Increasing Engagement with Event Apps

Learn new ways to increase attendee engagement and build long-term relationships with your conference attendees. We will cover techniques for improving pre-event engagement, leveraging the app to encourage face-to-face interaction and how to keep the conversation going after the event is over.

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Jordan Schwartz

Good morning or afternoon everybody and again, thanks for showing up to learn a little more about building engagement with event apps. We’re going to spend a little less than an hour today going through some tips and tricks that we’ve learned along the way here at Pathable. I am Jordan Schwartz. I’m the founder actually of Pathable and I’m here with Rhienn Davis, our director of customer success who if you showed up 2 minutes ago, you already met. Hello, Rhienn.

Rhienn Davis

Hello.

Jordan Schwartz

Rhienn is going to be helping me out today especially watching the questions window. If you do have questions, feel free to type them into the questions window. She’ll either answer them privately or bubble them up to me if it seems fit for pausing our demo and addressing as we go. I prefer to take questions as we go rather than holding them to the end. I feel like it provides better context for the question.
A couple bits of housekeeping, this will be recorded and I will make the slides available for download afterwards. You’ll be getting an email about 2 to 3 days after the webinar is over with that information. Also if you’re interested in getting CEU credits for your CMP. I will send along instructions for doing that in that email as well.
Without further adieu, let’s get down to business. Again, we’re talking about building engagement with event apps. We provide both an event app and a desktop web platform that presents a seamless integrated online, offline and desktop solution. I don’t blame you if you think, “Sure. I need an app, but I don’t know about all this engagement stuff and all the other pieces.” Why bother? It’s worth just pausing for a second because I think there are 2 really good reasons to be thinking about an event app.
One of them is you think of it as a digital program guide. If you’re in the event business, as long as we can remember, we’ve been handing out printed programs with the times of the sessions, and maps, and list of exhibitors, and other key information. We printed that and hand it to the attendees. That’s great. You could take all of that printed information. You could put it in to your digital program guide, your event app, and you’d be happy, and you’d be better off to save paper. It’s more dynamic, people can access the information changes.

Rhienn Davis

It’s up to date.

Jordan Schwartz

It’s up to date. You don’t have to stick in little correction flyers into everybody’s program as you hand them out. Digital program guide, again, you have your agenda, you’ll have your exhibitors and sponsors, you’ll have maps, speaker profiles, maybe a city guide. I consider that the ante. Rhienn, did you play poker.

Rhienn Davis

I play poker.

Jordan Schwartz

You play poker. You know what an ante is? What’s an ante?

Rhienn Davis

That’s the money you got to pay to play.

Jordan Schwartz

Just got to pay to play. Exactly.

Rhienn Davis

The base bet.

Jordan Schwartz

The base bet, exactly. If you don’t have that, you’re not even sitting at the table. I consider this the digital program guide goodies. That’s the ante. I’m not even going to talk about it today, honestly because to me it’s clear. What I’m more interested in talking about today is building community and using your event app to build engagement and interactivity with your attendees, and with your sponsors, and with your exhibitors, and with your speakers.
I mean, a typical event is going to cost, I don’t know, I mean, from tens, to hundreds, a thousands, millions of dollars to put on for larger events. If you think about all of that investment, going into 3 to 5 days of engagement, your attendees are onsite, they’re there, they’re listening to your sessions or talking to each other and then after that 3 to 5 days, they go home and it’s all over.
It’s throwing money away. There’s 365 days in the year and there’s a great opportunity for getting more value out of your event app and building long term engagement through networking, between the attendees, and that networking can then result in long-term relationships and collaborations. You can build a cohesiveness amongst your attendees that creates identification with the group, a brand identification if you will so that they feel a part of something.
As they feel a part of something, that’s going to yield benefits for the attendees who are typically your members and have more eyes then are pictured in this little graphic. It’ll also have benefits for your organization. There’s ways to get revenue from it but really to benefit your attendees, I would think would be one of your primary goals. We’re going to be talking about ways that you can improve that engagement. Honestly, just building a community site, building an event app and deploying it, it’s not going to be enough. We call it the …

Rhienn Davis

You can build it.

Jordan Schwartz

If you build it, exactly.

