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Your Guide To The Perfect Event App Pop-Up

If you have a mobile device, and use apps, you will be familiar with push notifications.  These concise messages pop-up on our screens to remind or persuade us to take action.

While push notifications are a valuable marketing tool, they also serve as an important communication channel for event organisers.  Need to get urgent information to your attendees quickly? Push notifications will tell them what they need to know, when they need to know it.

But how do you ensure attendees will take notice when your pop-up hits their screens?  Here’s our guide to getting the perfect push notification strategy.

Enabling Push Notifications

Just because an app supports push-notifications doesn’t mean users will receive them.  Most apps require users to give permission for notifications to be sent to their device.

While this opt-in is fine for general apps, event apps are different because they are often used to communicate urgent updates.  It’s therefore really important attendees have the push notifications enabled within their device settings when they download the app.

To encourage opt-ins make sure attendees know why pop-ups are a key feature of their event app, i.e. they could miss out on valuable information such as travel reports. 

Staying On Point

Pop-ups must be relevant to recipients.   Notifications that don’t offer immediate value to the attendee increase the risk of future pop-ups being ignored.

Last minute updates, such as agenda changes or room switches, have obvious value.  Use that as a guide when you’re assessing the necessity of other notifications and ask yourself:

a) Do attendees really need to know this?

b) Will it add value to their event experience?

For example, a reminder that reception cocktails are about to be served will be useful to busy attendees who may have lost track of time.

Keep it Short

The perfect pop-up can be read in a glance.  While detailed information has its place, updates and reminders are best delivered in short sentences that get to the point.

Make sure your key point can be seen without having to open the notification. Many attendees may see the message on a locked screen while busy with other event activities.

If you’re sending pop-ups with links to additional content (such as video images) keep the text short but use words that will entice the receiver into opening the notification (especially if the attendee cannot open at time of receipt).

Timing is Everything

Relevant notifications will help make sure you’re not bombarding attendees with messages.  Too many notifcations will either distract them from your event or cause them to switch off.

Keep pop-ups to a minimum and use only when necessary. Schedule messages in advance (e.g. reminder for the lunch service) so you can see the notification frequency.

Aim for 1 to 2 messages every 1 to 2 hours.  This still allows for urgent updates to occur without cluttering your notification schedule.  Aim to send during event break periods and avoid unsociable hours or during high-profile sessions such as keynote speaker presentations.

 

 

Getting Your Event App Copy Right

You’ve secured the perfect venue, locked-in your first choice keynote speaker and curated a mouth-watering catering menu. The words you choose to convey this information are critical to your attendees.

Each event element will require a different approach. Venue directions require clear, to-the-point instructions. Catering menus need enticing but short descriptions. A speaker session needs a mix of bold and impressive bio details mixed with a focus on why the session is a must-attend i.e. the benefits.

Your event app will house all the information your attendees need. But to enable them to get the most from your event you must choose your event app copy carefully.

General Rules of Online/Mobile Copy

Attendees will mostly view your event information on a mobile device. This means limited space.  To maximise engagement follow these guidelines for great event app copy:

* Concise writing is key. That’s not the same as writing less or reducing the amount of information. Ditch surplus words and write in the active voice to give your information punch and clarity.

* Try and keep information to a single screen. The less need to scroll or swipe, the better.

* Keep paragraphs short. Lengthy paragraphs on mobile screens test readers’ patience. Short paragraphs are easier to digest plus the addition on ‘white space’ increases readability.

* Make headlines and opening sentences short and strong for easy scanning.   What’s ahead needs to be made clear but don’t be afraid to grab attention with bold statements and call-to-action.

* Videos and visual images break-up text and encourage engagement.  Use them where you can to support your message.

Event App Copy Specifics

While there are consistent rules underpinning your event app copy, you need to vary style and delivery according to each different event app element.

Event Features

Your event features are the drawcard to the event. Promoting the benefits of each feature will encourage attendees to make the most of them. Simply put, benefit promotion is less about the ‘what’ and more about the ‘why’.

Focusing on the why means appealing to attendees’ personal interest. What’s it in for them? What will they gain from attending a particular speaker session?

Make language emotive and appealing. Adjectives and descriptive language work well here (but keeping in mind general rules on mobile copy).

For example:

The what: Tech industry leader, Joan Hardy, will deliver our keynote address

The why: Energise your business by finding out what makes the tech start-up of today become a world-recognised brand.

Push Notifications and Alerts

Push notifications and alerts pop-up on an attendee’s mobile device screen. They are used infrequently and only when event organisers need to draw attention to something pressing. It could be an agenda change, session commencement or emergency call-out.

Brevity is absolutely critical here. Make the communication clear and short. No long sentences or unnecessary words. One or two sentences is all you should need. If you need attendees to take immediate action, think of your alert as call-to-action. Use specific detail to leave no room for confusion or ambiguity.

