The Value of Trade Show Mobile Apps

Trades show app Grupio

The singular focus for most trade shows is to help company’s highlight their products and services. Trade show app can help drive deeper brand engagement for sponsors and exhibitors . The advent of Smartphones has ushered in a new digital age for trade shows. The attendees are already using 30-50 apps on average. And a trade show app is in most cases is a utilitarian tool. Continue reading “The Value of Trade Show Mobile Apps”

Ten Ways to Use Mobile Apps

1) Use Mobile event App to connect with your existing customers, which in turn lowers your marketing costs, drives near and long term engagement.

2) Make sure your speakers and presenters are using your mobile app – their contract and/or Terms of Services should be specific on this point – meaning, they can’t speak or be a participant in your event unless they are using your mobile app platform of choice.

3) Integrate multi-day schedules (our mobile event app does this flawlessly) with your mobile event app – enabling your attendees to see what’s happening, when, where and who is presenting across all of your sessions and presentations.

4) Cross link all of your social media accounts and marketing activities with your mobile app – ensuring you get the broadest exposure possible for all of your digital touchpoints (social media accounts, blog, web site, sponsored pages, etc.).

5) Just like your speakers, make sure your exhibitors are using your mobile app and that their profiles are completely filled out and accurate within the mobile app for your event. Profiles can and should include statement about their exhibit of course, email contacts, social contacts and web site.

6) Set up your maps for the location of the event that are pre-tested prior to the event. Also include a map of the location if your event is being held in a large hotel or conference facility. Remember many of your attendees will expect these maps to be flawless. Don’t overlook double checking them for accuracy in the event planning app.

7) We underscore this point with our clients frequently! Don’t forget to use the period after your event as a marketing opportunity; surveys, feedback forms and/or requests for mentions via social media accounts can help to create post event buzz.

8) Build long term connections with your attendees by offering something of value that moves them to your web site at some point after the event. You don’t want to dilute focus during the event – this should be timed properly, with an offer that resonates with your attendees.

9) Use a conference app for logistics information that may be helpful or informative for your attendees; this can include local places of interest, transportation hubs, nearby restaurants, etc. And, these listings can also give you a way to sell sponsorships to your exhibitors as well.

10) Remember mobile apps can be a common platform for all of your attendees but make sure you integrate an event-specific hashtag as part of your event or several and some of these can be thematic in nature. #SanDiegoMPI #EventProfsSanDiego And, hashtags are no longer just for Twitter – Facebook is not integrating them with their platform.

Event Apps Make Your Organization More Competitive

It’s a dog eat dog competitive world, especially for event planners who want to use event apps to make your organization more competitive. To be blunt! Event apps can help you differentiate your firm or agency from your competitors – here is our take on competitive advantage.

Improve your Organizations Overall Productivity:

An event app can have all in one inclusive features. Using event apps frees your staff (as an example) from the boring drudgery of entering attendee registration information, trying to keep track of paperwork and event apps also make your organization greener.

Build market buzz with mobile apps

To drive down marketing costs – once your attendees have registered they can share the event instantly with their social media connections. Which will in turn lower some of your burdened costs for marketing the event, especially if you have some kind of viral marketing associated with your event: “get 10% for referring a friend on Facebook.”

Use Event Apps to make your organization better organized and smarter

An event planning app can improve your competitive advantage by making your organization more nimble. It can reduce your time to market (set up the app and connect your team and attendees). It will also force your staff to use their smartphones to stay in touch. This would improve engagement with your attendees, either via the mobile app, texting or social media accounts that are one click away from the mobile app.

Drive connectivity after the event

You’ve invested significant marketing dollars with your mobile app vendor and driven attendees to an online destination. Don’t stop with preloading marketing information for them prior to and during the event – use the mobile event app to connect with your attendees after the event as well.

