As meeting professionals, we strive to make our meetings, conventions, and exhibitions more sustainable. Enhancing the attendee experience and coloring outside the traditional conference template is beneficial for attracting emerging leaders and new customers. In addition to offering superior education to improve the attendee experience, delivering the right technology differentiates your meetings from others in your marketplace.
Comprehensive attendee solutions include features such as multi-channel communications, live polling, survey collection and real time program updates.
In addition to education, attendees are also looking for meaningful engagement by creating more connections. Providing multiple platforms to communicate with each other is imperative. Enabling attendees to communicate with one another directly from a smartphone application can create further networking opportunities at your conference. Offering many forms of networking that is exclusive to your participants strengthens attendee engagement and initiates conversations over shared interests other than the traditional face-to-face methods (which are still very important to any conference).
Live polls during sessions can provide insightful feedback for both speakers and attendees. Session surveys provide an invaluable tool for data collection that enhances future planning and also ensures the program is matching your attendee’s expectations and educational needs.
Making your agenda digitally available is a cost effective way to help your attendees organize and create a personal schedule. Attendee applications also greatly enhance your onsite communications ability by relaying notices or program updates via immediate push notifications.
Offering continuing education credits is often the driving force behind attendee participation at your conference. However, keeping track of each attendee’s credits can be a pain point for many organizations. To simplify the process, staff often provide only minimum support and trust participants to self-report their credit hours. While this may seem like a simple solution, self-reporting credits can actually lead to inaccuracies that may compromise the very purpose and integrity of the sessions. However, thanks to technological advancements in the meetings and events industry, many organizations are now able to easily track session attendance electronically. This option allows for real time data collection and improves the accuracy of the credits being awarded. On the same token, this technology takes the responsibility off of your attendees, therefore improving their event experience.
Lead Retrieval App
Exhibitors make a significant investment to participate in a show, so having face-to-face time with your attendees is paramount. Technology greatly improves the ability to acquire key contact information for every prospect at a show - no matter the size. By simply scanning a QR code, exhibitors can capture attendee contact information in real time, thus eliminating the need for business cards, paper forms, or waiting for spreadsheets to be emailed after the show. Lead retrieval systems now offer custom qualifying questions and notes to further qualify each lead and allow for immediate follow up after the show.
In a fast paced world, technology can revolutionize your conference. Adopting an innovative philosophy provides positive ROI for your conference. Applying these methods, you too will see continued growth while providing powerful tools into the hands of your participants.
For All Areas I think you could use any of this:
No matter the size of your organization’s meetings and events, it only takes a few easy steps to build an eco-friendly and sustainable meeting experience. These small steps will add to your budget’s bottom line, positively influence your attendees, and give back to the community impacted by your meeting/conference.
Still using a paper program? An easy way to go green is to get rid of those 80 page programs that go out of date before you even print them. Instead, use an app! Your sponsors are happy to share or cover the costs of having an attendee app for dynamic ad placement.
Tracking attendance? Streamline your tracking through a cloud-based smartphone device. This strategy eliminates the need for paper sign-in sheets completely. No more losing data or compiling multiple spreadsheets either. This alternative allows you to instantly produce certificates which include credits earned at your conference, which can be sent out electronically.
Speaking of electronic methods, use email to distribute details prior to your event. Electronic surveys can be sent out with thank you notes and attendance certificates once your event has concluded.
Exhibits (more for tradeshows I would think)
Tell your exhibitors that your organization is making strides to go green at the conference this year. You can ask them to minimize the giveaway literature and consider a personal email with links or attachments. Offering exhibit companies a fast and easy alternative to asking the attendees to fill out a sales sheet will substantially limit paper use. Using a lead retrieval app will streamline this process while reducing your carbon footprint. Be sure that the app has the ability to provide customizable questions that make for a concise and timely follow up. With the right company, you will generate revenue while reducing waste!
Communicate with your attendees and exhibitors to get them excited about the effort. This open channel of communication will get them involved with your efforts. It is also great PR for your conference during all phases.
Incorporating sustainability into your meeting/conference is a victory for everyone. I encourage you to take this challenge and increase your awareness of this worthy cause. Implementing these basic steps can sprout your future sustainability efforts, and impact the attendees experience while saving your organization some serious “green”.