Event tech tools are everywhere. You can’t escape them, your attendees are asking for them, you’ve already signed contracts for them. So now the real test comes – how do you make it all count? At Guidebook we’ve developed our own super-easy-to-use event tech tool, and in the process we’ve learned a few things about getting maximum value out of the tech you’re using.
Your social media
Social media doesn’t have to be a drag. Sometimes because it’s free it feels like that thing we know we have to do but don’t have the time or energy to maximize. But here’s social media’s best kept secret: it doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming. People have followed your networks because they want to connect with you, so start thinking of social media as a conversation with your attendees and it all begins to fall into place.
People get super hung up on creating the perfect social media post. Google “perfect social media post” right now and I guarantee you’ll end up with a whole page of infographics claiming to have the perfect recipe that will suddenly increase your engagement by 1000% and cause your followers to crown you king of the world. But the beauty of social media is that it’s fleeting – it’s of the moment – so don’t spend too much time in an existential battle with yourself over what to post. Be spontaneous. Experience your event with your attendees. You’ll be surprised how much it pays off.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t insert a bit of strategy into your social media. Above all – we’re begging you – please choose an event hashtag and promote it before your event. It’s the best way to (a) start a conversation and (b) keep it all in one place. Your life will be easier because you can track the constantly changing sentiment surrounding your event, and your attendees lives will be easier because they won’t be missing out on any fun. Don’t leave the event hashtag up to your attendees or they may choose it for you – and you might not like the result.
LTE networks and wireless arrays and beacons, oh my! As our events’ dependency on tech becomes greater, our event infrastructures become more complicated. It’s totally understandable if you’re waking up in a cold sweat over the network imploding at your next event – you’re not alone. With nearly every mission-critical piece of your event relying on an internet connection, it’s safe to say that this is a major concern.
We know. You feel helpless. You feel alone. You feel at the mercy of your venue’s concrete walls. But the reality is that you can actually make the most of your venue’s infrastructure as well – by arming yourself with knowledge.
First off, know the questions to ask of your venue. Second, don’t ask them of the venue sales person. Ask to speak with their IT manager. The IT manager isn’t quite so invested in booking you and is more likely to have straight answers to your questions. Third, write accountability into your contract. Attach a financial penalty for the venue if the internet goes down and impedes business at your event. You’ll be informed and protected – and you might just notice the venue supplying a network engineer during your event to make sure things run smoothly.
SurveyMonkey found that 40% of people think organizations pay only a moderate amount of attention to their feedback. Now whether or not that’s true, we know as organizers that feedback is critical to improving an event and keeping people coming back year after year.
If you’ve loaded up your survey into your mobile event app or a service like SurveyMonkey, make sure that it’s primed for success. A poor survey will only pump out useless results. Think like your attendees when crafting your questions – short and simple works best. Make it easy to complete on a mobile device. And test it out on a small audience first to see how it goes. Sometimes you’ve stared at it just too long and can’t look at it objectively. A user-friendly survey is the key to a productive survey.
Event tech doesn’t have to weigh you down. It’s there to make things easier and more productive – you just have to know how to make the most out of it. Focus on the essence of each tool and what it’s used for, put in the time to know how to use it well, see things from the perspective of your attendees and you’ll find yourself a lot more relaxed when showtime rolls around.
Jordan McArthur is the Content Marketing Manager at Guidebook – a company that doesn’t think it should be difficult or expensive to create elegant, functional mobile guides to events and physical locations. Find more event planning wisdom at guidebook.com/mobile-guides.