As an example, use a survey form and ask them to fill this out and Tweet a response back to you using your event hashtag to drive greater recognition for your brand. Upload presentations or link to streaming videos of your speakers and presenters after the event and make these accessible (“clickable”) via the event app.

Event Apps will drive technology deeper into your organization

Event app usage forces your team to (sales, customer support, IT Department) to use cutting edge technology which also makes your organization more competitive and nimble in the long run. And, you should take a hard and in-depth look at your nearest competitors to understand if they are using a conference app to make their organization more competitor – or not!

Our team here at Grupio is customer service oriented and has years of experience developing mobile apps for event professionals – please reach out here via our web site or toll free number to speak with one of our knowledgeable team to understand how we can make your organization more competitive!

Using Mobile Apps for Event Engagement

Event planners, corporations, universities and others are embracing using mobile apps for event engagement. Mobile events apps are ubiquitous for most major corporate events and are used by approximately 37% of Event Planners.

Using Mobile Apps for Event Engagement Overview

Using Mobile Apps for Events

helps to connect your attendees with your event, each other and their social media apps and accounts – driving and improving overall satisfaction for your event.

Your Attendees are Mobile 24/7

you must engage with your attendees when/where they are online. Many are not even carrying laptops anymore, using their smartphones as all purpose connectivity devices. To be successful in their minds and drive engagement, your event must be mobile friendly in every sense of the word.

Build an Event Brand for Your Attendees with a Mobile App

you want top of mind share with your attendees. One of the best features of any conference app is its ability to make your event standout in the mind of the attendees – you building a brand with these attendees and they will remember how easy it was to connect with and leverage your event via their smartphones.

Instantly Update your Attendees using Mobile Apps

No more need for antiquated email for today’s on the go smartphone user! Just message them via your mobile event app with more seats open up in a session or there is a change times or rooms in your facility. Think of mobile apps as email on steroids – message them all instantly and you can even embed links to other information via your messaging.

Personalize your Event with Mobile Apps

e all live in an age and a time when each of us likes a “personal touch” in a way that makes the recipient feel special. Think of event planning app as a personalization tool that lets you connect to each attendee with a customized greeting or link to something that may be special or unique for them

Improve How you Monetize Your Event with Mobile Apps

your attendees are so busy and distracted, the greater your level of efficiency the more incremental revenue your event will generated. Meaning, sell an eBook or up sell that is embedded in your event app. Don’t make them log out go to another web site, register again and then be forced to enter in their credit card (which was captured during your registration process).

Can we help you mobilize your event to drive attendee engagement? We have years of experience (small plug) helping event planners with event app and have worked with major Fortune 1K clients like Johnson and Johnson, the United Way, Novartis, Masie, Tech Data, Cognizant and many others.

Event Planning Software

Software automation, especially anything related to the web and/or smartphone usage is accelerating rapidly. Driven by lowered costs, ease of use and competitive forces. Event Planning Software has now gone mainstream to – every event planner or firm is using or testing some level of automation via event app or event planning software to help drive more engagement with attendees, facilitate communications and/or lower costs.

Event Planning Software – Core Features

Automate Creating Registration Forms

Let’s face it your staff and attendees are always in hurry and looking for productivity tools. Automating your registration forms really helps to save you and your attendees time – they log in and access your event and register in minutes. Trying to handle registration for events via paper is tiresome and cumbersome. Automate and streamline!

Cross Promote Your Event

Most of the best event app software are cloud based, enabling your company to easily cross promote your event on your own web site, social media profiles and also via the vendor’s web site – driving incremental traffic which can lower our overall event costs. Many vendors have custom widgets that can be optimized for your app.

Enables Your Firm to Work More Efficiently

Your staff does not have to go through the time-consumer process of collecting information from your attendees and then keying in this information into another software program. Most event organizer app softwares and/or services enable your attendees to login once, with no (other than fact checking for accuracy) other work required from your staff.