Rhienn Davis

Maybe they will come.

Jordan Schwartz

Maybe they will come. Some of them will come. A few of them won’t come. Again, there’s some basic things that you should be doing to make sure that you don’t fall into the field of dreams fallacy that if you build it they’ll come. I think of this as the obvious thing. Again, I’m not going to spend a ton of time. We’re at 8 minutes into

Maybe they will come. Some of them will come. A few of them won’t come. Again, there’s some basic things that you should be doing to make sure that you don’t fall into the field of dreams fallacy that if you build it they’ll come. I think of this as the obvious thing. Again, I’m not going to spend a ton of time. We’re at 8 minutes into the hour and I don’t want you to think that what we’re going to be talking about today is the basic things.
Tell everybody how to get your event app. Send an email, post links to it in Twitter, hashtag, Facebook, LinkedIn. Put it on your website. These are the basics. Put up a sign at your event with a link to it. The reason I mentioned this is in researching this webinar and thinking about what I wanted to say, I looked around at various articles.
I have just summarized about 75% of the articles on the internet that talked about how to build event app engagement, so signage, fax. Don’t actually fax anyone your link to your event app for all that’s good in the world. We’re going to move up beyond the basics. This is where the fun starts. Hope you’re hungry. Do you recognize brand, Rhienn?

Rhienn Davis

I don’t recognize the brand.

Jordan Schwartz

I know. They don’t have them a lot down here. I think it’s a big California thing. It’s the In-N-Out Burger.

Rhienn Davis

In-N-Out.

Jordan Schwartz

In-N-Out.

Rhienn Davis

I’ve heard of In-N-Out. People rave about them.

Jordan Schwartz

It’s a big thing. I haven’t tried it myself. It’s a big thing. I slightly altered their logo here to in versus out because this is the first point I want to make about building engagement is thinking about whether you want to drive traffic into your app or out of your app. It’s not as obvious an answer it might seem. Just I think people might think I don’t know. This guy built event apps. Of course he’s going to say drive traffic into your event app. There are definitely cases where that’s the case.
This is a picture of a beach bar in Tulum. It’s a beautiful little town on the Mexican coast. Just a little about hour-and-a-half south of Cancun. I’ve been there a few times and I was struck as we would walk down the beach and there are all these cute little beach bars There’s dozens of them. Especially when I was younger, I’d go looking for a fun little bar to go into and meet people and go talk to other travelers.
Each one of these would have 2 to 3 people. Now, of course the whole beach, let’s say there’s, I don’t know, there’s 30 of these little bars and each one of them has 4 people in it. You got 120 people are on that beach doing what I’m doing. Out looking for people to chat with and get some conversation. In each one of the bars, there’s only 4 people. This is critical mass problem because everybody is distributed across the whole beach.
In each one little bar, they’re not coming together in larger groups. It ends up being a little bit of a disappointing experience and the reason I’m talking about beach bars in Mexico is I see all the different social media options, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Event Apps as beach bars in a way. If you drive people, say, post at Twitter post a Facebook, have a conversation over here, have a conversation over there and you try to get these conversations going in all of these different places, you’re going to get a few people in each one of the places but you’re not going to create a place where everyone can go and engage in conversations and know that everyone else will be there.

Instead you want to think about trying to create a watering hole. A single place where you can drive people in so that they all can find each other. There is some great examples of this. I looked to some of our customers and there was one recently, I guess just coming up Avant Expo and this is a company holding their customer conference and they’ve really done a nice job of creating lots and lots of conversations amongst their attendees.
They start the conversations. People talk about meet and greets. People were using the site to organize meet-ups, outside of the formal conference. Somebody wanted to create a mountain bike ride. Then they get this conversation going and a lot of people come and join in. They also have a Facebook page. They’re not using the Facebook page to encourage conversations on their Facebook page.
They’re not using LinkedIn to encourage conversations on the LinkedIn page. They’re trying to get their attendees all to head towards a single gathering place where they can have conversations. Of course there’s conversations, you can see them both on the desktop website as well as, wait a second here, do my little … [inaudible 00:12:56]. They can have the conversations on both the desktop website and on their mobile app, but the key idea is that they’re not trying to spread the conversations out, that regardless how the people got out of them, everybody is going to see the same conversations and so they can find each other. They can find each other a little better.
Like I said, just because my company beholds event apps, I don’t want you to think that event apps have to be the place that you need to drive people into. It really depends on your goals. You may have multiple goals. When you’re interested in networking and cohesion group identity, then it’s going to make more sense to drive traffic into the app. Use Facebook, use LinkedIn to tell people or to tell attendees that they should go and have conversations in the app.
If you’re looking to build, to advertise, to perspective attendees, to broadcast ideas to people who aren’t necessarily attendees, but you still wanted to share with them then it may make sense to drive traffic to the public networks and so that’s when you’ll average features that I think that are in most event apps where you can share conversations to Facebook.

