Communication at events encompasses several aspects of event management. Not only are you trying to keep on top of all the last-minute changes and problems, you’re also doing your best to keep attendees up-to-date and engaged in your event. As well, communication isn’t a one-way street; ideally, you want to have a method to keep track of what attendees are saying in return, in order to respond to their needs as they come up.
An event management app is a great tool for communicating with attendees because it provides a few different methods of communication, is easy and accessible to attendees, and will hold all the content that your attendees will need throughout the event.
Generally, your event management app will need to do a few things:
- Keep you in touch with key event staff/organizers
- Allow you to send time notifications to attendees
- Provide access to important or noteworthy documents
- Provide a channel where attendees can reach out or leave feedback
A key part of event management: keeping in touch with staff
While the majority of content around communication at events revolves around attendees, it’s important to remember the other half of the equation. Staying in touch with staff and organizers is vital to the ongoing health of your event and cannot be ignored.
Your event management app is the perfect tool for this, especially as it will already be set up for communication between attendees. A great way to keep venue, catering, or A/V staff in the loop is to set them up as hidden attendees in the event management app. This ensures that they receive updates along with your attendees and helps to keep everyone on the same page.
If your event management app has an internal messaging system, all the better. Take advantage of having all your events in one place to keep in touch.
Send timely information to attendees whenever you need
One of the best parts of an event management app is that you can set up alerts and notifications ahead of time, to go out at the precise time that you need. Think of it like the Hootsuite of event apps, except it’s internal, and can be focused to specific groups of attendees.
Make sure you set up key notifications ahead of time, including time and place notifications for meals and breaks, reminders for certain tasks (like picking up swag at registration, signing up for vendor contests, or filling in surveys), and welcome/goodbye messages. These are great ways to personalize the event experience, as you give the feeling of speaking ‘directly’ to individual attendees at key points during the event.
And if something comes up during the event, it’s a breeze to send out notifications on the spot. As both a reactive communication channel, and a consistent information center for attendees, your event management app allows you to be timely and relevant throughout the event.
An event management app doubles as a one-stop resource center
It’s important to take advantage of your event management app’s content capabilities. ‘Communications’ often refers to content as well—whether that’s accessing or sharing—and it contributes a large part of your attendees’ event experience.
Make sure that you pre-load documents, such as presentation slides, additional notes, or important resources into the event management app. You should be able to link each piece of content to particular sessions, which will help your attendees as they navigate the app and the event. It’s important that your speakers are also communicating this information—we’re all guilty of sometimes tuning out “housekeeping announcements”. You can help keep them in the loop by giving them their own logins in the app, as in point 1 above.
Best of all, by keeping all of your documents in one place, you’ll be able to track what appealed most to attendees.
Open the communication channel and let attendees speak back
We’ve largely moved past the one-way communication channel, as least in terms of the methods typically used in higher education and professional, corporate events.
Generally this means that event planners can and should benefit from attendees speaking back at events. Whether through surveys, social media interaction, or even interacting with attendees during the event, getting audience feedback is vital to an event’s continued health and a planner’s continual improvement.
In the case of your event management app, consider giving yourself a login and setting up a profile so that attendees can reach you more easily. Of course, you need to keep in mind your comfort level and your particular audience, but interacting with attendees on a more personable level can give you a lot of insight you wouldn’t get otherwise.
Alternatively, make your professional twitter channel known, and keep an eye on things through social media. Engage, and attendees will engage back!
How important is communication at your events? Let us know your thoughts and tell us about methods you’ve used by leaving a comment below or tweeting us @QuickMobile!