Fast Track Your Attendees with Multi Track

You can make your event registration process even more streamlined by using a vendor such as Cvent which gives your attendees the option to select specific themed tracks as part of their registration process.

Easily Integrate Your Sponsors and Exhibitors

One can solicit documents and presentations prior to your event from your Speakers, Sponsors or Exhibitors and then upload these documents with your conference app isting.

Repurpose Your Current Event Easily

Most event planning software vendors will let you “clone” or copy an existing event from a previous event and then modify the core template or event you created earlier. This is great productivity tool for any event planner, saving you tremendous time, especially if you host multiple events during the year with the same attendee focus.

Mobilize You Event to Drive Engagement

Most event planning apps and platforms are mobile ready. With approximately 30% of your registrants and attendees using smartphones, it’s critical to provide them with instantaneous registration via their smartphones.

To summarize, event planning app software makes your organization more efficient, saves you money and time and conveys a much stronger image with your attendees. Be aware, there are five or six major platforms and vendors and the list is changing all of the time.

Using Event Apps

Every savvy Event Planner or Event Company is looking at using event apps to drive some competitive advantage for their organization. The industry has shifted its focus and emphasis to ensuring event attendees have access to and understand how to use event apps.

What is and How to Use Event Apps

An event app is typically a downloadable smartphone application or a web app that can be easily accessed via most popular smartphone browsers.

Event apps are wonderful productivity tools for smartphone enabled attendees when used properly – enabling attendees to stay in constant communication with your event with detailed (updateable) information about the agenda, speakers, sponsor profiles and comprehensive info about your venue.

One of the most frequent questions we get asked by clients here at Grupio is how to use an event app prior to and after an actual event. We are going to share perspective with you in this blog post about using event apps to drive attendee engagement and more!

Using an Event App Prior to Your Event

Another great thing about event apps is they are rapidly replacing the need for paper or print based information hand outs prior to the event and/or the constant need for your attendees to check your web site; or, even worse, rely on outdated printed materials created prior to the event. Saving your organization fixed marketing costs by replacing paper based with digital information.

Once attendees have downloaded your Event App you have a “digital relationship” in place with them, which will save your organization money moving forward – you have pre-populated information in the app (speakers, attendees, times and dates, maps, logistics, venue info, etc.) coupled with promotions and discounts and you have an established relationship with them via the app that can be easily updated prior to and during the actual “live” event.

Event App Efficiencies during Your Event

Let’s face it, every event has unexpected and unanticipated actions! Speakers and presenters are going to run over their allotted times, venues can have problems with audio/visual equipment or food services and your attendees are not going to always adhere to your published schedules.

Using event apps can offset some of these challenges and the related chaos that can occur at some events when information is not quickly provided to attendees!

During the event with an event app you can instantly communicate with your attendees, keeping them abreast of changes in your event in real time and ensuring their event experience is everything it can be.

In turn driving repeat attendance for your next year’s event or others your organization is hosting. In the end, event apps help your organization to engage with your attendees, which can help to drive competitive advantage for your organization!

Event Apps drive Back End Attendee Engagement

Using an event app to gather feedback from and/or poll your attendees will impart efficiencies to your post event marketing and overall communications. Think of an event app as a productivity tool that lets you “touch” (being sensitive to permission based marketing) your attendees after an event when the event and related activities were fresh in their minds.

Most event apps including our own have built in survey functionality which lets you poll your attendees and receive critical (almost real time) feedback from them about your event, speakers, venue and much more. And, using a Grupio app you can even poll your attendees during an individual session to get real time feedback for your presenters or speakers.

You can even build in lead generation with your polling and surveys, offering a discount or some type of incentive for your next event to your attendees – pre-loading your sales funnel for your next event. Let us know if we can help you setup a custom even app for your organization and thanks for visiting our blog!

