Is Your Event On the Edge of Technology?

Event technology is changing events as we know it. From augmented reality to wearable smart badges, event tech is rapidly transforming the way we create and experience events. Because we are living in the digital age, it has become increasingly important to attendees that the world around them keeps up with their fast-paced lifestyles, this includes the events they attend.

Some event profs may be ready for the digital transformation and some may not, but all can agree that elevating the attendee experience is a priority in 2018. Event technology can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. In today’s post we’re going to be breaking down some of the latest and greatest technologies that you can start using at your events.

Here are 5 event technologies to utilize at your next event to create a memorable experience for attendees:

Live Chat: Take your event website to the next level with live chat. Though not a new web feature for ecommerce, it is only now being implemented on event websites. With live chat, consumers can type their questions into a chat box that appears and have direct interaction with an agent in seconds or minutes. So why does this matter? Because 53% of US online adults are likely to abandon their online purchase if they can’t find a quick answer to their question (Forrester, 2016). This includes tickets to your event, so stay a step ahead with live chat to ensure your attendees are able to get their questions answered and get to purchasing tickets quicker.

 

Digital Registration & Check-In: The last thing your attendees want are to wait in a long line, which is especially hard to avoid when you’re hosting a large event. That is why digital check-in comes in handy, using a QR code or RFID technology, digital registration & check-in software can check-in your attendees in seconds all while tracking their individual information for post-event analytics. Digital check-in enables you to:

  • Scan-in tickets and redeem products in seconds
  • Provide smooth “at-the-door” purchasing
  • Track line times
  • Connect to detailed reports

 

Wearable Smart Badges: Pre-printed badges are a thing of the past and wearable smart badges are today’s most efficient way to credential your attendees. As wearable technology continues to advance, a growing number of event profs are leveraging this technology to turn standard conference badges into wearables that provide a more streamlined event experience, and offer detailed data on attendee behavior and preferences. RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification and uses radio waves to transmit information between two or more devices. RFID wristbands enable you to easily track your attendees as they check-in to your event or specific vendor booths. You can then use this valuable data to improve your event, leverage sponsorship and create your best event to date. The wristbands are light, durable, and are an integral part of valuable event analytics.

 

Augmented Reality: You can’t read about event tech these days without hearing all the buzz about virtual reality. And while virtual reality is cool at events, it’s overshadowing the powerful capabilities of augmented reality (AR). AR is a technology that uses a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world to provide an enhanced view that may include animation. So how does this work at events? Think of a Pokemon-Go-like experience but for events. Like a quest for rewards that leads attendees around an event to win prizes. The idea of AR is to provide an elevated and more interactive experience. While still very new to events, I’m sure we’ll see technology implemented at events in the next year or so.

5 Free Ways to Market Your Event

Whether you are on a shoestring budget or you are looking for a maximum ROI on your event marketing efforts, it always pays to be resourceful.

Here are 5 free ways to to advertise your event.

 

1. Facebook Events

Billions of people use Facebook, and hundreds of millions check their account multiple times a day.

People use Facebook today similar to how they used newspapers in the past. They login, check what is new or trending, and see advertisements for products, services, or events.

Facebook has a section dedicated to events where you can create an event page, invite your friends and followers to attend, and share your event on your wall.

This is one of the most visible ways to get your event heard about for free.

 

2. Email

Emailing your newsletter list doesn’t cost you any extra money, and emails are still some of the most effective ways to reach your audience.

As a bonus, people who give you their email are more likely to attend your event than people you have to seek out and find.

Depending on your list size, this may be the most effective way to advertise your event for free. Here is a guide on how to best use email marketing for your event.

 

3. Event Calendars

For people who don’t use Facebook, but still want to be involved in their community, local event calendars are a great place to show your event.

Most cities have a popular event calendar, and a quick google search can help you find them. Most of these services are free, but some cost a couple of dollars to use. If you are looking for a free calendar in your area, list your event on SpinGo.

 

4. Reddit

Reddit is a giant online forum that covers any topic you could think of. One specific place that you will want to share your event is on local city subreddits. A subreddit is a specific niche group, for example, Movie Lovers, or Dog Owners.

Most major cities have a local subreddit (e.g. reddit.com/r/seattle) that talks about the news, events, and happenings around the city. This is a great place to share your event and let people know of what is happening around them.

You will have to create an account to do this, but it is a free, valuable option.

 

5. Chatbots

A chatbot is an automated chat message that pops up on your website or Facebook page. You can tailor the message to say whatever you need it to say. Some chatbots cost a lot of money, but there are some that offer free versions that you can install on your page with limited service options.

A chatbot can inform every visitor on your site of Facebook page that you have an event coming up.

