More planners identify attendee satisfaction as the key indicator of an event’s success than financial gain, engagement, and number of leads generated, according to a recent survey of 239 event planners worldwide conducted by global event management and venue-sourcing cloud company etouches.
But figuring out how to use today’s event technology to increase that satisfaction rate is still a little painful for many planners, the survey found. Here are some specific areas planners find most painful pre-, during, and post-event, along with suggestions on event tech that can help.
1. Selecting the right content was the biggest pain point identified in the survey, at 56 percent. According to a whitepaper based on the survey, one way to tackle this is to add content-related questions to your registration form, and track your attendee demographics so you can target content to specific subgroups. You also can provide short and pithy digital surveys on site after each session to gain more insight into what is and is not working.
2. Managing attendee registration was a pain point for 51 percent of respondents. Make sure your event software platform can provide a quick-and-easy registration experience—some nice-to-haves include the ability to auto-populate information for repeat attendees, self-editing registration information, and multilingual/multicurrency capabilities.
3. Communication with attendees. The 44 percent of survey respondents who said they struggle with getting announcements to attendees on site could find some relief with software that enables automated email messaging. Push messaging via mobile app is another obvious solution, though only 47 percent of respondents said they used a mobile app for their events. Event organizers also can pick an appropriate social media channel to spread the word—LinkedIn for formal business events, say, or Instagram for messages with a lot of visual content.
4. Registration and check-in—42 percent said registration on site can be a challenge that, when glitchy, can result in long lines and unhappy attendees. While having skilled and approachable staff is a must, it also helps if your event software offers features like on-site printing, which is typically much faster than having to sort through pre-printed badges by hand, according to the whitepaper. Self-service check-in kiosks and check-in via mobile app also can reduce lines and increase attendee satisfaction.
5. Finding the right tools. Two-thirds of respondents said they are already using event management software, but there are other tools that they may not yet be taking advantage of. One would be mobile apps, which less than half of respondents said they are currently using. Others include venue sourcing tools, which just one in five planners use; and a strategic meeting management program, which just 7 percent have in place.
6. Measuring ROI. While 65 percent said they measure the return on investment for their events, figuring out how to analyze the data and develop improvements is still challenging. The whitepaper suggests starting small, with just one or two key metrics that you can track throughout the event lifecycle. And don’t be impatient—it can take a couple of years to collect enough data to justify changes.