It seems like only yesterday that I was being asked, “Why should I use an event app?” Now it is, “I have an event, I need an app, what can yours do?” The market is certainly changing at an electrifying pace and event planners now recognise that mobile event apps can add a rich interactive experience for their delegates. In fact the tables have turned, I am now challenging clients with the question, “Why do you want to use an event app?” Simply ticking the mobile event app box without allocating proper thought to the process can potentially have a negative effect on your event. Part of the meeting design process is to first reflect upon your audience; why are they attending, what are they looking to get out of attending your event, do you know what drives them to get out of bed on the morning and be genuinely engaged in their work, what can they take away from your event that will enrich their lives in some way?
Lots of questions that you may not immediately have all of the answers to but you can use interactive event apps to start gathering data and building that picture. Does your message ring true with your audience? You have a number of key messages/ points that you want your audience to digest and take away with them but is your message aligned with the needs and desires of your audience? An easy way to find out is run a couple of quick pre-event survey questions through your event app with your audiences to check if this is the case, there maybe other issues that concern them. The polling results will enable you to tweak content ahead the event to ensure your message is in synch with your audience.
Networking: the sharing of ideas
Delegates who attend a particular event have a shared interest but they also have skills/ expertise/ interests that are not common across the event audience. You might have people with rare skills/ experience who work in isolation nationally or internationally. Give them an integrated mobile networking tool that allows them to find like-minded people quickly and easily connect via the event app.
I’m speaking; what are they thinking?
One way monotone PowerPoint presentations have a powerful soporific effect upon an audience, especially after lunch so get your audience engaged and find out what they are thinking. Using a live multiple choice polling during sessions through your event app enables speakers to instantly gauge the sentiment of the room in a controlled manner. The speaker needs to put some though into the answers and be prepared to discuss the results no matter which way the audience vote
Questions, questions, questions!
I am a delegate, I have a burning question but I’m not sure if it’s a good one and I’m not that confident about getting up in front of all my peers and using the mic! The majority of delegates will feel this way so give them a voice; a moderated Q&A feature on your app. They can ask anonymous questions through the event app which can go through to a moderator for approval which will then in turn reveal the question to the speaker/ chair/ panel. The simple feature of letting delegates vote up a question that has been submitted by someone else lets the speaker know the burning questions from the audience as a whole.
Author: Felix Stroud-Allen, CrowdComms co-founder.