This is a way or even share items from the schedule to Facebook and to LinkedIn and Twitter. Then you’re encouraging the attendees to take the messaging and take the conversations that are happening here and get people outside to see them, I guess specifically because there is a set of people who are not in your app, who don’t have access to the app. It makes more sense. It doesn’t make sense to rely on the app as a way of allowing them to connect with each other.

Rhienn Davis

With the added benefit of maybe gaining a few attendees.

Jordan Schwartz

Exactly. Advertising to perspective attendees. I mean, there’s nothing that is more attractive I think to perspective attendees than seeing the activity of other attendees.

Rhienn Davis

Someone they may already know. That’s even better.

Jordan Schwartz

Exactly. Both knowing that they have that social confirmation that people they know and respect are going to be there. People they want to spend time with are going to be there. Back to the bar analogy, restaurants and bars know that when people are trying to decide which one to go to they look to see which one was crowded and if a bar was empty. It’s going to stay empty because nobody wants to go to an empty bar.
I think that the same thing can happen with conferences and events where by demonstrating to perspective attendees that it’s well attended. You’re going to have a much easier time getting more attendees. You can get the momentum going, get that wheel rolling. As long as we’re talking about the discussions, it’s a good opportunity to talk about the importance of multi-device and multi-screen solutions.
I showed you that Avant Expo desktop experience. I also showed you the web experience. I showed the desktop website with those conversations before I showed those same conversations on the mobile phone. They’re in both places. People can engage with them in both ways but I don’t know. I mean, what would you say is the longest message you would send from a mobile phone?

Rhienn Davis

Anything longer than a tweet gets a little painful. It makes me nervous, the typos.

Jordan Schwartz

I mean, every once in a while I will get a text message from somebody and it’s this multi-page thing. It blows my mind. I’m assuming that they must have, whatever, iMessage or something like that and they can type it with their keyboard because I mean, I don’t use the LOL and …

Rhienn Davis

Now emojis.

Jordan Schwartz

Exactly. Now it’s all emojis. Thumbs up. I think [crosstalk 00:18:21]. You’ve probably got a few of those from me, thumbs up, frowning face. There’s a reason we use those emotions because they communicate a lot of information with not a lot of work. It’s a lot of work to type on these tiny little keyboards. If your event app is relying on a tiny little keyboard for complex tasks, you’re losing out. It’s likely that people simply won’t engage with those tasks.
Just some more examples, we looked at the discussions that are going on the Avant link site, this is more than anyone would ever type on their phone. The same thing we looked at PePcon is another conferences that these folks have been with us for years and years because they get these very complex conversations going where people are able to talk to each other and meet each other and engage with each other.
The conversations are going on weeks and months before the conference starts and then continuing during the conference and after the conference is over. If you were to just rely on, let’s see here if I can do this. If you just rely in the mobile app for those same conversations, it’s great for reading but it’s going to be very hard when it’s time to respond.

Rhienn Davis

Typing in a long reply.

Jordan Schwartz

Exactly. Go ahead.

Rhienn Davis

I was going to say, one of the things that we always suggest which I think is a great idea is to post open-ended questions to your audience instead of … Welcome to the event is a great idea because you want to welcome people to the event but to engage people in this conversation as open-ended questions are important but as Jordan mentioned, typing out 5 paragraphs and a thank you in your name on the phone. [crosstalk 00:20:51]

Jordan Schwartz

Exactly. I think this also provides a good lesson in making sure that you shared your slides with your co-presenter in advance so she doesn’t still steal your thunder.