Example:

Call-to action/specific: ‘Kylie Minogue is about to take the stage! Make your way to the ballroom.’

Informative/non-specific: ‘Kylie Minogue will be providing this evening’s entertainment in the ballroom.’

Instructions and Directions

General information about venue directions, transport and logistics needs clear language.   Provide information in easy to follow steps. Keeping text to a single screen is important (where possible) here.

A good test of copy clarity to ask someone who is unfamiliar with the event location and venue to proof read. Can they easily work out where they need to be? Are they confident they can navigate their way around the venue?

Takeaway

The words you choose for your event app are important to help attendees get the most out of your event. Understanding the basic rules of mobile copy and how that can be applied to each event element will make sure attendees fully engage with your event and the event app.

 

 

Bite-Sized Case Study: Surfing the Digital Break

The Event Organisers 

Infor is a global organisation that delivers software and technological solutions for businesses of all sizes.

“With Infor, you can easily find the right solutions for every aspect of your business. We build complete industry suites in the cloud and deploy software that puts the user experience first, leverages data science, and integrates easily with your existing systems. Over 90,000 organizations worldwide rely on Infor to help overcome market disruptions and achieve business-wide digital transformation.”

Specific forums are open to organisations or groups that have installed or are contracted to install facilities that utilise Infor products.

The Event

Surfing The Digital Break – The Infor Public Sector User Forum.

This Forum is an incorporated entity whose membership is made up of Local Government, Water Authorities and other organisations in Australia and New Zealand who utilise the Pathway PPR & Hansen Asset Management applications developed by Infor Public Sector.

Surfing The Digital Break showcased new and emerging technologies in the public sector, as well as the changing nature of customer relationships with Infor’s Pathway and IPS systems.

Where In The World

QT Hotel on Australia’s ever-sunny Gold Coast in Queensland.

The Gold Coast is a great option for events. It has a whole host of conference venues to choose from and its proximity to huge stretches of beach (plus the country’s best theme parks) make it a fun and relaxing destination for attendees.

Event App Features

Infor packed their event app with useful and concise information.

From event welcome drinks to speaker sessions to maps and weather reports, Infor delivered all the details attendees needed to know straight to their mobile device.

Event App Management

Infor opted for self-build event app with CrowdComms building the app skin.

Things We Loved

1.Push notifications are always useful for alerting attendees to last minute changes, but we also loved how event organisers used the alerts to let people know that an earring had been found and could be collected from reception.

2.Dinner at MovieWorld was a great way to allow attendees to experience one of the Gold Coast’s key attractions. Infor also built a free night into the conference to allow attendees to get out and explore.

3.Infor made good use of the event app’s polls and feedback feature. They posed relevant questions but made sure they didn’t overload attendees. The data will be valuable when assessing event success factors and planning for future events.

Takeaways 

1.Conference attendees don’t always get to experience the local area. Building free time into the agenda or arranging excursions away from the venue allows attendees to get more from the event.

2.Your event app is a versatile tool that can help you communicate beyond the event parameters – use it connect with your attendees whenever you need.

What They Said

“Product was very easy to use and any issues we experience were dealt with very quickly by Ed [CrowdComm’s project manager]. We were able to update last minute changes to keep the delegates informed and the conference delegates were impressed.”

Michelle Formosa, Infor Public Sector User Forum

 

 

 

10 Tips To Blitz Last Minute Event Stresses

Whether it’s a small meeting or a multi-national conference, event planners know that last minute hiccups are part of the event planning deal.

But minimising those road bumps is possible with some careful planning. Here are ten tips that will keep your event on the rails:

 1.Plan for Option B

When booking keynote speakers or entertainers through an agency, include a clause that ensures a replacement speaker or entertainer will be provided if there’s a last minute cancellation (it’s a bit like having understudies).

Close to the event opening, the agency can provide you with a list of speakers and entertainers on their roster who can step in at the last minute.

2. What’s Risky?

Identify the areas that are most prone to last minute changes. Make sure these feature later in your project plan. For example, last minute attendee cancellations, weather related transport delays and late adjustments to the agenda can all require last minute notifications and updates.

If you have an online event app these updates can normally be delivered via real-time notfications or agenda edits.

3. Always Back-Up

Have back-up plans for each part of the programme that may be affected by last minute changes.

4. Keep Sponsors in the Loop

Include sponsors in key meetings. This is a tricky one as sponsors are busy and are generally happy to let event organisers do what they need to do. However, it’s worth including sponsors in selective meetings to ensure their buy-in.

Ask them to sign-off on content, the agenda, entertainment, and even the timing for catering service. It means everyone is on the same page throughout the planning stages.  It also negates the risk of last minute changes having to be made because of a misunderstanding in vision or objective.

