This edit written by Liz King first appeared in a Crain’s New York Business Special Advertising Section.
I love having fun, and chances are, you do too. As event planners, we can get so caught up in planning the agenda, organizing the sponsors, and marketing the event that we often forget about adding in the ever–important component of fun. It can be easier than you think, especially if you leverage technology and the smartphonealready attached to your attendees fingertips. Here are a few ways that you can use technology to enhance the fun factor at your next event.
Games will up the competitive nature in your attendees is a great thing for your events. There are many apps that will allow you to gamify your events, but the one that we are particularly fond of is DoubleDutch because it allows users to earn points for checking into sessions and making new connections. There is even a leaderboard that continuously tracks the users’ points, which really enforces their competitive drive. When it comes to adding games to an event, it is important to find something that not only, achieves your goal as the planner, but one that benefits your attendees as well. Gamification apps generate great social interaction at your events – something that we are always trying to encourage – and can be rewarded with prizes and more for your attendees.
Photos and Videos
If you haven't noticed, it seems that the general public is completely obsessed with taking photos and videos of everything in sight. The documentary madness intensifies even more when it comes to events. From the candy bar to the shrimp appetizers, every sweet and savory moment is captured throughout the event. Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to show-off your finger moustache selfie to everyone at the event? Well, you don’t have to wait any longer because there is a way! Something that we have done in our events is to aggregate all of the visual content that's being shared at the event using a tool called Splash. This site allows you to search for images and videos that have been shared on the popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more. The organizers are able to sort through the image and select which ones will be shown on the live feed throughout the venue. It is guaranteed to be a huge hit as guests will love seeing their visual masterpieces recognized on the big screen.
Simple Additions that Enhance the Fun
Last week while attending an event, I can across a new company called Preo – they inject fun into one of the most common experiences at an event – the bar. We are all familiar with the long lines at a bar, but this app makes everyone’s lives easier by eliminating that seemingly endless wait time. By using any smart phone, attendees can simply order their drink and pay for it from anywhere in the venue. Once the drink is ready, they are alerted on their phone to go pick it up- no standing in lines or waiting around. Doing something new like this at your event is always fun for your attendees. There is a certain power that comes from ordering something on your phone and being able to walk up to the bar having already paid.
Whether it's a simple game, encouraging social media engagement or working with on-site technology, there are many ways to inject fun into your events. By doing so, it will certainly leave your attendees wanting to know the date of your next event!