Event planning can be a nightmare when your team members are operating on different wavelengths. Minor details end up triple-checked while mission-critical items are overlooked, meaning you're fighting even more of an uphill battle than you have to. Fortunately, there are plenty of technological solutions available to help you win the event planning war.
Apps are now commonplace in the event planning space, and according to a Guidebook survey, 88 percent of event professionals utilizing them say they've seen an increase in the vital metric of attendee satisfaction. Eventgoers themselves are also realizing the power of technology to improve their event experience; the Event Marketing Institute reports that 44 percent of attendees opted to use mobile event apps in 2015 -- a number that's been consistently on the rise since.
So, what sorts of advantages do event apps bring to the table? Data from Enterprise Event Marketing reveals that they can lower costs by 20 to 30 percent. Drastically reduced or eliminated printing is at least part of the total cost reduction, and 82 percent of the event planners Guidebook surveyed found that switching to a mobile app provided savings in this regard.
Enterprise Event Marketing also found that event technology can increase productivity by as much as 27 percent, thanks to faster communication and a more accurate view of team member responsibilities. One of the biggest boons lies in increasing the scale of an event -- technology can help improve attendance by 20 percent, meaning increased exposure at the event and on social media after it has wrapped up.
Of course, incorporating event technology won't automatically help you realize all the above benefits. Event apps are tools, and how effective they work largely depend on how they're utilized. The following examples are some of the ways you can leverage technology to make your next event a resounding success.
1. Delegate tasks to team members.
No matter how small or large your team is, a major part of an event coordinator's job involves delegating tasks. You can't do it all alone, so use an app such as Asana to assign tasks and monitor progress. A macro view of event preparations will ensure everyone has a reasonable amount of time to complete their work and nothing slips through the cracks.
2. Create a professional event registration page.
Nobody wants to get to an exciting event only to wait in line to purchase their tickets. More and more event tickets are now bought online, and an app such as Eventbrite Organizer can help you cater to this online majority with a professional event ticketing and registration page.
3. Stay on budget.
Your budget is your bible, but it's easy to get wrapped up in the numbers instead of focusing on how to execute your promotional strategies within any budget. Utilize Super Planner's technology to calculate your needs and the cost so you can stay on budget without obsessing over it constantly.
4. Check attendees in.
Allowing attendees to purchase tickets or register online eliminates one potential chokepoint but creates another. You'll still need to check people in with wristbands, name cards, or QR codes, so reach for Boomset to provide those functions in addition to seamless integration with other event planning platforms.
5. Plan for the unknown.
You probably already have a few backup plans in place, but it's less common for event coordinators to have a platform to communicate that plan to attendees. Flybits, a context-as-a-service platform, is not only capable of updating your attendees when certain details change, but the technology can also recommend specific speakers or sessions for people based on their job titles.
6. Schedule social media.
Chances are you'll be too busy as your event unfolds to be particularly active on social media. Instead of letting important accounts go dormant, keep them humming by queueing up preplanned posts with Hootsuite. Social media is used by 58 percent of U.S. marketers to drive engagement during events in real time, primarily through posts that highlight aspects of the event such as presentations or performances.
7. Get feedback to determine ROI.
Even once the crowds go home, your event is far from over. Your attendees have valuable feedback you can use to calculate your degree of success and determine what changes you need to make to future events. Instead of leaving a pen and paper by the door and hoping for a hastily scrawled note, utilize Slido to interact with your audience after the event. Attendees receive unique app access codes that allow them to answer your questions and ask their own.
Event planning will never be a stress-free job, but bringing your team and your toolbox up to speed with the latest technological innovations will help you put on events that accomplish your goals. Check out some of the above tech tools for proven solutions to many obstacles you're likely to encounter as an experiential marketer.