5. Re-work Your Agenda. 

Building margin into your agenda, set-up, and logistics means last minute problems can be accommodated. Heavy traffic, poor weather and transport delays can hinder attendees’ arrival.

The margin allows you to move content to later time slots if necessary.

6. Fix a Cancellation Deadline

Last minute cancellations from corporate clients are inevitable. By getting all relevant parties to agree to a fixed cancellation notification date you will reduce those last minute scrambles.

7. Changes to Travel/Accommodation Plans?

A week before the event ask attendees to let you know ASAP if their travel plans or the length of their stay has changed.

Remind them to let event organisations know about any special meal requirements. That way you can make adjustments at a (slightly) more relaxed pace.

8. Early Arrivals

Where possible, bring the speakers in two nights before they are required. This means no last minute headaches when flights are delayed or the traffic is jammed.

9. Check-In to Press-On

Schedule the final checkpoint meetings with the entire team one week and then two days before the event.

This will help you identify any issues and develop a plan to manage them.

10. Troubleshooting Taskforce

Form a troubleshooting taskforce made up of members of the event planning team (specifically the planning sub-committees who have been involved throughout the event planning process).

The taskforce will be charged with identifying and dealing with last-minute emergencies. Make sure the last two days leading up to the event and during the event are completely clear for the team.

Their role should be to troubleshoot and problem solve. Ensure they are empowered to make quick and effective decisions.

…..finally

Some last minute event changes are unavoidable. Taking deep breaths and staying calm are key to getting you through the sticky patches. Be honest with attendees about the changes, why they are necessary and what you are offering as an alternative.

 

 

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

How To Connect With Association Members Year Round

Staying connected to your community is a challenge. Regular and relevant communication is the key to keeping association members engaged throughout the year.

But when your members are so busy with the other things in their lives, how do you cut through the noise to make your messages heard?

A great way to stay in touch is to utilise the one thing we’re all constantly connected to: our mobile devices.

If you used an event app at your annual conference, don’t limit the app to the conference duration. Here are five ways it can engage your membership base year round:

1: Get Your Game On

We’re all gamers at heart. Games are fun, motivating and addictive. They can be educational and informative too. Event app games can run throughout the year to keep association members engaged.

E.g. a year-round game called, Know Your Association. Each time a member answers a question correctly they accumulate points. Top members feature on the mobile app leaderboard. The points stack up and by the end of the year the top 3 members with the most points earn a free membership.

Not only is it an effective way to increase member engagement but it also encourages renewals too!

2: Amplify Networking Opportunities

Networking is the primary reason members join an association. It’s also one of the main ways to build a strong community.

While face-to-face meetings are one of the most effective ways to build connections, a mobile event app will boost those encounters by making them last beyond the event.

E.g. using a mobile event app members can see who is attending an event. They can connect privately or within the group chat. They can also start a conversation in group discussions to spark interest in the same topic and chat with other members.

Finally, everything and everyone can be found in the mobile event app. Which means no more time spent tracking down members in the website directory only to find out their email is out of date.

3: Give Your Members A Voice

Everyone likes to feel valued and your members are no exception. Gathering their feedback, acknowledging concerns and asking members (regularly but not too frequently) how they feel about your events, programmes, benefits and overall membership is a good way to allow your members to contribute to the association’s direction.

A mobile event app that extends year-round is the easy way to gather member feedback. E.g. you can set up a permanent Q&A section, send out regular surveys or ask members participate in a poll to gauge their views on a new programme, service or topic.

The mobile event app makes it convenient and quick for members to engage on-the-go. Your members will love that you are making a continuous effort to include their feedback. This increases loyalty and builds a stronger sense of community.

4: Swap Emails for Push Notifications

An average person gets 122 emails per day at work.

If your primary way of communicating with members is via email, you’re competing with an already jammed inbox.

A mobile event app allows you to send push notifications rather than emails to inform members about important updates or events. This allows you to cut through the clutter and reach members where they are: on their mobile devices.

Push notifications typically have a 3x higher click through rate than email, so by including these in your communications strategy you’ll see higher engagement.

N.B. Don’t over send push notifications. Use them wisely and make sure they add value.

5: All Your Events: One Place

While your association annual conference may be the calendar highlight, the smaller gatherings are also important. Workshops, training/educational sessions, fundraising events, networking sessions, board meetings etc. all provide members with incredible value.

Putting your events into one, mobile-friendly place means you can promote all of your events at the same time. There’s less chance an event will bypass members simply because they missed an email.

However, if a member does miss a meeting they can access the resources within the same app and review the materials at a later time.

Everything in one central location which is accessible on-the-go is a more convenient solution than tracking down emails, contacting your organisation, or digging through the website for relevant information.

 

 

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