Motivating Millenials to Participate in Your Next Event

Millennials are those born between (in pure demographic terms) between 1977 and 1995. They are tech savvy, independent pride themselves on being socially connected, like gratification that comes in rapidly (not delayed) and can multi-task during any activity or event.

Any event planner that wants to attract and engage with this market. This demographic needs more attraction like social media visibility, event gamification, likes and share and everything about visibility. Be aware of the characteristics of the increasingly important market segment.

Here are our takeaways for working with millenials for your next even:

1. Market your event via social media

Make sure during the event you are providing tools and methods for millenials to stay engaged with during your event. And, make sure you have feedback mechanisms built into your marketing processes.

2. Select a facility or meeting room

It can integrate real world interaction (traditional) with more modern tools, including WiFi access, mobile readiness, engagement opportunities via all social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest). Update the location image in you event app and create curiosity.

3. Check in with your millennial demographic

Prior to the event and ask them what type of content will be meaningful for them and what services they are looking for during the event. The answers may surprise you and be open in terms of your Q&A with them.

4. Setup and create networking opportunities

That will appeal to millenials – some are more socially active (like any demographic) than others and may want you to set up networking areas for them. Your mobile event app will open the doors to hundreds of new attendees.

5. Keep it casual

Millenials like casual dress and/or environments that are not too structured – make sure your event adheres to these standards and give them plenty of time that is unstructured and afford them the opportunity to engage with speakers and presenters during or after an event. They like spontaneity as well.

6. Give them lots of options to choose

Millenials like events that are more tailored to their specific needs, which may make it important to have “mini break out” sessions that afford them the ability to follow specific topics of interest that are appealing to them. You can again address this with your front end marketing and/or questionnaire. The conference meeting app will give the opportunity to download sessions notes, interact with each other, ask questions, give feedback and other opportunities to explore.

7. Millenials like data and information

Allow attemdees to share information in short sound bites and bite sized chunks. Ask your speakers to give shorter more interactive sessions with lots of Q&A when/if it makes sense during their presentation. And, ask them to keep their sentences short and tightly focused.

8. When and if you can, use short videos:

Make web accessible after a presentation and archived for access later – these can also be very focused and help to drive engagement with millenials, especially if paired with presentations in a creative manner. Use the best event app features like gamification to keep people engaged.

9. Use presentations:

The more entertaining a presentation, the deeper your engagement will be with millenials – like any younger skewed demographic they like learning wrapped in entertainment.

10. Social media visibility

Allow them to post and share there pics and videos on your wall and page. This will help you in better engagement and share the publicity.

Millenials can be great event attendees and participants. Use your event planning app and otrganise the event around millenials. You want to structure your events in ways that will be appealing to them to drive engagement and ongoing support of all of your events. Their unique characteristics and life style make them an attractive demographic for events. Remember to cater to their needs, like any market demographic.

Twitter Marketing Strategies for Event Planners

Much is said and written about Twitter marketing strategies in general so we have written this blog post with busy event planners in mind! Here are some practical marketing tips about marketing your event or your company on Twitter.

