Standing in line is not a standout part of most meetings or conferences. It’s nothing like, for example, standing in line at Comic Con, which is basically an event in itself.
But this doesn’t mean that wait time is entirely gone. Your attendees are always going to spend some time standing by, waiting for speakers to begin, waiting for their turn to talk to an exhibitor, waiting in between sessions… No matter how tightly you’ve scheduled your event, waiting around is inevitable.
And that’s not a bad thing. In fact, having some down time in between periods of heavy mental processing helps to improve productivity and concentration.
At an enterprise or professional event though, you want attendees to be able to take a mental break while also staying on topic. Use your event app to help attendees take breaks that will prep them to re-engage with your sessions when they return.
Staying in the know
We all tend to look down at our phones when we have an idle moment. Twitter and other social media platforms make for a good mental respite—but you don’t necessarily want your attendees scrolling through Pinterest during your conference.
Your event app is the ideal place for attendees to take a quick break without going too far afield. If you set up a newsfeed, you can send notifications and updates as they happen—room changes, sessions starting, and so forth. This creates a place where attendees can easily and quickly access information and relevant diversions.
Integrating Twitter into your event app is a great way to liven up the newsfeed, and help attendees unwind. By setting up an official event hashtag, and sourcing newsfeed items from Tweets that use the hashtag, attendees can stay in touch with the conversations that are happening around the event. This opens up discussions that your attendees might otherwise not be aware of, and also lets them to explore lighter topics alongside their peers.
Setting up your event app to receive different streams of conversations give attendees a great way to stay on-track during idle moments, while also providing the space to mentally take a breather.
Network through the event app
Networking remains one of the top reasons attendees go to conferences. It’s also a great way for attendees to take a break and socialize with a purpose. The benefit of letting attendees do it through the event app is to optimize their time by helping them make relevant connections more quickly and easily.
A simple way to do this is to implement one (or some!) of several features in your event app that boost attendees’ ability to connect meaningfully with their peers. Twitter, as mentioned, is a great way for attendees to engage in conversations, especially with your event app’s newsfeed to centralize the content. But you can also make it easier for attendees to contact their peers directly by allowing them to send messages through the event app. Depending on the type of event, this has the bonus of keeping the communications internal.
Also consider using profile matching, which can be a great way for attendees to discover new connections during their spare moments.
Let them play
A lot of people play phone games while waiting. Use this to your event’s advantage by building a game into your event app. Keeping attendees within the app helps to keep them engaged; making a game out of it lets them have a little fun before they settle into their next session.
Gamification of your event app means that points will be awarded for certain actions, such as for tweeting, uploading a photo, or exchanging contact information (which is great for encouraging people to network). If they have access to the rankings, this will give your attendees incentive to perform those pre-set actions—especially if there are prizes for top-scoring players.
If you find that engagement is low, reminding attendees about the game within your event app can be a great way to revitalize tired and information-overloaded attendees. Not only does gamification give your attendees something productive and diverting to do in their idle moments, it can also help to achieve some other key objectives at your event.
Do you have any other ideas about the importance of being idle? Leave us a comment below, or tweet us @QuickMobile!
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