Event Reports & Analytics You Need

Did you know that 35% of marketers look at revenue generated to measure event success? While revenue is important, the fact is that an event has many moving parts working together to make that revenue and it’s wise to track the success of each of those parts to make sure your event is a well-oiled machine.

However, the reporting side of events can be difficult and frustrating for event profs. Event profs are busy enough as it is and they don’t have time to track all of the analytics they need. This lack of reporting and tracking can affect sponsorships, grants, and budget. This is where event reports come in handy, and no event management platform does reporting better than Event Master.

With Event Master, event profs get access to several detailed reports to help them analyze their event’s overall performance. These include:

Ticket & Product Finance

All data relating to sales (breakouts of subtotals, service fees, tax, etc) by date, by product, etc. How many tickets and correlating revenue came through all different ticket types.

Ticket & Product Redemption

Real time reporting of tickets as they are checked-in to the event. As the event occurs, you can watch and see which types of tickets are checking in, etc. Of course after the event, all this data is available to you.

Sales Trends

You can look at sales over the last few days, weeks, months, to determine where spikes or lulls were. You can also measure sales trends against previous events- for example, two weeks before this same event last year, we had X tickets sold and $XX, compared to this year’s event two weeks before.

Event Goals

You can set goals (# of tickets sold by ticket type, or $ of revenue earned by ticket type, etc) and be notified when they are reached.

Marketing Channels

You can build campaign codes to use for various digital campaigns. You can then see if more sales are coming through Google vs Facebook, for example, or which type of campaign or ad is performing better, etc. You can see which campaign codes are driving XX tickets and $XX in revenue, etc. You can also see the same data for all promo codes.

Product Vouchers/Comped Tickets

Of course each event needs to know how many free tickets they provided. You can see all data relating to free tickets- how many were given, how many checked in day of, etc.

Vendor/Exhibitor Booth Sales

All data relating to exhibit sales (breakouts of subtotals, service fees, tax, etc) by date, by product, etc. How many exhibit spaces sold and correlating revenue.

Detailed reporting can drastically impact your event, but don’t take our word for it.

“Using Spingo’s program we have captured valuable purchaser information which helps us secure tourism grant funds for the next year’s rodeo” said Cindy from Bit N’ Spur Rodeo. “We have increased the amount of grant money due to the data we now have available.”

11 Event Industry Stats Every Event Prof Needs to Know

The event industry is constantly evolving and as an event prof, we know you like to stay up on the latest trends and technology. That is why we’ve compiled a list of relevant event industry stats that will help you plan successful events for the upcoming year. From effective event marketing to what attendees really think about events, we’ve got the latest.

Here are 11 stats with a break down of how you can utilize each of them for your events moving forward:

1. 60% of marketers who organize conferences or networking events use event management software. (Bizzabo, 2017). Event management software has grown increasingly popular among event profs. Gone are the days of spreadsheets and notebooks thanks to event management software, which digitally manages all aspects of your event. As events grow, they need a platform that can not only manage all of the details, but also capture valuable attendee data that can be utilized by event profs and sponsors.

2. The reach of organic social media posts is between 2-20%. (Bizzabo, 2017). Organic posts are regular posts you make on social media that are free. If you’re using social media to market your event, you’re off to a good start. However, organic posts do not reach as many people as paid posts. Paid posts can include paying to boost your event on Facebook or paying for digital ads (PPC) to run on Google or Facebook. Event marketing is crucial to the success of your event and you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your social platforms. To learn more about event marketing, click here.

3. 48% of event planners typically start planning for their event 6-12 months in advance. (Bizzabo, 2016). Almost half of all event planners start planning for the success of their event early on. This is crucial because an event needs time to have awareness and interest created around it. Many attendees take a good amount of time to research an event and then find people to go with before they actually purchase tickets. The last thing you want to do is try getting people interested in your event a week before it starts. With this in mind, we recommend running awareness and marketing campaigns 2-3 months in advance of your event. We manage digital ad campaigns for clients daily and the most successful ones we’ve seen start early.

4. 75% of event professionals who don’t use event apps intend to adopt them. (Event MB, 2017). Events are progressing and event technology needs to as well. Event apps are a key player in event tech right now and more and more event profs are beginning to use them. They aren’t going anywhere and it’s important to jump on board and get to know how they can help optimize your event. Change can be scary, but event apps are made with user experience in mind and most are easy to navigate.

5. 36% of event marketers said that their biggest challenge is increasing event registration. (Bizzabo, 2017). Every event prof wants more people to attend their event, it’s no secret. So how do we have our cake and eat it too? Here are a few tips to optimize event registration. Make it simple for attendees to register, have a clear and attractive landing page, and provide seamless ticketing.

