DARREN EDWARDS – INVISAGE EVENT TECHNOLOGY BLOG

Conference, Exhibition and Business Event Technology: Social Media, Event Apps®, Email Marketing, Cloud Solutions, Hybrid and Virtual Events.

DARREN EDWARDS – INVISAGE EVENT TECHNOLOGY BLOG - Conference, Exhibition and Business Event Technology: Social Media, Event Apps®, Email Marketing, Cloud Solutions, Hybrid and Virtual Events.

Pre Event Marketing and Engagement Tools

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Video

Internet video is widely used in society, is growing rapidly and has great opportunities for use in the events industry. Videos can engage viewers, can increase retention of content, are accessible via many devices, and can be easily shared via social media channels. The use of videos can improve your search engine rankings and video email marketing has fully trackable and higher click-through rates compared to traditional marketing methods. The costs to produce and distribute video from point of inception to delivery have reduced dramatically.

As events are visual, the visual nature video is a natural alternative to help market and extend the reach of events. Videos can be used before, during and after the event to convey the message and to improve attendance at future events.

Hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute: 60
Number of videos viewed on YouTube everyday: 4 billion
Number of unique visits to YouTube every month: 800 million
Total number of hours of video watched on YouTube each month: 3 billion
Total number of views YouTube had in 2011: 1 trillion
Email Marketing

This is certainly not new media but in my mind it still represents the most powerful engagement tool for marketing your events. When used properly of course. To date, no other marketing tool proves to be as effective as a well planned and executed email marketing campaign to boost attendee registrations and recognise sponsors. Email is a powerful way of interacting with clients, potential delegates, sponsors and exhibitors; generating interest in your event.

Social Networks

Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube, Foursquare, Flickr. All of these can be used to listen to, share with and engage your audience when marketing your events. You just have to be prepared to listen and not heavily moderate your conversations.

Native Apps

Having a conference app that is native to the iPad takes advantage of the faster syncing capability, the enhanced graphics and the larger screen size. Going native also allows the ability to seamlessly use other applications, such as email, calendar, camera, alerts etc., as part of the event app.

A good native event app will provide features that support and enhance the event experience for all stakeholders including attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, speakers, local venues, restaurants, accommodation providers and of course the event manager. Native Event apps are rapidly becoming the tool of choice and can deliver content and engage your audience well beyond the walls of the event.

Audience polling

Audience polling devices are a great way of stimulating attendee interaction and finding out what they are thinking. However, traditional keypads can be beyond the budget for many events (from $3-12/person/day). Event App based polling/survey systems, are rapidly evolving and very soon will be the polling system of choice for all events.

Surveys

Traditional surveys methods are problematic. Paper surveys are inefficient in tallying and end in landfills. Web surveys often are captured days after the event when impressions are cold often resulting a low response rate. Alternatively, mobile event app survey tools are low-cost, low in environmental impact, efficient in data collection and capture the data while the impressions are fresh.

Lead retrieval

There are a few apps in the market that offer lead retrieval for exhibitors such as DUB – Mobile Business Card Networking and iLeads but this requires deploying additional apps at your event. Quality event apps will incorporate lead retrieval systems either through QR code scanning or NFC (Near Field Communication).

The rapid development and deployment of technology in our social and event lives has presented many opportunities to us as individuals and as event organisations. It is important for us all that we learn to change and adapt to NEW technology quickly in order to make technology our slave and not our master.

Don’t be afraid to exploit technology through well planned event campaigns and you will be delighted with the results. Event Technology can and does add true value to the planning, marketing and participation phases of your events.

What an exciting future we have ahead.

About the author: Darren Edwards

Darren Edwards is the founder of Invisage Creative Services in Australia. With more than 20 years’ experience and knowledge in the meetings and events industry, Darren continues to drive innovation and creativity in events and the way they are delivered and received.

Contact: info@invisage.net

About Invisage Creative Services | www.invisage.net

Invisage Creative Services has been providing creative and technology products to the meetings and business events industry since 1993. Their vision is to connect people and to perfect the event experience by delivering creative, engaging, and collaborative technology solutions for meetings, conventions and tradeshows around the world. Core products include mobile event apps, collaborative technologies, virtual and hybrid events, email marketing, cloud based solutions, website development and graphic design.

