Add Value to Your Event with a Lead Retrieval App

 

Increase the value of your event for exhibitors, sponsors and attendees—and generate some new revenue for yourself in the process. Attendify’s mobile event app—which works seamlessly with our CATALYST Abstract management system—now offers integrated lead retrieval, making it super simple for your exhibitors to build relationships with the attendees at your event.

Event professionals are always looking for opportunities to generate additional conference revenue, and lead retrieval is a convenience that exhibitors and sponsors are willing to pay for. If you’ve ever watched an exhibitor struggle to jot down notes after a conversation with an attendee, you know the value a lead retrieval app provides.

Social Lead Retrieval

Scribbling on the back of a business card is the old-tech way of collecting information from event participants. With the Attendify app, exhibitors can use their own mobile phone to scan an attendee’s QR code. Contact information about the lead is available immediately, along with access to view the attendee’s activity stream posts. Exhibitors can also contact leads directly through the app to schedule follow up appointments.

Real-Time Engagement Data

During the event, an analytics dashboard helps you ensure that exhibitors use the app effectively. Lead generation data is available to monitor performance and see which exhibitors are successfully adding leads. These real-time insights are available on your existing device and don’t require adding additional hardware.

Using a lead retrieval app allows exhibitors to use their in-person conversations to build more meaningful engagement with attendees, knowing that details like contact information will be automatically synced to their device.

Providing an easy way for exhibitors to retrieve attendee data is becoming a must-have feature for an event app, similar to the way that attendees expect a mobile app to provide a schedule of the event. To learn more about pricing and the other benefits of offering your exhibitors an integrated lead retrieval app, check out the information on Attendify’s page.

Have you ever offered automated lead retrieval at your events in the past? What other ways are you using technology to create more value for your exhibitors and sponsors? Let us know in the comments below.

How to Create an Active Online Community

Wondering how to create an online event community where attendees, sponsors and exhibitors are logging into (and actively involved with) as much as their email accounts?

As a meeting or event planner, you understand creating a networking opportunity is critical for attendees, sponsors and exhibitors of your conferences. And as your conference participants become more engaged in online networking and social media sites, it is critical to create an online hub where your conference participants can network before, during and after your events.

3 Ways to Create a Successful Online Event Community

  1. Have a strategic plan.
    This is probably the most important aspect of having a successful community. What is the goal of the community? What will deem it successful? You need to be sure your online event community is in alignment with your bigger picture goals and objective. Write down these objectives as it provides you with a basis for measurement. Some core objectives might include: Visitors to the site, repeat visitors, number joined vs. total attendees, activity within the site. Who will manage and run the community? What will the technology be? How will you incorporate this with your other event marketing initiatives? What content or topics will draw people into the community and engage participants. By having a plan, you have a much greater chance for success. Plus, you’ll have something to measure against as you go.
  2. Assign a leader.
    Someone must own the community and make it theirs. It can’t be owned by everyone or a group of people, it really needs a leader who is passionate and unselfish. Someone who knows and understands relationships and social media. Giving this responsibility to someone because they have the time or because they are in marketing doesn’t cut it. They must have solid project management skills, excellent communication skills. They must understand the big picture and have the authority to drive the community. Failure to have the right person lead your community usually results in a stale, unused web site and a poor representation of your efforts.
  3. Outline your communications plan.
    This is essential to knowing who’s doing what, what’s being created and when it’s being shared. It will involve formal communications, promotional content as well as informal and just informational content. This plan will involve many different participants in your community. For example, you will want the speakers to create content and engage attendees by asking questions and providing insights to their sessions a few weeks out from the event. The key is to know the members of the community expect action and communications. They didn’t sign up to the community to just create a profile and never come back to the site again. Your plan should address how you and others will engage all participants.

What other ways can you think of to create an active community?

Who’s Who in Your Online Community

An online community that centers on an event has all the major players of a traditional live event. You have presenters finishing their PowerPoints minutes before their session begins, attendees searching for the right breakout sessions, sponsors who want to see and be seen, plus exhibitors who want to engage attendees.

You’ve probably dealt with many live events and know how these people interact with you and each other, but here’s our take on the way these groups may engage online and benefit from your social networking online event community. As well, we’ve included some ideas to help you help them.

Presenters

Presenters at events are the thought leaders, the buzz creators and usually the main purveyors of valuable information. Online, they can be all that and more. In your community, ask your speakers to upload content (such as their presentation materials), start conversations about their topics, interact with attendees who have signed up for their sessions and more.