  • Twitter has very specific Follow limits and account limitations – you can only follow so many individual per hour (estimated to be no more than several hundred but a moving target and Twitter does not publish these) and your account is strictly limited by Twitter in terms of overall Followers. This number can’t be more than 2K depending on the ratio of Followers that you have to those you are Following. As your Follower base increases then this number is adjusted by Twitter. You should not direct message with you event app link more than 25-30 individuals or business per day. Be aware if you do too much of this your account can generate complaints and get shut down.
  • Your goal on Twitter is to build Followers (connections) – Followers are great but you’d rather have a smaller number of Followers that want to hear from you and are engaged with your business. Too many make Twitter a popularity contest while ignoring the importance of engagement.
  • Create and share great content – great content helps to drive Followers and engagement via Twitter. By “great content” we mean news that is meaningful and targeted for your market segment, links to videos or White Papers or Ebooks, etc. Remember you are building a long term relationship – share high value content that will be appreciated by your Followers and you will generate great marketing ROI.
  • Think about other platforms on Twitter –  one of the most effective Twitter marketing strategies for event planners is remembering to share your conference app link via Twitter to drive more connections. This should include links to your Pinterest, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts (personal and/or business). This is referred to as off platform Twitter marketing and should be an important part of your marketing strategy.
  • Keep your promotion of your business, brand or event under 20% –  don’t clutter your “Twitter stream” with more than 10-20% self promotion – this number is a good rule of thumb. If do more you will see your Follower counts drop and you are negating the good will you are building by sharing great content that resonates with your market segment.
  • Pay it forward on Twitter for rewards – if you help others on Twitter you will generate good will and long term benefits and others will reciprocate in kind.
  • Engage with others via Twitter – don’t just broadcast your messages and expect others to Follow you. Many individuals and brands want to see some engagement with your Twitter activities. By “engagement” we mean sending @messages to others, ReTweeting other’s marketing messages (Tweets) and participating in Twitter chats and marketing conventions like #FF or #FollowFriday or #MeetingMonday.
  • Use hashtags when/where it makes sense – Twitter is only 140 characters so your messages have to be brief. Use hashtags allow you to make a Tweet with event planning app to stand out. Be easily notice by others who may be following a hashtag that relates to a market, event or a business or marketing activity.

Twitter has a distinct community of users like any other marketing platforms and you want to learn the marketing maxims and leverage these as much as possible. Be patient with Twitter marketing activities, it can take time to build a meaningful audience of engaged Followers.

Building a Great Atmosphere at Your Next Event

Goes without saying but the atmosphere is critical to the success of any event – enabling your attendees to relax, feel comfortable and interact with your speakers, exhibitors and one another. There isn’t any one thing that an event planner should do to build that great atmosphere at an event; it’s a number of factors.

How to build a great event atmosphere using a mobile event app:

1. Select great speakers, the right strategic partners in terms of your vendors, suppliers and location. Don’t be afraid to ask your speakers and suppliers about their recommendations. Pick their brains to understand what you can do to make sure baseline issues are addressed for your event. Invite them to download your event planning app and help them in coordination.

2. In some cases the event location is like the old saying about real estate “location, location and location……” Having said that, it’s important to choose the perfect location and venue for your event – if an awards ceremony critical to have the proper amount of space so your attendees don’t feel like they are crammed into a room. If it’s a product launch or more festive occasion go for a venue that is more contemporary and casual; if it’s a one day event then hold it at a venue close to transportation and one that is convenient for potential attendees. If it’s a week-end retreat then you can hold it at a much more exotic location. What ever the location keep all participants updated through event app map feature.

3. First impressions at events like building any relationship are critical. Make sure you have someone at the door that is greeting your guests with a warm smile and the greeter or host or hostess should also be knowledgeable about the event and venue, enabling them to respond to questions from arrivals. You typically want to have one staff member of ever 65 event attendees to ensure you are conveying hospitality and are able to respond to any requests from your attendees. Keep updating your event app and send out notifications for changes and whats going on.

4. It can be very challenging choosing food and beverages that please the varied tastes of your attendees – great caterers can really make or break your conference or event. You want to serve a meal that is tailored for your guests, that’s current with lifestyles and one that will not offend your attendees in any way. Ask for special dietary requests in advance and make sure these are ready to go and in sufficient volume. Make sure you have more servings allocated by your caterer or venue – plan for a few extra guests and review past event attendance to get a handle on this variable. seo analysis For beverages, have water at every table, select wines that are middle of the road and not too adventuresome and make sure the bar is well stocked with alcoholic beverages and non-alcoholic and serve coffee and tea. Keep your menu in your conference app and let your guests plan there course.

Keep a human touch for the attendees:

5. Music can help to build a great ambiance for any event or make it impossible for your attendees to hear each other or relax. Light jazz or classical is great for most corporate events or meetings; don’t use more contemporary music that could possible offend your guests and that may also set the wrong mood or ambiance.