Learn More about Core-Apps in the Event App Bible

Check out the Event App Bible to see how the competition stacks up against the industry-leader CoreApps.

The Event App Bible is the largest research to date about the mobile event app ecosystem. Clear all your doubts and confusion about Mobile Apps for events.

Learn more about the free Event App Bible or directly download the PDF.

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Benefits of creating a Social Network for your Event

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There’s a lot of fuss surrounding social media these days. If you still haven’t jumped on the bandwagon and aren’t sure why so many people are making such a big deal about it, here are a few key benefits of social media for your association and events.

Build a social destination to create an industry specific community.

Foster conversations, drive action and build attendee numbers.

Provide a secure environment for steering committee members to share ideas.

Provide a forum for members to form specific industry groups.

Foster innovation and development through professional networking.

Listen to your audience and tailor your association and event to suit their needs.

Raise awareness of your association and event brand.

Build your associaiton and event reputation.

Enhance your members contacts and personal relationships.

Share information with like-minded people.

Conduct market research.

Provide sponsors and exhibitors with increased exposure.

Provide additional revenue streams through sponsorship sales.

This benefits really are never ending once you start to consider the possibilities…

Event Technology – How can it add value to your events?

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Due to the need to enhance the live attendee experience, the value of mobile devices for events has increased immensely. The justification for having one has now moved beyond reasons that solely benefit the organizer (being green, going paperless, creating revenue streams or being able to communicate changes to participants in real time) to those that also benefit the event participants. Now, it’s entirely possible to build an attendee experience around the benefits (utility, justification, connection and recognition) afforded by mobile devices—an advantage that no other event-industry technology has or can offer.

Utility: Event apps enable attendees to check-in, register, navigate and participate in a meeting or conference.

Justification: Digital satchels enable collection of session presentations, posters, papers, handouts via direct download and content-capture applications. Event apps enable attendees to justify their attendance to managers and establish a personal return on investment.

Connection: Attendees use their mobile devices to connect and share with peers via email, private messaging, SMS and social media, often via the official mobile app for the event.

Recognition: Game play, complete with leader boards and prizes, addresses attendees’ needs for recognition from their peers. Online networking within the app also allows users to comment and exchange ideas making their thought leadership more visible.

Mobile platforms are in a position to enhance the live attendee experience more effectively than other technologies for several reasons:

Users presumably know how to use their own devices, for this reason there is less of a learning curve for them when they download a native event application.
Mobile devices centralise and aggregate (on a single platform across multiple devices – PCs, kiosks, tablets, smartphones) the diverse applications required for an attendee to consume the event.
Visitors bring their own devices. Provided that the event app selected by the event organiser functions on multiple operating systems most attendees can take advantage of it.
The instant-on, intuitive interface with screens large enough to manage documents makes iPads and other tablets a natural choice for meetings and tradeshows. They provide benefits for all parties involved:

Attendees – rich media, interactive conference programs, networking and way-finding tools
Exhibitors – interactive kiosks, easier lead exchange systems, appointment scheduling and survey tools
Venues – an intuitive, portable sales tool
Meeting planners – paperless conference binders eliminating the need to carry around 4” thick, 3-ring binders full of paper
The rate of technology change is accelerating with thousands of ideas, apps and innovations bubbling up to help meeting planners, exhibitors, venues and attendees to do their jobs better.

About the author: Darren Edwards

Darren Edwards is the founder of Invisage Creative Services in Australia. With more than 20 years’ experience and knowledge in the meetings and events industry, Darren continues to drive innovation and creativity in events and the way they are delivered and received.

Contact: info@invisage.net

About Invisage Creative Services | www.invisage.net

Invisage Creative Services has been providing creative and technology products to the meetings and business events industry since 1993. Their vision is to connect people and to perfect the event experience by delivering creative, engaging, and collaborative technology solutions for meetings, conventions and tradeshows around the world. Core products include mobile event apps, collaborative technologies, virtual and hybrid events, email marketing, cloud based solutions, website development and graphic design.

