Liven Up Your Events With Push Notifications!

In this fast-paced world, the ever-growing desire to stay connected to everything around us is driving and shaping human behaviour. This includes the almost 24-hour need to be connected to people, opinions, world events, local events, memes, funny videos, Siri, Google, Alexa and the answers to the millions of random thoughts that pop into one’s head.

There was a time when we could wait until the 6 o’clock evening news or at least grab the evening paper on the way home to discover the latest world updates. However, now, we live in the dichotomy between needing to locate information quickly and wanting to be instantly told if something is happening. Either way, we can’t wait for the news.

A 2010 US study revealed that 65% of adults said they had slept with their mobile device on or right next to their bed. 44% admitted they had done so to ensure they didn’t miss notification of a call or text. That was almost ten years ago. In 2019, the global number of mobile phone users is forecast to reach 4.68 billion. That’s a lot of people waiting for night-time notifications!

The bandwagon has already left the station…

…But are you onboard? The exponential growth of mobile, and smartphones has made mobile apps a powerful tool for event organisers to drive attendee conversations before, during and after events. Integrating a mobile app in your event marketing campaign is no longer a trend, but a necessity to reach your audience and to create better event experiences.

Highlight important information using push notifications

However, your mobile event app can’t be static and simply wait for attendees to choose to “find the news”. Push notifications have become one of the most successful strategies for capturing and keeping the attention of your audience. The use of push notifications taps into that growing need of being told what is going on without having to search. In fact, by using push notifications effectively, you unlock the possibility of keeping the attention of attendees even after the event is over.

Here are some different ways push notifications in mobile event apps can be used to communicate real-time updates, create unique interactions with the attendees, and enhance the entire event experience.

Highlight important information

The first notification you send could be a simple greeting message that welcomes your attendees and lets them know the first important piece of information.

“Welcome to CONNECT Europe 2019. Our first keynote starts in 15 mins in the keynote theatre.”

Notifications about sessions, such as timings, cancellations, room changes and live polls, can be tailored for each attendee based on their schedules.

Also, you can send timely push notifications about food or transportation. Maybe the local public transport is not working, or you wish to remind attendees that the minibuses or cabs will be leaving at a particular time. You can send lunch/dinner reminders about where the food will be served and what dishes are available. Reminders such as these are often more than welcomed by attendees.

Proximity-based interactions

At events, attendees often move from one place to another, exploring the different products, services and content showcased. The popularity of smartphones makes it easier for event organisers to use mobile marketing to target users based on their location within your event. Using geofencing and beacon-enabled apps, push notifications can be triggered when an attendee is near a session or stand, or even suggest recommendations based on the user’s preferences.

Include games and rewards

Attendees love being showered with free goodies. If you are organising a large-scale event spread over a large venue, you can incentivise attendee mobility through gamification by notifying them about the rewards they could receive if they check into a session or visit predetermined stands. These kinds of push notifications can quite quickly amplify attendee engagement.

You can use your mobile event app to announce reward-based quizzes and games to build hype and intrigue around your event further, while also boosting attendee engagement. Another great way to keep users involved is to appeal to their competitive nature by regularly posting leader board notifications.

Introduce special offers

Mobile notifications - special offers

Push notifications are incredibly effective when it comes to promoting sponsored content or making special offers. For instance, there could be a sponsor giveaway at a specific stand, a free demo of a popular product, or offers to join associations and memberships at a significant discount.

E.g. Not a part of the Cvent CONNECT Europe yet? Sign up today for the early bird pricing!

Housekeeping

By informing attendees about the “dos and don’ts” of an event, you can set a code of conduct to ensure everyone is on the same page. Make sure your tone is not rigid and formal, be warm yet firm! For example, if your keynote speaker has requested that attendees take no photos, you could send a quick notification to the attendees of the session politely requesting they refrain from taking pictures and they keep their phones on silent during the session.

Post-event communication

Mobile notifications - post-event communication

To keep users engaged, you can continue to send push notifications after the event is over. You can ask them for feedback about their event experience with a short survey and a message that asks them for feedback on their experience. You could also try to find out what the highlights were during the event or which part of the event they think could have been left out.

You could also let them know what is coming up next in terms of your events or where they can find more content.

Final note – don’t spam!

A mobile event app gives you the freedom to be as creative as possible with event notifications and to send multiple updates to your attendees in a single day. A note of caution though – beware of spamming. Your push notifications should be relevant and spaced out in a manner such that it keeps the energy level going, and attendees feel informed without being overwhelmed. Go overboard, and you run the risk of annoying users, which could lead to them turning your notifications off. Be smart, be judicious; create great events!

Push notifications are certainly an effective way to level up your event experiences, but to what extent are they leveraged by top industry players using mobile apps? Learn more in the Mobile Event App Benchmark Report by CrowdCompass!


Felicia Asiedu

Written by Felicia Asiedu

Felicia is a Content Marketing Manager at Cvent. She has over 10 years’ sales and marketing experience in technology, having worked for a combination of managed hosting and data centre providers and SaaS-based technology companies. She is passionate about marketers pushing the boundaries of technology to make their lives easier whilst personalising experiences through both digital and offline channels.