7 innovative ways to create more networking opportunities at your event
Networking opportunities at events should never be left to chance. The opportunity to networking and community building with someone influential is a huge incentive for registrants, and smart event planners are well aware of it. They actively facilitate one-on-one networking opportunities between attendees. It’s a great way to make your attendees feel productive while they are out from the office.
Meetings and event planners are getting innovative to encourage networking. From shared picnic baskets to fortune cookies containing conversation ice breakers, planners are helping attendees make the most out of their events. Read my top seven ways to let loose a group dynamic and let people interact with each other in a corporate or business setting.
Create an online community
Improve networking at your events by building an online community that allows registrants to connect before, during and even after the event. Choose from different service providers and launch the community two-three months before your event. This will give your attendees the time they need to get acquainted and connect with others. To facilitate participation, work with sponsors to organize a prize for the maximum level of participation. You can also recruit sponsors and exhibitors to drive engagement by asking them to join the community well before the event is launched.
Simple name badges work
It might sound obvious, but keeping easy-to-read name badges works the best. It helps facilitate comfortable, natural introductions that leave a positive first impression. After all, it can become very awkward if you have to lean in or squint to read the name or job titles on the name badges of other attendants. Remove big ads on badges and save that real estate for simple details or information that initiates conversations likes company name, job title, city, etc.
Add networking-focused activities
Make sure your event’s format is optimized in a way that helps registrants, influencers and peers network with each other. Help attendees to create new connections by mixing them with one another in ice-breaker activities. Creating contests like scavenger hunt is always a smart way to do this, as it requires people to team up and collaborate.
Include table rotation for longer sessions
You can foster networking amongst attendees by including a table change at the mid-break point of longer sessions. You can do this by including a card that has the new table number in your attendees’ conference material. This way they’ll know which table to return to after the break is over. Including table rotations requires a little co-ordination, but it is well worth trying.
Allow attendees to discuss key topics
During lunch, invite attendees to discuss important topics with industry influencers or experts in small groups. You can also put a sign or question on each table that resonates with the theme of your event. Appealing to the interests of your attendees will enable them to network with others and enjoy themselves.
Keep networking in mind while creating breakout areas
Break out areas such as coffee and tea stations play an instrumental role in facilitating networking as attendees naturally seek breaks during events. Factors such as the size, placement and attractiveness of these breakout places determine how easy it is to initiate or leave a conversation. Try to book venues that facilitate the movement of people as constricted places provide fewer networking opportunities. Some tips to make your breakout areas attractive: place small cocktail tables for attendees to have a “round table” discussion. The same tip also applies for lunch areas as people make a stronger connection while facing each other.
Choose a socially enabled event mobile app
If you plan to have an event mobile app, then ensure that it provides matchmaking opportunities for registrants. Matchmaking will allow attendees to contact each other based on common interest long before the event begins. Event apps with social media integration, location-based check-ins, and an activity feed are a must have for event planners. These features will allow registrants to prioritize who they meet and to maximize networking opportunities. Take advantage of technology by displaying ice-breaker questions across your venue and ask registrants to answer them through social media using a common hashtag.
Live event is a great way for you to increase leads and brand awareness. At the same time, you need to make your attendees feel productive by giving them ample networking opportunities. You can easily promote networking by creating niche environments for one-on-one interactions, organizing networking-focused activities or by giving ice-breaker conversation initiators. These techniques will help people communicate and connect with one another and enhance the overall attendee experience at your events.
Seeing is believing part 4: what’s the traffic of your booth?
According to a report published by Statisa, the average number of hours spent by visitors at a trade show booth has decreased from 8.9 hours in 2001 to 8.3 hours in 2011. And this number is constantly decreasing. What this means is that a visitor at your booth is most likely to spend only two minutes to see your products and know your brand. The math is simple, the number of hours or minutes divided by the total booths at the trade show. The two-minute window is your only opportunity to convert a visitor into a customer. But often, companies spend more time on checking in the visitor instead of engaging them at their booth. To maximize this two-minute window, event marketers need to use event technology solution that can quickly check in attendees and give more time to focus on your booth visitors.
While check-in is a vital part of the event sales life cycle, the window of opportunity is extremely small. And if something goes wrong during check-in, you’ll probably lose valuable prospect opportunities and create unqualified leads that don’t have proper context. Check-in apps like BoothLeads can help you automate lead capturing at the booth and engage visitors in meaningful interactions so that you can follow up those leads in a personalized manner even after the event is over. BoothLeads allows you to capture relevant contact and prospect information. And it cannot be denied that this part of the event is equally important for fueling sales leads as in-booth activity. BoothLeads is a cloud-based lead retrieval app that helps event organizers and exhibitors to generate quality leads at trade shows.
Applicable for tradeshows, conferences and other events, BoothLeads app is the perfect solution for vendors who want to get access to lead contact information with minimum hassle. You can retrieve contact data of the people with whom you’ve discussed business prospects. The lead retrieval app, which is available for all types of mobile devices is compatible with 3 types of 1D codes (also called Barcodes) and 7 types of 2D codes. BoothLeads supports Code 128, Code 39 & Code 93 Barcodes. The 2D codes supported by the app include QR Codes, Data Matrix, Aztec, Codablock-F, Maxicode, DotCode, Han Xin.
