Using Technology Before an Event
Google Hangout to Communicate.
Communicating your event objectives with your speakers is crucial. Good speakers adapt their event message according to your needs. But instead of just communicating with your speakers on the phone and email, interact with them before the event (and if possible have them interact with each other) to ensure that everyone understands the drive of the event. With a tool like Google Hangout, you can have up to 10 people in a video conference. Use this option to create a relationship between the speakers and all professionals involved during the progression leading up to your corporate event. This will encourage a truly unified and consistent image for your participants.
Promote your event through social media platforms.
Tweeting about your upcoming event on Twitter and posting status updates on Facebook (and/or LinkedIn) are one of the most common ways for a corporate event planner in New York to promote their event online. Include your speakers in your promotions planning, by asking them to provide a video before the event where they talk to participants and help build excitement for the event. They can even include a few lines on what to expect from their session or keynote. You can stream these videos on all of your social networks, not only to generate advertising, but also to encourage other speakers to join your promotional efforts. You will increase the chances of your followers sharing out your post when the media you are using contains engaging short videos and high-quality images.
Make your mobile-friendly event materials.
Stop the delivery of printed documents for events! Instead, make your program and brochures available online in downloadable PDF format. This allows participants to have all the materials available on their tablet or smartphone, and not have to worry about losing documents. In addition, you can create a mobile app for your event that includes access to all event brochures. It’s easier and cheaper than you think!
Using Technology During an Event
Internet access is a must!
Many hotels offer free internet access in the lobby or other rooms, but do not offer complimentary internet service in the conference areas. Consequently, an inexperienced corporate event planner in New York may choose not to order Internet access, assuming that it is not necessary. Big mistake! If your participants can not access the Internet, post a tweet or even check their email, you run the risk of them leaving to use the internet outside and never come back. If the hotel charges a fee for internet access in the conference area but the budget is limited, you can always try to find a sponsor to pay for it. Remember, a great event begins with people having access to their lives through e-mail, the web and social media all throughout the day.
Video / Webcasting can extend your reach.
Sometimes people want to participate in your event, but for various reasons, cannot. Instead of losing revenue, why not allow people to attend your event virtually? After attendees pay the registration fee, they can connect to your corporate event with services like Telenect (www.telenect.com), Omnovia (www.omnovia.com) or Webex (www.webex.com). You can also use these convenient technologies to host an entirely virtual conference or meeting.
Engage the public by implementing a response system.
Keeping your eyes open during public presentations is one thing, but getting the audience to participate is a totally different ball game. Encourage your speakers to go beyond using the old practices. Instead, ask them to create a conversation with the audience by utilizing some sort of audience response system (ARS). The best-known of these systems is known as the ARS voting keyboard, available through Turning Technologies (www.turningtechnologies.com). There are also some emerging applications where participants use their smartphone or tablet to interact. Turning members of the passive audience into active participants is what you should aim for because it not only adds value to the participants but to the entire conference experience. In short: An increase in interest = An increase in revenue.
Encourage participants to use Twitter for your events.
Create several general Twitter hashtags applicable to the events industry or organization and individuals that are specific to each part of your event. A hashtag is simply the pound symbol (#) followed by a word or acronym used for referencing specific interests. Make these hashtags known and encourage participants to use Twitter for sharing event info by using event-related hashtags attached to their tweets. Since Twitter allows only 140 characters per tweet, people must briefly summarize the content, which is actually an advantage. According to expert digital marketers, brief tweets are better. Even people who do not use Twitter can post tweets and follow the conversation using a tool like Twubs (www.twubs.com). This tool also allows you to moderate messages and broadcast live events.
Stay active and promote text messaging at corporate events.
Instead of asking the public to turn off their smartphones, encourage them to leave them on and have the presenters interact via text messaging as he or she is speaking. This form of engagement will greatly increase public participation. For example, leadership expert Cheryl Cran asks her audience to send their messages as she’s delivering her content. So basically, members of the public get to send their questions and she then responds through her lectures and trainings at the events. This can facilitate the Q&A portion of any type of corporate event, and whatever questions were not answered due to time constraints, can be addressed via email after the close of the event.
Tip: Remember, the ultimate goal of each event is to influence its participants. Therefore, do not use technology simply because it is exciting and fresh. Use it wisely, per your goals as a Corporate Event Planner in New York, and make sure it works to your benefit as a part of a long-term strategy. When used properly, technology will improve your events success rate, which will get you and your organization recognized for excellence.