Of course, meetings are stressful for those who plan them, but did you know that participants also get a bit stressed out on site? Between travel, staying in a strange hotel, trying to figure out where they need to be and when, and trying to meet new people, it all can add up for those who already are missing their friends and family and thinking about the work piling up on their desk back at the office.
In fact, according to a study conducted last year by cloud-based event management technology company Cvent, in partnership with Edelman, one in four event participants said their last event was stressful. The percentage is even higher for your youngest participants: More than a third of Millennials said meetings were stressing them out. And it doesn’t get any easier with practice—half of those who participate frequently also found their last event to be stressful.
Fortunately, you can use your mobile app to help alleviate some of the stress they’re feeling due to the three main areas of angst identified in the Cvent attendee experience survey.
1. Scheduling. You can easily tell which of your attendees are stressing out over scheduling—they’re the ones wandering around anxiously peering at signage, checking the time on the phone, and looking, well, stressed.
Tech treatment—Include a personalized schedule option on your mobile event app so participants can figure out where they need to be and when before they even get to the venue. Navigating the venue can be a big stressor, so including a map on the mobile event app can be another way to bring ease to the on-site experience. For a bonus, include a wayfinding option so they can punch in a room name and be led straight to the door via geolocation beacons.
2. Networking. Even extroverts can find it a touch intimidating to jump into a room full of strangers and strike up conversations; for introverts and those who are newer to the group, it can be downright painful.
Tech treatment—Let participants know that they can check the attendee list on the mobile app ahead of time to start making note of who they want to talk with at the event. It’s even better if you can include photos on those profiles, allowing participants to get familiar with faces that go with the names.
3. Lines and crowds. Yes, people want to meet and network, but the sheer volume of faces can be overwhelming, especially when they’re queued 100-deep in a registration line.
Tech treatment—Use one of the mobile check-in technologies that are now available to let people do self check-ins at kiosks or using iPads. In a recent MeetingsNet webinar, Brooke Gracey, manager of mobile strategy with CrowdCompass by Cvent, told the story of how one of her clients, Young Living Essential Oils, had three- to four- hour registration wait lines for its three-day, 16,000-person conference—some people would actually camp out early to get a good spot. “It looked like when a new iPhone is released,” said Gracey.
When the organization brought in 76 check-in stations, they cleared 7,000 attendees with zero wait time on the first day, and cleared 750 attendees in the first 19 minutes on the second day. That brought the wait times—and the resulting stress levels—way down, said Gracey.
These are just a few examples of on-site event stressors and some tech-enabled solutions. How have you used technology (or non-tech solutions) to create a smoother, easier, less stressful, and more enjoyable experience for your attendees?
Source: Inside the Mind of Event Attendees, a MeetingsNet webinar sponsored by Cvent