Despite the proliferation of online meeting software, face-to-face meetings remain the biggest reason why business professionals travel to conferences, according to a July 2011 survey by the Virtual Edge Institute.
An important tactic for the event planner to harness new mobile technology and help people remember those connections and moments and in turn help you market the event is through the use of photo galleries in a mobile app. Remember a picture is worth a thousand words!
What people remember most fondly are the new connections and contacts they made between sessions and over drinks. The snapshots aggregated in the applications galleries preserve those memories and while they are a popular function of the application, they are often overlooked as a marketing tool by event planners.
It means that you – the event organizer should come up with creative ways of using pictures to engage your audience, through visual content that taps into one of the best kinds of advertising word of mouth.
Ways Photos On Conference Apps Can Bolster Your Conference
A Photo Gallery on your conference app can provide a better user experience for those who attend, fuel more word-of-mouth marketing for those not on the scene, and help exhibitors and session instructors elevate their own products and topics above the crowded exhibit halls and packed session schedules.
- Prior to the event, post pictures of the parking areas, the hotel and other visual markers, so people know what the building and its surroundings look like. Its a great relief seeing the front of the hotel just as it looks in the photo gallery of the conference app and helps your hosts feeling comfortable in this new environment.
- Incentivize people to take and add pictures to the apps photo gallery by showing them how easy it is done with just a tap. They can load their pictures to the collective application, and later share them on the adequate social medias. This helps erase the angst of having to fumble around with the application to load or share photos for the first time. The more people share the photos on their social networks, the more people see their colleagues and friends having a great experience at your conference.
- If the audience is fairly tech-savvy, encourage people to tag their new connections in the pictures. This not only helps connect the people in the pictures but those pictures are also viewed, liked, and shared on social networks far more often than text alone – boosting your events brand awareness.
- Photographs help create a mental scrapbook of the experience. So, encourage individuals to take pictures of the speakers and post them as well, because seeing the face of the speaker will help remember their name and jog memories of the salient points made during their keynote.
- Photo galleries are often the most popular feature of an event app. Leave the pictures up all year, so people can revisit the event periodically just like a photo album. Next years potential attendees can see who came last year and get a feel for the facilities if the event is held at the same location. Pictures of people having a great time at your event are far more convincing than mere words.
- Photo gallery pictures could also be used, with permission, in marketing literature, replacing stock photography.
- Create a simple photo contest for the person who takes the funniest or most interesting photo of the day. Be sure to give out good prizes to encourage participation.
- Pictures provide people following the event virtually a better sense of what the audience and event are like. They get to see a lot of candid pictures, which provides a window into the experience of the event not available from just watching the live sessions. Remember, they can download the application as well, even if not physically at the event.
- Attendees or organizers can create categories for all the photos within the conference photo application, allowing people to sort through certain sections, or flip through the photos at will, providing with an organized visual timeline of the events and keynotes they attended.
- Encourage exhibitors to run their photo-related contests through the application. This helps them showcase their companys booths and products and also serves as a great way to elevate their products above a room full of competitors.
- Tell speakers they can use the gallery to showcase key slides or images from their presentations. This serves as another way for them to help create a buzz before giving out their keynote and also provides the audience with a visual reminder of the points of the session. A photo can also intrigue people enough to attend a certain speakers upcoming session as well.