6. 36% of event planners spend most of their budget on the venue, 34% on catering and only 10% on marketing. (Bizzabo, 2016). We understand that no two events are the same and neither are their budgets, so if you only have 10% to spend on marketing then make it the best marketing it can be. Here are some free marketing tips you can use so that you don’t have to break the bank: Make sure you have social media platorms set up for your event like FB, Twitter, and Insta. Establish your event hashtag and identify who your event influencers are and engage with them.

7. 60% of smartphone users are using their devices at social gatherings and events. (Event MB, 2017). Smartphones are great for capturing the attendee experience, they want to post pictures, videos, and their thoughts about their event experience. This is because smartphones are very interactive, which is why people like using them. This means that you want to make sure you have various interactive experiences available at your event. Whether it’s a selfie background or a fun social media contest, make your experience memorable. Make attendees want to post about it, it’s free exposure for you!

8. 30% of marketers believe that live streaming will impact events the most. (Bizzabo, 2017). Live streaming is the term used that describes the process of broadcasting real-time, live video footage or video feed to an audience accessing the video stream over the internet. It’s an effective way to have an event with thousands of potential attendees without the hassle of buying enough food, space, etc. To learn how to live stream your event, click here.

9. 35% of marketers look at revenue generated to measure event success. (Bizzabo, 2017). Event revenue is important, but it’s not the only measurement you should be using to determine an event’s success. A successful event should create loyal attendees and give them memorable experiences that they’ll continue to carry with them. You could have a high revenue event this year with no traction next year if you aren’t able to give attendees a reason to keep coming back. Memorable events earn attendees!

10. 50% of marketers say their primary reason for events are lead generation/sales and community building. (Bizzabo, 2017). Events really are an effective way to gain leads, but you want to be cautious about how you get that information. The last thing you want to do is be hounding your attendees to fill out forms or give their personal info. That is why the best way to get lead info is through the registration process. Event management software will not only help attendees register for an event but will also capture valuable data that can be passed along to vendors and sponsors. SpinGo’s event management software, Event Master, was recently used at Silicon Slopes Tech Summit and was able to not only provide seamless registration but also captured lists of attendee data that vendors were able to analyze and use for lead gen.

11. 91% of event professionals stated that increasing engagement at their events was an important priority for their organization. (Event MB, 2016). With audiences being bombarded by information and entertainment at all angles, boosting event engagement has become a high priority for many event planners. Attendee engagement is all about promoting meaningful interactions. This means doing things like engaging with influencers, using live polls, providing a mobile app, etc. To learn more, click here.

Smooth Sailing For Attendees at Silicon Slopes

SpinGo provided seamless registration for over 9,000 attendees.

After months of planning and organizing, Silicon Slopes Tech Summit 2018 had finally arrived. The event drew in speakers from top companies including Facebook, Beats, Adobe, and Vivint. The tech summit provided two days of thought leadership on topics like marketing, finance, and product innovation. This year the event makers for the tech summit knew they needed a seamless solution for registration. That’s when they decided to partner with SpinGo.

“Last year we had pre-printed badges, which ended up being more of a hassle than a help,” said Stuart Gold, Executive Producer for Silicon Slopes Tech Summit. “This year we decided to partner with SpinGo to lead our registration process and we couldn’t have been happier with the decision.”

SpinGo had been asked to completely own the registration process for the annual summit, this would mean we were providing onsite check-in, registration, badge printing. Luckily for us we had Event Master, which proved itself to be a huge win at this year’s conference. People came from far and wide to attend this highly-anticipated tech gathering and the lines were proof.

Within the first two hours of the event, over 3,000 attendees were checked in and credentialed. Using Event Master on-site, we were able to check in and provide a personalized name badge for up to 34 attendees per minute.

“I was impressed with how quickly I was able to get through what looked to be a long line,” said Alex Park, an attendee from Cross Creek Advisors. “I was in line for less than 10 minutes and was able to check in and get my badge within seconds of approaching the front of the line.”

In addition to optimizing registration at the event, Event Master was also able to capture valuable attendee data to help Silicon Slopes plan for next year’s event. This data was also available to sponsors, who were able to scan the QR code on attendee name badges to collect demographic information.

“SpinGo’s platform was the registration solution we needed,” said Clint Betts, CEO of Silicon Slopes. “We had many positive comments from attendees on their slick experience checking into the event. People were happy that they were able to get checked in quickly and move on to the sessions they wanted to attend.”

Silicon Slopes is a great example of Event Master can truly innovate your attendee experience. Your event’s first impression is important, so put your best foot forward with our onsite solutions designed to speed up your event check-in process. Check in your guests seamlessly and digitally.

 

To view the full case study, click here.