6. Lighting sets the tone for any event and should be coupled properly with the music. If you get both of these right you are setting the right ambiance when/as your guests walk into the event. You can use spot or LED uplighters to enhance the architecture of the room of the signage tha you want to stand out. Your event production staff should carefully choreograph the lighting effects (or lack thereof) with your speakers’ presentations.

7. Set up the room to adequately meet your event requirements. Work with your venue staff or suppliers prior to the event to make sure your equipment and furniture will work for the number of attendees. Check the room prior to the event and walk around each area to make sure everything is ready and prepared.

If it’s a casual event then cabaret seating will let your attendees mingle freely and it will make the event seem less formal and open to them. If more formal event, then a structured place setting is much better and make sure your host or hostess points guests to the right seating. Don’t assume your guest will automatically understand the seating chart.

If you follow the basic guidelines for building a great atmosphere along with mobile event app at your next event you should get some great feedback from your guests and the event should be a resounding success!

Choosing a Master of Ceremonies for an Event

It goes without saying, but a host or master of ceremonies can make or break your event. Select a master of ceremonies that will work with your events staff in a cooperative manner, while managing the proceedings in a capable and professional manner. Introduce the master of event thorugh the best event app and try to encash the brand value they have. He or she sets the atmosphere of the event and can add brevity (or not) to the event to lighten the mood and keep your guests entertained.

Stay Current with Industry Trends

Stay abreast of what’s going on in the industry and archive or list hosts and speakers that have generated publicity or recognition. Keep a speaker’s list of great speakers archived on our Pinterest page and social media can give you good feedback for selecting a great master of ceremonies or plain vanilla host.

Also, check with your productions team to see who they would recommend and then go online.  Also see if the individual has archives of past meetings he or she has hosted. Many will have a YouTube channel with some brief clips that will give you a deeper dive into who they are and what their potential chemistry might be for your event. Use a corprate event app to stay ahead of competition.

Can be a good idea to stay plugged in to and attend industry networking events – in some cases you can get a first hand sense of the master of ceremonies or live acts form others that you may want to hire at a future date.

CEO or Professional Master of Ceremonies?

If this event is for a product or service launch, you may want the CEO of the company to act as master of ceremonies or senior executive. Or, she/he may want to share these duties with a professional host or hostess in some way that makes the event more meaningful and entertaining for your guests.

If you are hosting a charity fundraiser you want an individual who is extremely knowledgeable about the charity itself and who can aggressively submit donations form the audience. You can assist the host with your event planning app and make there hosting more organised and up to date.

A Bit of Brevity Goes a Long Way at Your Event 

The most desirable skill of any host or master of ceremonies is their ability to keep the audience engaged and entertained during the event – he or she should drive participation and create an atmosphere that is light (some humor) and exciting, moving the evening along based on the pre-arranged schedule.

Humor from you master of ceremonies can be like pepper in a gourmet sauce – just the right amount can be delightful; but, too much and the evening or event can be ruined. You don’t want the event to come across as a comic roast, especially if its’ a corporate event. Some light humor goes a long way to liven up the day or evening.

But, to much and your host can ruin the flavor of the event. Make sure you talk with them about this beforehand and that he or she is attuned to the type of events and the demographics of the attendees.

So, select a master of ceremonies that is well suited for your event – you want a professional who has some experience hosting similar events in most cases, who is aware of the event needs, demographics of your attendees and one who is culturally attuned to the industry or type of business. A CEO may not always be the right choice – or, it may be better to ask she/he to co-host the event. Whenever you organise a conference or a corporate event, it is always best to co-host with professional as its always good to brush up the crowd with a bit of spice. And make sure your cnference is supported by a mobile conference app that can enable the users to stay connected and give you social media vsisbility you need for the Buzz!