Outside your community, ask them to blog about their speaking engagement at your event (with links to your event community and conference pages). Have them create short, informal YouTube videos (like this one from Beth Kanter) that give away “nuggets” about what they will be sharing at their event. As well, ask them to share updates with their social media followers.

You might find if useful to include these types of social media activities into your presenter agreement. This becomes a guideline for your presenters to follow and will help your online event community thrive.
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Attendees

When they really dive in to an active online community, attendees are going to love it. Many attendees place a high value on the networking opportunities at live events, and an online event community offers networking to a much more advanced degree. In addition, attendees love to be able to research their sessions to determine their best itinerary. They’ll also enjoy downloading material in advance, participating in discussions and meeting up with people who share their interests.

In your event community, be sure to ask your attendees engaging questions such as:

  • What problems do you hope the event will shed light on?
  • What are you attending?
  • What’s the one session that interests you the most and why?

Ask them anything that gets them talking. And realize, not everyone will talk.

You might create a team of social media champions who are already active online and at the peer level with other attendees. Sometimes conversations are better started at this level and attendees feel less like you are trying to force them to engage online.

One thing you can give attendees to make them feel special (and to promote your event) is an online social conference badge. Which is merely a banner ad promoting your event. This badge can say something like, “I’m attending XYZ. Are You?”

For more tips on getting attendees involved,
check out 5 ways to Make Your Members Feel at Home in Your Online Community.

Here’s an example from the Theater industry: TCG National Chicago.
Here, over 65% of the total face-to-face attendance (748 attendees) participated online using a Conference 2.0™ event community:
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Sponsors and Exhibitors

Sponsors and exhibitors attend events for one main reason: to make connections that will lead to business. At live events, they frequently take a back seat in the industry discussions because they frequently spend more time in the exhibit hall than in the sessions.

When a sponsor or exhibitor gets involved in an online event community, they can really create relationships and participate in the education. Vendors can bring a high level of expertise to your event community.

They keep up with industry trends, know the hot topics and can provide meaningful insight into active discussions. They can also provide valuable tools to attendees by sharing information about their products and services that allows potential clients to research their options before the live event. For them, social media and online networking is a great way to build brand and start the relationship process online before the face-to-face interactions occur.

Sponsors and exhibitors may be a factor in helping your online community stay active after the live event as they continue to engage online to stay connected to their contacts after the event.

In addition, the companies themselves can use social media to help promote your event and online community to the rest of their contacts. Like your presenters, ask your sponsors and exhibitors to blog about issues relevant to solving attendee problems. Ask them to inform their following about your event, but remind them a good content marketing strategy goes miles further than trying to “sell” to their audience.

The best way to prepare sponsors and exhibitors for your online event community is to help them understand the community guidelines before they get involved. Check out the Dos and Don’ts of Participating in an Online Event Community as a guide for your sponsors and exhibitors, as well as other attendees.

Be sure to take care of this group as they a major source of revenue for your event and can bring a strong, positive experience in the online community while providing the solutions attendees are looking for.

Social Networking for Exhibitors: Joining the Conversations at Events

Earlier this year I wrote a list of online community do’s and don’ts for vendors and exhibitors who want to get involved via social media. The key we mention over and over again is that an exhibitor has to become an authentic, living, breathing, listening part of a community, not just a broadcaster from the sidelines. I’ve tried to practice what we’ve been preaching, and I regularly join chats on Twitter to discuss important issues in the association and meeting communities.

One of my favorite chats (#eventprofs: Tuesdays 9-10 am and Thursday 12-1 pm Eastern) recently discussed the ways exhibitors could participate in social media for an event, and I found myself sharing the ways we participate at the 10+ events Omnipress exhibits at every year.

In true Twitter form (less than 140 characters each)…

Here Are My Top Six Ways Exhibitors Can Use social media:

  1. Spend time in breakout sessions to learn about the industry, then blog and tweet to bring awareness to the event itself.
  2. Blog and tweet about tools your company will offer that will solve attendees’ problems.
  3. Blog, tweet or survey to discover what problems or solutions attendees want to learn from you on site.
  4. Follow hashtags and community members to catch top trends and discover who’s attending (that’s called listening, by the way).
  5. Build relationships with attendees and others well before the event so they retweet and post your information.
  6. When you’re at the event, tweet and blog about visitors to your booth – what their challenges are and how you helped.

And speaking of listening… your turn!

What are the ways you like to see exhibitors involved in an event?