I don’t care if you have 50 attendees or 5,000. I don’t care if you have 5 exhibitors or 500. I love it when an event organizer makes it easy for me to network prior to and during the event.
I’m not just talking about providing an attendee and exhibitor networking option on your mobile event app that only tells me about their interests and product offerings. I want that event app to make arranging meetings simple.
I’ve seen event apps that allow me to choose sessions I want to attend and then add them to my very own schedule within the app, with each session slotted into the calendar.
I’ve also seen event apps that allow me to reach out and set up meetings with attendees and exhibitors who will be at the event. Once the meeting is arranged, I can then add it to my personal datebook or calendar.
What I don’t often see is an event app that takes those personal meetings I set up and add them to my personal schedule in the event app itself.
On the surface, you might think, how hard is it to manage two calendars? You have a point. It’s not impossible, but why not embrace the ability of technology and make it super easy on your attendees. Let them set up that meeting right within the event app and have it added to one central calendar.
Now this isn’t just good for your attendees. It’s also good for you, the event organizer, because it allows you to collect valuable data. When meetings are scheduled inside the event app itself, you know how many meetings your event facilitated. It also shows you who is meeting with whom.
Now fast forward to your next event and how you will market to potential attendees. Networking is very important to attendees and one of the top reasons they attend an event. Wouldn’t it be nice to include information like, “at last year’s event, 500 one-on-one meetings were arranged between attendees."
What about if you are trying to attract sponsors and exhibitors? You could let them know that 200 plus meetings were set up two weeks prior to the event taking place. An additional 60 meetings were set during the event.
This is the kind of quantitative data that exhibitors and sponsors love. It allows them to set realistic goals for the event and decide if investing would be worthwhile. Savvy marketers will be able to assign a value to those potential meetings and know that your event will provide good ROI.
In the weeks leading up to the event, you can challenge exhibitors and sponsors by letting them know how many meetings have been scheduled thus far. Ignite their competitive nature by posting a leader board. You don’t have to post anything more than the top five exhibitors based on how many meetings are set up.
Other exhibitors will see they are missing out on a great opportunity and start putting more effort into setting up those appointments. Your attendees will be committed to keeping those appointments if the appointments are showing up on their personal schedule within the event app.