Collaboration 2.0: Death of the Web Conference (As We Know It)

This new study from Ovum and join.me by LogMeIn is based on a survey of over 3,900 full time professionals worldwide about their collaboration and meeting-related behaviours and activities. Download the report to learn more about:

• How 91% of employees are spending more time in meetings than ever before, yet the majority reports that less than half are of value

• The growth of ad hoc and virtual meetings, which are fuelled by an increasingly collaborative and connected workforce, is not sufficiently supported by traditional web conferencing tools and solutions

• Late start times, a key reason meetings fail to deliver value, are costing executives 5 days and 19 hours per year in lost time and productivity

• Frustration with traditional web conferencing tools has led 66% of corporate buyers to look for new collaboration solutions to accommodate modern workforce behaviour

Read more here >>

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Event Tech WayFinders

Due to the need to enhance the live attendee experience, the value of mobile devices for events has increased immensely. The justification for having a native Event App has now moved beyond reasons that solely benefit the event organizer (being green, going paperless, creating revenue streams or being able to communicate changes to participants in real time) to those that also benefit the event attendees, turning them into participants. Now, it’s entirely possible to build a participants experience around the benefits afforded by mobile devices—an advantage that no other event-industry technology has or can offer.

The question I often hear from clients is – “Do you have solutions to engage users without SmartPhones?” Or “We want to be totally Green, and to save on printing our maps and event guides – what can we do?”

I recently caught up with a leading Event Tech organisation, Core Apps, and this is what I discovered…

The answer is simple thanks to new technology by Core-Apps – Event WayFinder Kiosks!!! FollowMe WayFinders are a powerful engagement tool and are available in two versions; a large touch screen and/or as iPad kiosks that can be branded for your event.

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Large Touchscreen Version:

The large touchscreen version can consist of a single touchscreen or a dual screen, with the top unit displaying separate content – allowing for even more features and sponsorship placements.

The touchscreen is totally interactive, allowing event attendees to:
・ Search for sessions, exhibitors, and upcoming events
・ Build hit-lists and use them to plan their route around the event
・ Route using the interactive floor plan
・ Engage in session evaluations
・ Check-in to sessions

All search results can be printed right at the kiosk, allowing users to navigate the event with ease.
In the dual screen version, you can also include rich media applications – such as live or pre-recorded video, social networking feeds, and PPT.

Separate metrics for each unit are tracked and reported in Core-Apps real-time online stats portal.

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iPad Kiosk Version:

The iPad kiosk version is an inexpensive way to engage users when you have limited space, or a smaller budget. The iPad is mounted on a stand which minimised floor space use whilst maximizing functionality similarly to Core-Apps large screen WayFinders.

In addition to all Core-Apps Event App’s functions and features, the iPad kiosk can be customized in order to allow users to:

・ Evaluate sessions
・ Check in for CEU or CPD credits
・ E-mail handouts
・ E-mail exhibitor and session information for later use

Besides being able to incorporate all of Core-Apps Event App’s functions and features, the developer can customize devices into kiosk mode, which can then be utilized for session evaluation, check-in for CEU/CPD credits, emailing handouts, and emailing exhibitor and session information. The iPad Kiosk also contains multiple opportunities for revenue generating via sponsorship.

Separate metrics for each unit are tracked and reported in Core-Apps real-time online stats portal.

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If you’re looking for a way to capture floor traffic around your WayFinders, Core Apps have the solution; Scanalytics Mats which are designed to capture floor traffic and provide analytics for the ultimate Return on Investment.

Adding WayFinders to any event will enhance your participants experience, promote your Green initiative, and provide a reportable ROI!!

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About the author: Darren Edwards
Darren Edwards is the founder of Invisage Creative Services in Australia. With more than 21 years’ experience and knowledge in the meetings and events industry, Darren continues to drive creativity in events and the way they are run.
Contact: info@invisage.net

About Invisage Creative Services | www.invisage.net
Invisage Creative Services has been providing creative and technology products to the meetings and business events industry since 1993. Their vision is to connect people and to perfect the event experience by delivering creative, engaging, and collaborative technology solutions for meetings, conventions and tradeshows around the world. Core products include mobile event apps, collaborative technologies, virtual and hybrid events, email marketing, cloud based solutions, website development and graphic design.

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