Rhienn Davis

I just stole your thunder.

Jordan Schwartz

That’s fine. We’ll talk a little bit on open-ended questions versus close ended questions. This is actually a value to both in different contacts. It’s easier to get answers to close ended questions. If I ask a yes-no question, I will get more answers to it. “I’m in. I’m not an in. It’s a great idea. No, bad.” If I want people to really thoughtful and expose themselves more then you want these open-ended questions. Were you looking for what was your favorite part of the event, things like that.
There are other complex tasks that I think also call for this multi-device solution beyond just discussions. If you have a conference scheduled that’s relatively complex. PePcon for example has multiple days in each day at a given time. They might have 3 to 4 different sessions. Our GreenCon example 1 has similarly 4, 6 sessions at a time. If I tried to choose all my sessions on my phone, I will show you my phone.
Let’s open GreenCon app for example. I go to the agenda and I want go to [inaudible 00:22:48]. This is how any one of these event apps is going to work. I look through it and I’m just trying to decide which sessions I want to attend. That whole process of reading up on the session and adding on to my schedule is going to be relatively complex. It’s a lot to ask me to do on my phone whereas if I’m looking at a desktop web page, it’s much easier.
I have a full screen. I have my monitor. I have my keyboard. I have my mouse. I can interact with each one of these sessions in a much cleaner way and I can add and remove sessions from my calendar. The session selection is something that happens on a desktop and then viewing my own personal agenda, that’s something that makes more sense to do when I’m on my phone. When I’m actually at the event and I don’t have my desktop computer.
I just need to know where to go. That’s where the mobile device is going to be the most appropriate whereas a desktop is good for session selection and these other complex tasks. Private meeting scheduling is another great example. The whole process of trying to meet up with someone in the conference. I do this all the time and obviously I’m in the conference industry. I go to the industry conferences.
I’ll decide I want to meet with somebody. First I have to find their contact information. Then I send them an email saying, “I like to meet with you and they say yes or no. When? I say, “Well, how about this time.” They say, “Sorry. No, I’ve got some sessions I’m attending. Eventually we go back and forth. We establish a time to meet and then we have to choose a place. I’ve never been to this conference center before. I don’t know where anything is and so now there’s that whole problem of trying to find the right place to meet.
If the app can allow me to, let’s say I want to meet to Dennis Fosberg, take advantage of that full monitor, my keyboard, my mouse. I can see his free busy time. He can see my free busy time. I can choose a time that we both have available. If there are meeting tables that the event host has made available, I reserve one of those. I can enter my subject and some other description. I can send him an invitation. He can then get that invitation accepted or decline it and then that other device can come in handy when it’s time to figure out where I’m supposed to be.
Now, after I’ve established my meeting place and time and I just want to find out it’s 10 minutes, it’s 8:15, where is my meeting, then I can open that up on my phone and I can find the exact meeting place on the map or whenever else the app is going to let me do. Using this multi-screen solution is going to make sense by solving problems for me. The lesson here is really offer the right device for the right task if you want to get that engagement.
Complex discussions reviewing and selecting sessions, scheduling private meetings, that all makes sense on a desktop web portal. Then things like checking in and tweeting, checking your agenda, live polling and Q and A, so if there’s … I think, again, most event apps today will offer something like this where I can … Let’s see. Let me go to my full schedule.
If I want to create engagement between the speaker and the audience, I can use a live polling feature like this. There are few different kinds that Pathable offers. One is a kind of traditional question that can be set up in advance and then you can have the results projected onscreen. One of the most beneficial energy resources and I can answer that from my device.
Obviously I don’t have my desktop computer sitting with me in the audience so that’s going to be something that I’m doing on the phone. Also if you’re trying to take questions from the audience, it’s going to make sense to use the devices that you have to do that more efficiently. I’ve been to conferences where they take panel questions from the audience and they put the microphone in the aisle and then people at the end, we’re going to take questions.
People get up and they say, “Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me.” They get up to the aisle. They line up in front of the microphone and then one by one, people ask their questions. There’s no pre-filtering going on. Whoever is at the mic is the one who asked the question and the question as often as not. In my experience, it’s …

Rhienn Davis

Excuse me. Is it okay of I wear my Bermuda shorts to the networking dinner this evening after this session?