Eventdex lead retrieval app helps you eliminate tedious paperwork and the complication that come with finding contact details and remembering conversations. We offer a highly functional and powerful qualified lead generation and follow-up platform. You can use our app on multiple devices and can:
- Scan QR codes
- Store and sync leads
- Rate or score leads
- Make notes
- Send emails to prospects
- Set reminders
So, it is time to say goodbye to collecting business cards and try our lead retrieval app. After all, 81% of trade show attendees have the decision making power. Which means that 4 out of 5 people who walk into your booth have the buying authority and are potential customers, and you don’t really want to miss out on these warm leads (Source – CEIR: The Spend Decision: Analyzing How Exhibits Fit Into The Overall Marketing Budget). To find out more about our lead retrieval app, schedule a private demo with our expert. See how our lead retrieval app can help you maximize your trade show ROI and fuel your sales pipeline.
6 tips to make the most out of your event mobile app
Launching a mobile app for your next event? I think you’ll find this blog useful. With an event mobile app, you are on the right track to boost engagement and extend the reach and scope of your event. But to execute it smoothly, you need to be more strategic in your approach. To ensure you make the most out of your event mobile app, follow these six simple, actionable tips. After reading this blog, you’ll be able to ensure your app is noticed, downloaded, and drives clicks and conversions at every step of your event.
Promote event app: Get the word out!
This is the most obvious tip. You’ve got an app, and now you need to promote it at all the right places so that it gets noticed by people. Promote your app on your website or registration page and ensure you’ve got a powerful call to action (CTA) with a link to download the app. Also, list the benefits of the app in a succinct way – things like faster check in, more networking opportunities, and interactive maps.
Offline app promotion
Familiarize your attendees by mentioning your app in promotional materials used before the event like paper brochures, tickets, downloadable PDFs, and guides. The more you spread the word about your app, the more likely your attendees will engage and download it.
DURING THE EVENT
Use kick-off announcement to ask attendees to download the app
A kick-off announcement is a great way to ask attendees to download your event app. With everyone assembled in the same place at the same time, it is the optimal time to spread the word about your app and drive immediate, measurable adoption. You can also take the help of presenters and ask them to mention the app in their speeches and encourage downloads. Since you’ll provide the CTA in emails and flyers, make sure the directions to download is as simple as possible.
Ask speakers to make your event engaging through mobile app
One of the best ways to drive app adoption is by creating experiences that are only available on the event app. Include things like polling to make the session more interactive, or maybe use live Q&A so that attendees can message their questions directly from their devices. You may also want to keep tent cards on the table that lists the benefits of your app and has a clear CTA to download. This way, attendees who haven’t downloaded your app can download it during the event and engage themselves in an insightful session.
Use the app to send personalized appreciation announcement
Event mobile app can be a great way to engage attendees during the event. But it is equally important to keep the engagement going on even after the event is over. You can use mobile apps to send a personalized “thank you” message to your delegates in the next few days. A personalized communication is the simplest way to bring them back into your app and offer any benefits like access to attendee directories and networking opportunities as well as information about future events.
Inform attendees about future events with the same app
If you’ve got another event lined up, then you can use the same app to inform attendees about it. Continue using the app to promote events, training sessions and other programs through it.
Hope these six tips will help you make the most out of your event apps. But before you ask your attendees to download and use it, tell your team to proactively use the app. This peer-to-peer influence is very powerful than any other outreach or promotional activity. Ensure your team uses the app during the event, and perhaps, share their screens and inform attendees of some of its unique features. In the end, the more you make your app appear an integral part of your event, the better it is for you and your attendees
Seeing is believing Part 3: hassle-free attendee management
This part of the series is all about making attendee management stress free. Managing attendees onsite and checking them into the event doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process. While planners may be using technology to attract potential attendees, collect their information and follow up with them, they often tend to overlook the importance of onsite solutions. During the event, you require a variety of processes or technology for a smooth attendee management from beginning to the end. To avoid getting lost in the whirlpool of these processes, you need to have a well-organized and executed attendee management system.
Eventdex’s ScanAttendee is one of the best solutions to eliminate long queues during check in.Out solution makes the onsite experience seamless and hassle-free. ScanAttendee is a ticketing app that allows event planners to not only sell tickets in any currency, but enables them to scan tickets and badges and print them onsite. It can save tons of time with quicker check in and leaves an ever-lasting impression on your attendees. A smooth check in process is important, because let’s face it, it is the first thing your attendees will notice when they arrive at your events.It also sets up the momentum for the whole event experience. A technology solution that can replace a person checking people in can make you look like a tech-savvy planner, with disgruntled attendees a thing of the past. With Eventdex as your onsite attendee management partner, you can check in attendees quickly, offer a smart event experience to exhibitors,enhance engagement and maximize ROI.
