and collection of surveys and polls, it’s worth bearing in mind that they’re being viewed primarily on mobile devices. This means smaller screens and more distractions.

It is therefore critical to pose the right questions in the right format to optimise response rates and data quality.

The question length, number of questions, and the detail in each question all have an impact on the feedback you’re gathering. If the survey is too long, attendees are less likely to complete it. If the survey questions are too long, attendees are less likely to read it. And if there isn’t enough detail in the question, the answers won’t be useful anyway.

The following guidelines are worth keeping in mind:

  • Keep surveys short and to the point.
  • Keep survey questions as concise and specific as possible without excluding anyone.
  • Keep to one topic per survey or poll.

Poor Questions

Quality responses from your attendees are a valuable commodity, so getting the most out of every question is important. In addition to avoiding long and vague questions, also watch out for:

  • Poor question phrasing or jargon (e.g. What did you think about the use of native apps at the conference?)
  • Leading survey questions (e.g. How remarkable did you find the keynote speech?)
  • Asking questions that don’t matter or are less of a priority. Understanding your audience is integral to understanding their feedback. You may like to have feedback on the catering, but is it more important to find out which sessions provided the best technical information?

Good Questions

In addition to keeping surveys and polls simple and limited to one subject, make sure your questions:

  • Focus on things that you have control of at the event (e.g. Multiple choice question asking if a particular session was run at an appropriate time).
  • Provide attendees with the opportunity to qualify their answers. A simple follow up question with an open-text response asking why they answered the way they did will give valuable insight into yes/no or multiple choice responses.
  • Have a balanced and full range of responses so nobody feels forced into an answer that doesn’t accurately represent their feelings (which will compromise your data.) If it’s possible they don’t know, let that be an answer. ‘Don’t know’ responses can be useful in themselves e.g. has information been properly communicated? Was the agenda clear enough? Were session descriptions accurate?

 

Event App Surveys: What Type To Use And When

Event app surveys have made the process of launching and collecting feedback faster (remember how painful paper surveys were?).

The quality of data depends on getting two things right: the right survey type and the questions. You can find out more about what type of questions to ask here. But before you do, let’s take a look at the different types of event app surveys.

With your CrowdComms event app you can launch 3 different types of surveys: live polls, session surveys and event surveys.

First Up

Before you launch any survey it’s important to understand what you’re trying to accomplish with the poll or survey. This will determine which feedback method you should use and when you should use it.

Clarifying your objectives for the survey or poll will result in a poll that targets the right audience at the right time.

For example, if your objective is to gauge the quality of speakers, you should create simple session survey with star rating questions and send it out directly following the session.

Live Polls

Live polls are usually shorter than surveys and are tied directly to sessions in the event app. They should be treated as part of the session and driven by the speaker. With this in mind, it’s important to ensure speakers are fully engaged with the concept ahead of the session (as they will be the ones responsible for implementation).

Live polls are particularly useful to serve real-time objectives, such as taking the audience’s temperature during the event or measuring interest in the current discussion topic.

Session Surveys

Much like their title suggests, session surveys are directly linked to sessions in the event app. Session surveys should be issued either near the end or directly after the session.

Since attendees may be on a break and on the move, the questions should be short and easy to answer (e.g. star rating, yes/no, multiple choice.) Session surveys should focus primarily on the session they’re linked with, as that will be top of mind for attendees.

To ensure maximum response rates, encourage speakers to draw attention to the survey. Also make sure to allocate enough time in the corresponding session for attendees to fill it out before the next activity.

Event Surveys

Unlike session surveys and live polls, event surveys are not tied to a specific session. Event surveys are used to gather more detailed information about the event as a whole (primarily for pre and post event information gathering).

Event surveys are usually the longest of the three types of feedback. They are the most appropriate to include open-text response questions. Given attendees will be receiving these surveys before and after the event, they will likely have more time to complete them.

Tip: Although survey completion is important to event organisers and planners, it may not be a priority for attendees. Actively promoting event app surveys will go a long way, such as by attaching a survey to an ‘alert’ that’s pushed through the event app to each attendee’s phone.

 

 

 

 

This is an edited version of a post by our good friends at EventMobi. You can read the original here.

CrowdComms Update: Revamped Event App Reporting

Event analytics are a critical part of an event organiser’s planning process.

Event data can be gathered during and after an event. It can include post-event surveys, event app usage, and speaker/information session feedback.

Event app reporting tells event planners what worked and what didn’t. It provides the template to improve future events and respond to the things attendees want and need.

Because we know how important event analytics are to our customers, we’ve been working hard to deliver comprehensive reports that tell planners and organisers what they need to know.

You can now benefit from CrowdComms’ improved event app reporting generated from the Polls and Feedback modules.

This means you now have access to beautifully designed Live Polls, Ask a Question, Session Feedback, and Event Survey reports. The new layout and presentation means the reports are easier to read, digest, and share with key stakeholders.

You can also generate session feedback for a single session, making it easier to share the results with your speakers.

Here’s a look at what you can expect from the PDF Reports:

Creating a New Report

While the new reports are more comprehensive and easier to read, generating them is still easy.

Simply head to the Polls & Feedback Module.  Select the type of report you want to generate (e.g. Session Feedback) and choose from three options: PDF Report, Excel Report, and Excel Data.

Attendee Specific Feedback 

Obtaining attendee specific feedback without compromising personal privacy can be tricky. However, you can now isolate attendee comments from their personal details.

