Big Question: What’s a Meaningful Experience?
by Julie Bevacqua
Chief Marketing Officer, QuickMobile
There’s talk around the water cooler of the importance of meaningful engagement for creating event experiences that wow audiences. But what exactly does that mean? And how does it translate into actionable strategies?
We’ve given this question a lot of thought.
The goal of every event planner is for attendees to fully participate in the event and come away with a sense that it was a worthy investment of their time, energy and money. In the past, strategies aimed at engaging attendees included tactics such as providing an aesthetically-pleasing conference guide packed with relevant content, distributing printed surveys after the event to elicit feedback and gauge attendee satisfaction, and running a competition or contest to encourage participants to visit particular exhibits or sessions.
Creating meaningful experiences for your attendees requires engagement on a whole new level. The goal is to deliver lasting meaning and personal value for each and every attendee – a meaningful experience that extends beyond the closing session. You want every participant to be drawn into the event so they’re experiencing it, not just passively attending. They should feel a sense of collaboration and community that translates into forging relationships with their fellow attendees, exhibitors, and speakers – both virtually and face-to-face.
How does this apply to mobile event apps?
The mobile app is the key to meaningful engagement. By personalizing the event experience and bringing people together in new ways, mobile apps have the power to foster connection, collaboration and community-building.
Here’s how you can deliver a meaningful experience:
Help attendees make your event their own.
Leverage attendee profiles to create personalized, highly-engaging experiences. When you build attendee profiles, you can personalize recommendations of sessions and connections and infuse the event experience with meaning and relevance. By delivering content tailored to attendees’ unique needs and providing personal connections they value, you can make them feel like the event was designed just for them.
Amplify the face-to-face experience.
Create a flood of engagement at your event to strengthen connection, community-building, and meaningful conversations. Event planners can drive engagement and facilitate 1-to-1 connections with in-the-moment networking opportunities, such as sharing updates, photos and videos. Mobile-savvy attendees crave connection and shared experiences and are drawn to in-app networking tools – don’t miss this relationship-building opportunity.
Ramp up productivity with a mobile approach to collaboration.
Increase productivity all around. Make it easy for people to collaborate and communicate with everyone – staff, customers, any attendee. And behind the scenes, keep your finger on the pulse of the event with real-time data that enables you to respond to changing audience sentiment and emerging trends or issues on-the-spot. Make updates to the event schedule on-the-fly, communicate changes to attendees, add a poll, and promote new sessions seamlessly.
Your business technology, seamlessly integrated.
Integrating directly with business applications, analytics applications, and existing customer databases that drive the enterprise is essential to delivering relevant attendee experiences and increasing event ROI. By connecting event data to internal IT systems, organizations garner a more comprehensive and detailed post-event picture vital to future planning and decision-making. Indeed, for many organizations, the end of an event is just the beginning. Continuing the conversation with attendees after the event is a prime opportunity to strengthen relationships, build community and foster brand loyalty– which translates into future revenue opportunities.
The greater the focus on creating meaningful experiences, the more people will get out of the event – and the more compelled attendees will be to take that next step in the customer journey. The key is to focus on meaningful engagement throughout every step of the event planning process, starting well before the event and letting it live on long after. After all, in a world infiltrated by social media, people expect nothing less than to be fully engaged and part of an experience that continues to expand.