Before we dive into the features of ScanAttendee, let’s examine a scenario. I am sure, most of you will be able to relate to it. You are waiting for your guests to arrive and you realize you’ve missed a couple of badges at your office! Worst still, you’ve misspelled some of the names. What do you do in such scenarios? We are humans, and we are bound to make mistakes. We completely understand this, but do your attendees understand the same? How do you convince your attendees to still appreciate your event? Even if you’ve got spare, blank badges, it is not the same. And that’s not all! How do you track your attendees after the event? Do you manually follow up with them or fail to do it completely? If your event data is not stored in one centralized location, I can understand the nightmare you must have before and after the event.
ScanAttendee lets you take total control of your event’s onsite experience and as it is designed to scan both tickets and badges, besides printing them instantly. It offers better attendee management by facilitating quick and efficient scanning and gives your exhibitors a detailed analytics and information about sales reports. With this comprehensive data, you can easily improve the experience of your attendees and follow up with them long after the event is over.This fast-paced mobile check-in app allows organizers to add tickets and other things to be sold at events. ScanAttendees can cater to two main aspects of onsite check in – lead scanning and badge scanning.
The high-end lead scanning app can provide you information like how many attendees visited your event or how much sales your exhibitors generated. The app reads barcodes auto generated through the registration process. It allows exhibitors to get detailed insights into booth traffic and record the attendance for later reference. Exhibitors can also retrieve important traffic data from the app and use it to offer a better experience to leads at future events. The app is also a way to get even more qualified leads with all the information of booth traffic and attendee preferences in one place.
ScanAttendee also streamlines the badge printing processes for event organizers and enables them to not only collect attendee information easily but also process event fees or other payments through integrations with various online payment processing options. This app will search your guest list based on name, company, confirmation number, etc. You can also use filters to see who has checked in and who has not. ScanAttendee is compatible with Bluetooth enabled printers. Event organizers can use this mobile check-in app to print name badges onsite and even collect payments like event fees through integrations with platforms like Stripe, PayPal, Aurthorized.net, TRUSTe, check & cash.
To see how ScanAttendee can help you with your future events, schedule a free demo today.Our experts will not only show you the capabilities of the app, but will also assist you with your other event planning needs.
Seeing is believing series part 2: Matchmaking made easy with MatchLeads
Matchmaking tools at events have become very popular these days. Probably, you’ve tried out one of them at some or the other events. But let’s face it, they don’t really work that well. If you’re reading this blog, then it can be safely assumed that you want to know about this magical solution, which I like to call “Tinder” of the events industry. To be honest, fostering successful networking at your events is one of the few things that dictates its success. A matchmaking tool has to provide customized, unique networking services that revolutionize your ability to serve people by giving them what they need.
At Eventdex, we believe in delivering the best solution that can help you bring attendees together and set up the best possible meetings between attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors.Eventdex’s MatchLeads is a mobile and cloud-based application for business to business matchmaking events. With MatchLeads, you can generate leads that are more focused and more meaningful for your business. This solution stands apart from the rest as it allows event organizers to create different types of matchmaking events, including
Open event: Attendees can pick whomever they want to meet from the list of exhibitors based on their interest and time availability.
Semi-open event: Attendees can pick whom they want to meet, but the exhibitors have the option to either accept or reject their request.
Closed event: Exhibitors can choose whomever they want to meet based on their needs by glancing at the profiles of attendees and creating an appointment.
Custom event: The event admin can pick any combination to make custom scenarios instead of open, semi-open and closed types.
With a total control over different types of matchmaking events, you’ll have the power to transform your events and give the participants an awesome networking platform. After all, 75% of the people who attend events do so to network. But this is far from the reality. Networking part of events is often limited to small talk during the event’s session breaks. Some of Eventdex’s MatchLeads features include:
- Setting one-on- one meetings
- Schedule, accept, reject, manage and reschedule appointments
- Surveys, analytics, demographics and nested Q&A
- Add comments and notes to appointments
- Custom field level settings
- Upload pictures, video and marketing material
- Export, print buyer and seller schedules along with profiles
- Manage tables/booths
- Admin, buyer and seller portals with dashboards
- Social networking
With such diverse features, MatchLeads is meant for almost everyone who is directly or indirectly related to the events industry. Whether you are a prime contractor/small business, attendee/exhibitor, buyer/seller or corporate member/MBE, MatchLeads can help you promote networking and meet your business goals.
Prime contractor and small business
You can match prime contractors and small businesses with pre-arranged meetings, allowing small businesses to showcase their products to contractors
Exhibitor and attendee
An event that has both attendee and exhibitor can benefit by MatchLeads by matching exhibitors and attendees that are looking for specific products and services
Corporate member and MBE
Help small diverse businesses meet major organization members like NMSDC or National Urban League to generate substantial business during such meetings.
Buyers and sellers
Match buyers and sellers to develop a healthy symbiotic relationship to help them meet their business goals.
At Eventdex, we’ve created a matchmaking solution that allows you and your attendees to register for your event, see who is attending and schedule meetings with other participants. Our matchmaking app, Matchleads, seamlessly integrates with your event and adds value for your attendees.
See it to believe it. Ask for a private demo for free!