Jordan Schwartz

My research has shown such, and such, and such, and such, and such, and such, and such, and such, and such, and such, and such, and such, what do you think of that? By offering an event app that allows people to enter their questions from the app, so I can say, “What are my questions?” It’s what happens to subsidies. That question can then be reviewed by a moderator. Other attendees can up vote or down vote it and you’re able to select really the most … The most appropriate questions can get answered and the inappropriate ones can get deleted.
You can give everybody a voice. That is I think a great example of something where using the mobile device is obviously going to be a lot more effective than a desktop web platform.

Rhienn Davis

Or a stand up in front of the microphone.

Jordan Schwartz

Exactly. There are a variety of reasons that people will adopt your event app. Fun, because you told them to or it offers solutions for their problems. Hopefully you get that this slide is supposed to be funny. Everyone is busy. If you’re not solving problems for people, you don’t get their cooperation. Everybody is busy. The most you can hope for is that people … I mean, people will use your app to the extent that it’s also a problem that they have, real genuine problem.
I don’t know. I guess the area under a curve probably isn’t the kind of problem that they’re going to have but real problems that people at events have are things like I don’t know where to go or I don’t know who to meet or even I guess the same thing but the sense of even if I know who to meet actually going up to them and getting that conversation started can be difficult.
We talked about this a little before. I’ve never been to the convention center before but I have to arrange a meet up with somebody. I don’t know which exhibitors have the offerings I want. I mean, these are all questions that these are problems that attendees have if your solution is solving problems that they have, you’ll get great option. Don’t worry about faxing a link to the attendees and how to download the app, they’re going to want to do it because there’s a genuine reason. I mean, you’re solving a problem for them.
Let’s start with that. I’m doing a little jumping. The next piece of advice I would have is to have a dedicated community manager. Rhienn, you work with more clients than I think we cared to count today. I think you really have some of the best view into what makes a successful community online. I know that not everybody has a community manager. I assume you have seen this that having a dedicated community manager can make the events and the community that’s built online more effective.

Rhienn Davis

It does, absolutely. I think everyone expects things to happen organically or not expects but hopes the things will happen organically and we probably know just like in tilling your garden.

Jordan Schwartz

It’s like the field of dreams fallacy, right?

Rhienn Davis

What’s that?

Jordan Schwartz

I said the field of dreams fallacy that it’ll happen organically. It’ll just happen by itself. I’m sorry. What’s the gardening metaphor we’re going for?

Rhienn Davis

I was just going to say, someone has to actually plan it and cultivate it and pull the weeds and suggest to the grounds so that it grows the plants that you want and it works the same way with people.

Jordan Schwartz

Exactly. I have a garden patch where I have no done that. There are things growing on it but it is not the things that I want to grow, I’ll tell you what.

Rhienn Davis

Precisely.

Jordan Schwartz

When you’re choosing a community manager, someone has to be responsible, one of the frequent questions we get is should we hire somebody and there are social media managers out there and people who do this as their dedicated job. I have seen that be successful. It’s generally the people who do it as third party community managers, I think are exceptionally talented at what they do and that’s what makes them successful.
I think because the things that they may be missing are organizational knowledge about your company, about your people knowing who the thought leaders are within the attendee community or within the industry. Understanding the code words and keywords and fact points.

Rhienn Davis

Current issues.

Jordan Schwartz

Current issues. Exactly. It’s a lot to ask of a third party community manager. If you are going to get a third party community manager rather than appointing someone from within your organization make sure that they get that organizational knowledge, that industry knowledge. If you’re using someone from within your organization, they have to have the respect of the community. Again, I don’t see this so much anymore but when we were seeing in the beginning of online communities, around conferences, often it would be tasked to the intern to [crosstalk 00:35:49]

Rhienn Davis

Whoever the youngest. Who’s the millennial in the room?

Jordan Schwartz

They just seem so good at that social stuff, right?

Rhienn Davis

Yes.