With PDF reports, you now have the option of excluding your attendee or respondent details in the text responses by selecting ‘Anonymise Attendees’. This means is you can share your session feedback with a speaker, including the verbatim comments, without attributing the comments to the attendee who made them.

Conclusion

CrowdComms’ new and improved event app reporting will deliver comprehensive data to event planners and organisers. It will give even more data about event successes and failures and help with future event planning.

If you have any suggestions regarding reports you would like to see added, get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

 

Event App Best Practice at ExecLN

We were delighted to provide the app for the Executive Leaders Network (ExecLN) event in March.

400+ attendees from HR, IT and Marketing departments gathered at the Madejski Football Stadium in Reading for a jam packed day of plenaries, break outs sessions and one-to-one meetings.

Introducing the Event App

We started the day by introducing the app live on stage. As we always recommend to clients, we highlighted the features that were going to be most valuable to the attendees during the event. At this event personalised schedules, private in app attendee to attendee messaging and live audience polling were key.

App Concierge

As we were exhibiting at the event we provided an app concierge service at our stand. An app concierge is great service to offer and it can usually be easily located alongside, or as part of, the event registration desk.

Live Polling and Q&A

There’s no better way to highlight live polling than running a warm-up question. Some clients chose a topical or fun question to break the ice. In this case time was limited so we got straight into the content of the day and ran a live poll to survey the audience on what was driving their businesses to transform.

The Brexit panel discussion which concluded the day also included some interesting polls.

Q&A as always went down a treat. Speakers in each room tracked comments and questions via iPads. Attendees could also see the questions submitted. The vote-up feature meant the short amount of time available could be spent answering the most relevant questions.

We had great feedback on the app and we look forward to working with the team on the next event.

About the Executive Leaders Network

The Executive Leaders Network (#ExecLN) brings together the best and brightest executives known for their influence, expertise, strategic thinking and delivery experience. ExecLN Events inspire new levels of thinking through stimulating debates, renowned speakers and peer problem solving discussions.

 

 

Gamification + Live Display = An Amazing Event Tech Deal

You know how some things are just better when they’re together? Like the beach and sunshine, or coffee and Saturday mornings.

Our Gamification and Live Display features are great stand-alone features. But we’ve come up with a great way to make them even better…together!

You probably know how Gamification boosts attendee engagement by making things, well, fun.

Whether it’s attendee networking or sponsor engagement, Gamification turns ordinary event activities into a competition. Attendees get fired up to top the challenge leaderboards. At the same time they interact with each other and key event features. Gamification is the fun way to get serious results from your event.

And as for Live Display, what better way to showcase everything your event has to offer?

Live Display means event highlights get the big screen treatment. From top social media posts to upcoming speaker sessions, Live Display gets them front and centre so everyone can stay in the loop.

Yep, you’re right. Gamification and Live Display and are a perfect match.

Gamification sets the challenges and Live Display broadcasts the results.

As the competition heats up, Live Display shows attendees how they’re performing and who they need to beat! Live Display turbo charges the energy and excitement generated by Gamfication to ensure attendees are super engaged.

To celebrate Gamification and Live Display’s awesome partnership, CrowdComms is offering a great event tech deal when you buy the two features together.

How It Works

Purchase the Gamification + Live Display bundle before May 31 2017 and we’ll give you a whopping $1,000 discount.

Normally retailing at $2,999, for this limited time you can get the two together for only $1,999!

Excited about bringing Gamification and Live Display together? Us too.  We can’t wait to help you make your next event even better.

Contact us here to find out more about our event tech deal. We’d love to hear from you.

PS. This deal is available in Australia and the UK – for an equally great discount in GBP get in touch for a quote.

 

 

Event Apps In 2017: New Ways To Engage Attendees

It was standing room only for our Event Apps session at Confex 17.  That goes to show how influential event apps have become nearly ten years on from their inception.

Felix, MD for CrowdComms UK, led the session and started by taking a look at the trends we saw in 2016.

The good news is that most event planers reported an increase in event budget. And over half increased their spend on event technology. The increased spend on event tech shows that the benefits are clearly tangible, producing efficiencies and cost savings.

Felix then delved into how the core modules of event apps are evolving to deliver more value to events in 2017. He also looked some practical applications for Augumented Reality – which is often mentioned but not yet widely used. Here’s a taster of what was discussed regarding event apps in 2017:

Greater Q&A Control

Live audience polling and Q&A have always been two of the most popular features with an event app.

This year we expect to see the moderator role becoming redundant and the speaker having an easy way to manage the questions on the fly.

Advanced Mapping

Another core element of an event app is mapping. Event apps feature a variety of interactive map functions and we expect that this will be further enhanced this year by distance filtering.

AI + Gamification

We saw a huge increase in the adoption of event app games by event planners in 2016. This is no surprise. When designed well they are a great way to facilitate learning, drive specific behaviour (including attendee networking).

A whole new level of sophistication in gaming is emerging through the incorporation of artificial intelligence. Think bonus points for submitting questions to speakers that receive the most votes, for example.

Video Content

Video content is starting to change how we interact digitally.

360 content is something we will expect to see a lot more of this year. We are working with one our clients to have streaming 360 video content accessible via the event app.

Add Google Cardboard and event planners have a great entry point to a VR experience for attendees.

Augmented Reality

AR features at every expo about events but in reality very few event planners put it into practice at their events. Thankfully event app API’s have improved so plugging AR components in is now a much easier proposition.

We are excited about event apps in 2017. This year we will see a lot of the technologies the industry has been talking about for years actually in practice and delivering value at events