Richelle Taylor
Richelle Taylor, vice president, strategic marketing, One10

A Secret Event Is Not a Well-Attended Event: 4 Tips for Creating Buzz with Technology

Part one of a three-part series on bringing technology into your meeting management processes.

Whether your event is for a predetermined attendee list or it’s open to the public, a secret event is usually not a well-attended one. Technology is a great way to connect and inspire people. However, knowing you audience demographic is key to understanding what medium they best respond to. Email announcements, social media channels, and microsites still tend to be the most common avenues for leveraging tech to advertise and encourage attendance.

Tip #1: Create a Hashtag
In 2017, Salesforce’s largest conference, Dreamforce, had nine different hashtags to tap into its community and organize threads of conversation. Nine! A hashtag establishes a presence and a tone.  It allows your followers to find and follow the speaker lineup and agenda changes or updates related to your event. A hashtag gives your event personality. Functionally, it enables organization of topics relevant to your event and a content-path forward.

Be sure you carry the hashtag through all your communications—both printed and electronic—to reinforce the brand.

When participants follow the hashtag, it also creates a community, allowing them to network, socialize, and create new connections.

Tip #2: Attendee Management
Say goodbye to paper. Event management technology is streamlining how you manage attendee data—from air manifests to rooming lists to registration.  While most tech trends focus on improving the attendee experience, this one is designed to benefit the event organizer. With the right event tech, you can automate your manual planning tasks like data transfer, event publishing, and even new audience discovery.

Today, there are a number of tools in this arena for meeting planners, but perhaps most widely used is Cvent.

Tip #3: Pre-Trip Communications
Before an event, attendees need to know what to expect. In the past, you may have mailed a packet of important information regarding transfers, airline arrangements, or hotel accommodations. These days, paper agendas have fallen by the wayside. Not only is electronic distribution better for the environment and cheaper than snail mail, it makes last-minute changes much easier because the communication can quickly be updated digitally. It’s also more convenient for attendees: Give them an easy-to-access website or interactive PDF that can be pulled up from their smart phones.

Tip #4: Agenda
Mobile … mobile… mobile. There are so many mobile app providers these days it’s well worth a try with your audience. CrowdCompass (Cvent), Quick Mobile, EventMobi, DoubleDutch, Attendify, Pathable, and many others can provide attendees oodles of program information at their fingertips.  As a planner or an attendee, no technical experience is required. You can upload and manage agendas, interactive maps, session content, and other relevant event information.

Most of today’s meeting apps allow you to segment your audience and serve up personalized content. And many can deploy events in multiple languages with GDPR compliance.

Incorporating technology into your event doesn’t have to be costly or difficult.  In fact, once you make the decision to leverage event technology you’ll wonder why you didn’t do so sooner. These innovations have been proven to improve adoption, better track behavior, reduce cost, and make life as a planner a whole lot easier.

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