Jordan Schwartz

You’re always doing that SnapChat thing. Can you run our online community? It’s different. They need to have the respect of the attendees so that they can guide the conversation that they can grow the conversation and they can tame the conversation of it needs to be tamed. Obviously they should have the passion for the brand, good judgment.
Again that may or may not disqualify millennials. I hope I haven’t in any offense to millennials in the call. It takes time to build I think the longer that you’re around, the more wisdom that you can grow and then just string communication skills. I have another brilliant idea that you’ve never heard of before. Thanks, Rhienn.

Rhienn Davis

Hey, Jordan. Have you thought about suggesting that they ask questions?

Jordan Schwartz

Thank you. I’ll put that in mind, the next time. Ask questions. We touched on this earlier that it’s not just getting conversations going by asking questions but different kinds of questions can be effective in different ways. An open ended question can help get deeper conversations going but you won’t get as many answers because people just aren’t going to take the time to answer some of these open-ended questions as likely or as frequently as they would a simple yes or no question.

Rhienn Davis

Questions that you know that people will have a strong opinion about time to get answers more quickly.

Jordan Schwartz

Exactly. I guess you got to be careful with that one. You’re familiar with your industry. You know what the flash point topics are. You know which conversations are going to get people talking and that is a double edge sword. Anyone who follows politics and is involved in social media is probably becoming painfully …

Rhienn Davis

We placed a study in that going on right now.

Jordan Schwartz

Exactly. We have a case study right there. I need to change this slide to the mansplain slide. You want to make sure that as you’re starting these conversations that you’re engaging and drawing attendees out rather than just telling them information. This is similar in some ways to the ask a question. I guess the additional idea here is listening to their answers.
I think a common mistake that we’ve seen that can short change engagement is someone will ask a good engaging question. They’ll get a bunch of answers and then that’s it. They move on. Acknowledge the answer and then maybe use that as a follow on to another question or to draw someone out further. Make it a dialogue. I think people find that more compelling but also it can lead to deeper and longer engagements. All this can be hard to do. You have this checklist. Talk with, not at.
Ask questions. Check, check, check. I’ve done it. If there’s not a structure to it, I think it can be difficult to pull off and so another tactic that we promote is the editorial calendar. I mean, they do this at newspapers and magazines and things like that, blogs where you’ll come up with in advance, a calendar of topics that they’re going to cover and so these maybe questions that they’re going to ask in advance.
They’ll know that they’ll be asking question like this so that they can get a drumbeat or a rhythm or dialogue going on. You can even in this example, we have both the questionnaire and participants. What I’m suggesting is not just that you know what questions you’re going to ask in advance and that your community manager asks these questions but that you recruit people a variety of people to ask the questions.
Each person is responsible for one question that they’re going to ask and they know when they’re going to ask it. You also recruit confederates if you will so other people not necessarily from the hosting organization but from the attendee population who are willing to help you get conversations going. I will wait today. I’ll wait a few hours and I’ll all provide the first response.
The reason that’s important is that inline communication it lacks a lot of the social queues that in person communication benefits from. When I walk into a room and a cocktail party, something like that, I can look around and I can tell what kind of conversation I’m supposed to be having by looking at the conversations that other people are having.
Are they talking loudly? Are they talking in big groups? Are people talking over each other or are they politely waiting for the conversation to go around. That helps me know the way I’m supposed to behave and that makes me more comfortable and so I tend to follow suit. In online conversation we lack those social queues. I can’t even tell who’s in the room. I can’t tell who else is reading the question.

