The number of conferences happening worldwide is on the rise, according to American Express’ 2018 Global Meetings & Events Forecast. But even with more competition than ever, most conference budgets have stayed stagnant. That means conference planners must get creative when it comes to executing great events.
Luckily, creativity doesn’t have to come at a high cost or time investment. Event planners can use technology to set their conferences apart.
Whether your goal is to boost registrations, drive return attendance, or increase your return on investment, investing in technology can help. But which options will provide the best returns without breaking the bank? Here are three tech solutions to help you get started.
Capitalize on RFID
Radio-frequency identification, or RFID, technology uses a chip in an attendee’s wristband, card, or badge to streamline entry and engagement at events. This capability allows attendees to just tap their badges to enter a conference or session, engage with sponsors, or even pay for items at the event cashlessly.
RFID also helps track how your attendees move through your events, giving you real-time insights into what changes might need to be made during an event or for future installments. The technology simplifies the event experience for everyone — including yourself. And if you’re already using a registration platform, there’s a chance that RFID can be added to your package so that you can get started easily.
Invest in SEO
SEO, or search engine optimization, is particularly important for marketing your event. In fact, almost 90 percent of attendees said they use online search when deciding to go to an event. If an attendee allows Google access to his or her location, the first thing Google will look for is location data on your event page. Be sure your event’s “when” and “where” are clearly labeled on your website.
You’ll also want to make sure your event ranks at the top of searches for your event name. Make sure your event webpage has a URL that matches your event’s exact name. An Eventbrite study determined that search usually drives 5 to 10 percent of event sales. Use the strategy to help your staff get the word out about your event in a low-cost manner.
Test-drive Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Most people hear “artificial intelligence” and think of robots. But options like voice assistance and chatbots show there’s a lot more to it. In fact, AI is becoming so common that 88 percent of conferences and corporate events planned to use it in 2018, according to Eventbrite research.
AI’s applications to the event space are endless. Test AI by enabling chatbots through Facebook or your event app. The chatbot can answer basic customer service questions automatically so that your staff can stay focused on your event’s schedule. Event chatbot templates are usually affordable, with some starting at just $89.
Whether your goal is to reach new attendees or keep your existing ones coming back, technology can get you there. Use these three technologies to make the process a breeze.
Ronnie Higgins works at Eventbrite, helping event planners level-up their registration game. Born and raised in New Orleans, he enjoys nothing more than helping people get together — whether it’s for a conference, class, or a citywide party like Mardi Gras.