How to improve attendee experience with technology
Personalization is one of THE trending topics for expos and events. What can exhibition venues and organizers do to facilitate personalized event experiences for attendees and create even better events?
Data Collection Makes It Possible
First things first: There can be no personalization without good data. Organizers of expos and events need to know their clients. Personalization should therefore be based on significant amounts of valuable data. A solid CRM system plays an important role when it comes to tracking data about clients. Event CRM systems (vs. generic, often limited CRM solutions) enable organizers to save both event and client data and make it available whenever needed.
Furthermore, event apps allow organizers to capture valuable data in real-time and learn about their target audience. Thanks to surveys and direct live feedback during conference sessions, organizers can gain momentary insights in real-time on attendee behavior and their requirements. This direct feedback tends to be the most valuable and strongest insight organizers can get because people are still engaged and don’t have to recall what they felt or thought about an event as they are still experiencing it.
Visitor data can also be collected during the registration process for an event. Organizers may ask their attendees specific questions about their interests and their business so get a better picture of their needs.
Better Networking Thanks To Event Apps
More and more people engage through their mobile devices. Based on the data that organizers capture in the first place, they can tailor the event experience to attendees’ needs. This is especially interesting for networking opportunities which are still very strong reasons for people to attend events.
Many apps can improve the networking quality at events by matching people with similar interests. This is a great way of ensuring that event participants find and meet the right people at the right time. Predictive matchmaking tools may also suggest suitable sessions or speakers that match event attendees’ interests, personal qualifications or their area of business.
Geofencing technology provides innovative opportunities for venues and event organizers to personalize (and simplify) attendee experiences. Event tech guru Corbin Ball describes geofencing as follows:
"A geofence is a virtual perimeter around a geographic area, such as a hotel, a conference center, an exhibition or any another arbitrary boundary. When a mobile device using a geofence service enters or exits a geofence, the device receives a notification which often is in the form of an alert or a mobile coupon."
New Ways of Information & Promotion
Apple's iBeacons have become a widely known technology with regards to geofencing. The battery powered devices can be used to send specific, targeted information to other devices. If an exhibition venue decides do install multiple beacons across their halls, they can be used to guide the visitor through the hall and hence serve as an indoor navigation tool to make it easier for attendees to find exhibition booths, especially at large shows.
Organizers could even take this one step further and offer new possibilities of promotion to their exhibitors. Wouldn't it be great to adapt the information that is sent to attendees to their specific interests? To send out interactive messages or location-based welcome messages to event attendees when they enter exhibition halls? Not only does this enable organizers to personalize the registration and check-in process, it can also be used to send out practical information.
It’s all possible. Program or schedule changes could easily be communicated to attendees. Exhibitors could use this technology for promotional activities and send out push notifications at specific times or even show automated product demos when visitors pass by.
Personally, I am looking forward to seeing how both venues and organizer will incorporate new technology into their business to create personalized experiences for attendees. What are your experiences with event apps and geofencing technology? Feel free to share them with us and leave a comment.