I don’t know how I’m supposed to answer whether I’m supposed to answer. By providing examples, by recruiting these confederates who cannot Astroturf the conversation but provide behavioral examples models for people to follow, you’re more likely to get the real conversations from the real attendees that you want. It also can save the embarrassment of having a question ask and then that the cricket is chirping response.
Getting those people, your champions to help you with those conversations and to sign up to participate them in the ways that you want, there are a lot of ways that you can do it. I mean, you can offer people exposure or recognition really. I mean everyone likes to feel important so I think having somebody from the hosting organization reach out to them and say, “You’re a respected member of the community. I’m wondering if you would help me by helping is build this community and participate in this conversation. It’s a really low cost way for them to give something and to feel important.
You can offer perks, flattery or arm twisting for people who participate or you can make it contractual. You can say your speakers for example. We have seen this a number of times where as part of the speaker agreement, they’re required not just to show up on time and sober but to participate in conversations to publish links to their Facebook feeds and things like that.
Then the last bit from our experience that I think that we we’ll cover today is registration integration. When we first started integrating our event apps and the desktop we community platforms that we offer with the registration services, with Cvent, with RegOnline, Eventbrite, with Experient, with etouches, et cetera, we saw an immediate jump in event option and in community participation.
The downloads of the app jumped 30% overnight when we first introduced those features of being able to automatically pull in all the attendees into the app and promote the app to them. The reason I think is twofold. One is you’re able to capture their attention at the moment that they’re thinking about their event. If you have the attendees register for your conference, and then a month later, they get an email that says here’s the agenda, here’s what to pack, there’s a networking reception, here’s where you download the app, here’s where you do X, Y, and Z, it gets lost.

They’re busy with other things and so they market as follow up later and no plans added. They end up planning on the way to the airport. Whereas if the moment that they hit submit on that registration form, they have an account that’s been created for them and the second point is that account has a profile that already draws in the information from their registration. Their name is there, their title is there. Their company is there. If there are other profile questions that you want to be a part of that attendee directory or that attendee community, all of that is pre-filled in to their profile.
They don’t have to do the work. Then you’re just much more likely to get an option because they’re in the mindset of I’m going to go register for this conference, I’m going to make sure I’m successful there. I fill in my conference registration. I pay my fee. I hit submit. It’s asking me to install the app and complete my profile. I can see who else is going. Now, I can start looking at the agenda. I can choose my sessions and all of that is happening at the moment that they care. At the moment it’s most important to them.
Again, this is probably the top thing that we’ve ever done that has improved adoption is building those integrations with the thickening in registration services. Just overnight, we saw a 30 plus% jump in adoption. That’s just a quick summary of what I had planned to talk about today. We talked about building engagement with your audience before, during, and after your event both by promoting the app, by thinking about how you drive attendees into the app from other places so that you create this critical mass, watering hole but also if you’re looking to bring in new attendees, then there’s times when you want to drive the attendees back out or drive the attendee communications back out to the broader social media tools.
Having a multi-device multi-screen solution that provides the right device for the right task will improve your adoption because again people are able to get the things done that they need to get done in the easiest, most relevant way possible. We didn’t really talk about the before, during, and after but having that multi-device, multi-screen solution is going to make a big difference there too if you want to create that long term engagement.
Most people will install that mobile app on the way to the event or I’m in the airport. I got some downtime. All right. I’ll get the app installed because I got to figure out where the convention center is relative to the hotel and figure out what my agenda is but if you can provide a desktop web portal that they’re able to access from their office and that they’re able to use with the ease and simplicity of a full monitor and keyboard and mouse then you’re going to get them using that before the event 2, 3 weeks, months before the event and then when the event is over and they’re uninstalling the app, it’s not relevant anymore, that’s when they’re going to … They’ll go back to the online community.
We have online communities that last all year where the event app creates this momentum and engagement during the event itself and then the online community portion of the event app continues for the next 11 months of the year. The attendees continue to talk to each other in the discussion forums. They can go back to the speakers and say, ”I tried X, Y, and Z. This worked. This didn’t. Do you have advice?“
They can ask the other participants those same questions and the content can catalyze the community and ten those online communities can be used as a tool to build attendance at the next year’s event so you get more renewals and just more engagement around your organization as a whole as well. Solve problems. Hire appropriate community manager, editorial calendar ideas and then integrate all of that into a seamless workflow of registration, desktop web, mobile and the desktop web that can continue afterwards.
That is about all we have time for today. We’re about 10 minutes to the hour which is when I like to wrap these guys up. If there are any questions, I’m happy to take them otherwise I will let everyone take a … When I was at Microsoft, the rule for a while that we had to end meetings [inaudible 00:51:00] to allow for travel time because otherwise everyone was always 5 minutes late for the next meeting. Feel free to head on to your next meeting. I hope this was helpful and have a great day.

 

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