Event marketing is one of the most important ways for brands to connect with customers and business partners, which is why businesses are spending more on attending trade shows, organising events and getting the right exhibition stand design. However, ultimately, the key to success is increasing engagement.
In fact, according to statistics compiled by Bizzabo, 91 percent of event professionals state that increasing engagement at events is an important priority for their organisation, while 84 percent of organisers say that engagement solutions are the most important means of maximising the event experience for attendees.
One of the most promising ways of enhancing engagement is through the use of real-time response technology. In this post, we examine the various ways this interactive technology can help.
1. Instant Feedback
Seeking feedback and using it to inform future strategies has always been a key part of the event planning industry, but post-event feedback processes have two fundamental flaws. The first is that response rates can be poor, and the second is that by the time people provide the feedback, they are disconnected from how they felt at the time.
By receiving instant feedback through audience polling technology, or quick surveys, event speakers and other staff can adapt their approach in the moment, resulting in greater engagement. The feedback can then be used to inform decisions for future events, ranging from the topics covered in speeches, through to exhibition stand design.
For exhibition design companies with larger budgets, the potential is almost endless. One of the most innovative recent examples of real-time response technology came from Jaguar, who used wearable devices to track the emotional response of audience members during the 2015 Wimbledon Tennis Championships.
The potential for this kind of real-time feedback is huge, allowing event planners and exhibition design companies to see exactly which parts of an event generate excitement and which have the opposite effect. This can not only be used to improve future events, it can also be used to make adjustments to the same event, as it is happening.
2. Improved Learning
Another key benefit of real-time response technology is the role it can play in assisting with learning components. This is especially useful for event organisers who are hosting events that include a significant teaching element, or where there are presentations that will convey complex information to the audience.
“Audience interaction creates an environment that encourages learning and participation,” says Hannah Kaeter, Marketing Coordinator with Lumi, in a post written for the QuickMobile blog. “Real-time metrics and feedback show the presenter how well attendees understand the content.”
For example, speakers at the event can carry out quick polling, in order to learn of preferences for how the session should be carried out, or in order to establish popular beliefs, which they can then challenge through their presentation. They can also use a quick survey to find out if there are any parts of the session that are confusing the audience, without individuals having to speak out and admit they are struggling to grasp something.
In general, real-time response technology can help to provide a more interactive element to the teaching or information-sharing sections of an event, helping to keep minds engaged and assisting with knowledge retention.
3. RTR and Gamification
Finally, a great way of increasing engagement at any event is through adding a sense of fun via gamification. The benefits of this are numerous, but in particular, gamification can boost overall enjoyment of an event, help to facilitate networking opportunities and can serve to make an event more memorable.
The most obvious use for real-time response technology in this particular area is by using survey or polling applications to carry out a large-scale quiz or trivia game. This not only adds a competitive element to an event, but also allows attendees to put knowledge into practice.
Using regular real-time polling or surveys over the course of an event can help to make people feel more involved and provide them with a sense that their opinions really matter. When this is enhanced through an element of competition, such as through awarding points for correct answers to questions, it can enliven the whole event.
The very best exhibiting companies also offer rewards for those participating in gamification elements, and this can also be achieved with RTR technology. For instance, a company might use its app to run a quiz over the course of the day, and reward those with the most correct answers with one of its products. This has the combined benefit of offering an incentive for participation and offering product samples for attendees to try.
Event marketing provides a unique value for brands, because it allows them to gain face-to-face time with customers, or potential customers, and allows attendees to experience what the brand is all about. Nevertheless, attendee engagement is one of the most significant challenges for exhibition and event companies.
Real-time response technology can assist with this in a number of different ways, including providing companies with instant feedback, improving the quality of learning components, and adding a gamification element. This allows organisations to understand the needs of attendees, make adjustments, and provide a more memorable experience.
About the Author
Reno is a founder and director of an international exhibition company Enigma Visual Solutions, specialising in exhibition production, event branding, exhibition services, modular exhibition stands and much more. He enjoys sharing his thoughts on upcoming event marketing ideas and design trends. Feel free to follow him on Twitter.
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