Driving interaction at your meeting shouldn’t be relegated to a Q&A section at the end of a session. For the most successful type of interaction and event engagement, you need to aim at a change in event/meeting culture where attendees become co-creators of the event experience. For that to happen, they need to be involved and that’s not always easy to organically initiate.
Sponsors and exhibitors benefit from an interactive meeting environment. With attendees more engaged, they’re more likely to interact with other event stakeholders making the meeting event more lucrative for them. Stronger ROI also means they’re likely to return to future events.
One way to get attendees more involved is through fun and interactive technology. But in that case, how you utilize the tech is as important as the type of tech selected. We have 10+ tech ideas that you can incorporate at your next meeting to improve interactivity with attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors throughout the event.
Improve Event Interactivity in Exhibition Areas Between Sponsors/Exhibitors and Attendees
Event tech can help drive people to sponsor and exhibitor areas, but what do you do with them once they’re there? You captured their attention; now, you need to assist your vendors in making meaningful connections with the attendees. Work with them to help them make the most of their experience.
1. Conduct Attendee Research
In order for sponsors and exhibitors to make the most of their time at your event, encourage them to use your event tech to browse the guest list. They can then compare it to their existing client list, their former client list, people in the sales pipeline, past connections, or any other desired demographic. Then, suggest they design personalized communications to reach out to each group. The call to action in these communications should be a scheduled meeting, not a sale. This brings us to…
2. Schedule Private Meetings
Schedule private meetings in advance by sending messages or texts, or use an app to schedule them directly. Whenever possible, vendors should take these attempts to schedule out of standard email. Things get lost. Inboxes are crowded. This is especially true if the attendee is preparing to go out of town or is already traveling for the conference.
A scheduling app like ConnexMe can help an exhibitor to set meetings up easily and keep track of them outside of the inbox, which is more efficient for both parties.
3. Monitor Traffic Flow
Use meeting technology like wearables for crowdshaping and monitoring traffic flow. Crowdshaping, for those unfamiliar with the term, measures aspects of attendee behavior, like biometric readings and foot traffic, and uses that data to create applicable insights. Those insights can then be used to shape the event to create the best experience possible for attendees and sponsors.
4. Engage with Fun and Games
Host a QR Code scavenger hunt. Teams look among exhibitors for QR codes and race to get them all. If you want attendees to spend more time with exhibitors, give them clues or some other part of the puzzle (like the code itself) that would require a conversation in order to obtain it.
5. Attract a Crowd with Visual Appeal
Use striking graphs and visuals to attract a crowd. If the exhibitor has a demo or educational component to their booth interaction, they can use ConnexMe, which allows for live on-screen annotations and dramatic reveals. It can also be very helpful in large crowds around the booth. People in the back can leave live comments or questions on the screen (if enabled), even if they can’t be heard. It’s also an easy way to make sure the crowd understands the concepts and pieces presented at the booth or meeting. If individuals don’t want to raise their hands, they can send private messages and converse with one another without having to speak over the crowd or interrupt the presentation.
An event app should be used to provide value for attendees. A few years ago, online agendas were the sole drive behind them. Today’s functionality allows for a lot more. Your exhibitors can provide materials, interviews, bonus content, and even host “flash” discounts or offers to drive excitement.
Increase Session Interaction
6. Word Cloud-based Discussion
Gauge understanding of concepts among your audience in a fun way by asking questions and using the words from answers to create a word cloud. Fuel live discussions by displaying a word cloud of comments, or create a word cloud out of what’s being said in reviews about you, your products or services, or your booth on social media. Stimulate the discussion with what others are sharing and display it prominently.
7. Better Brainstorming
Interactive meeting technology can be an excellent vehicle for brainstorming. For example, one meeting organizer took a room full of people and split them into groups to discuss specific topics. They used the ConnexMe app to post comments in the live feed using the specified “#topicname” to keep them organized. As they discussed the ideas that were posted for their topic, they added new ideas, and then posted “final” ideas from the group in the live feed.
These final ideas were pushed to the stage on a comments wall for further discussion within the larger group.
8. Priority Mapping
Building upon the previous suggestion, you can use ideas from brainstorming and create more concise, organized statements by combining those that are similar or that have overlapping points. Once you have those concepts boiled down, create a ranking poll on-the-fly with a couple of quick clicks, asking your audience to prioritize interests or needs. The results of that poll will determine which of those ideas to prioritize first. All of this can be done quickly without days of deliberation, task forces, or slow stakeholder input caused by differences in geography or time zones. Results can be tabulated in real-time and reported out as necessary.
One of the main drivers behind event or meeting attendance is networking, so we’re going to cover how interactive meeting technology makes that more appealing for attendees and exhibitors.
Create Meaningful Networking Opportunities with an Event App
9. Efficient Networking
In order to encourage networking at your meeting, begin with a solid foundation prior to the event. Allow for the meeting guest lists to be viewable (for attendees) and encourage private messaging with one another through an app like ConnexMe. This helps them connect with attendees of similar interests (e.g. job description, mutual connections, company, or experience) prior to the meeting.
Even if attendees don’t have time to connect with one another prior to the meeting, they can create some networking goals for when they are there since in-app messaging makes the whole process easier. They don’t have to spend time researching each networking partner’s contact information, nor do they need to worry about who they’re giving their own information out to.
It also makes keeping the contact information easier than finding it amidst a mass of emails. An app can keep all meeting correspondence organized and easily accessible. It’s a lot quicker than an unreliable email or folder search.
10. Uncovered Interests
Live commenting in meetings and private messaging can lead to interesting matchups as people get to know one another. Often someone will say something or make a comment that interests other attendees, and in so doing, will create an icebreaker. With an event app, they can private message one another and avoid the potential awkwardness of inadvertent hallway encounters or interruptions if they’re already speaking with someone else.
Bonus Idea: Engage Beyond the Meeting with Event Technology
Engagement shouldn’t just occur during the actual meeting. Creating opportunities to connect before and after can increase interest in attendance, strengthen the relationships, and keep you top of mind. It will also help sponsors and exhibitors make more meaningful connections.
Polls can be overused. While most people want to share their opinions, being asked for one all the time (or too many at one time) can be disengaging. Instead, be selective and creative in how you use polls.
An effective meeting begins by building comradery. Think about a sales meeting. The opening event is usually loud and high energy. One easy way to build comradery is by helping attendees feel united; polls can accomplish this. By unveiling the results of a company-wide (or industry-wide) questionnaire, you can build a feeling of togetherness that creates the positive energy necessary to sustain and enhance your meeting.
You can also use polls leading up to the meeting to better understand the needs or preferences of your attendees, creating a meeting where they feel valued and appreciated.
Use polls to gauge their opinions or knowledge on key topics so that you can go deeper into them according to your audience’s familiarity with them.
Don’t forget that polls can also be used to continue a relationship by solidifying jointly held opinions before the attendees depart. Reveals can be an amazing experience if you spend time building up to them.
Continue to utilize technology after the event to stay in touch and share common experiences among attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, and other stakeholders. Don’t let the foundation you laid go to waste.
Interactive meeting technology can have a big impact on your event. It can improve engagement between your attendees and meeting leaders, increase return on investment for your exhibitors, and have a lasting effect on attendees from a networking and relationship-building perspective.
If you’d like to know more about how to engage meeting attendees through technology, contact Evenium today to learn more about ConnexMe and enjoy a complimentary demo.