From big conferences to small networking events, the planning and execution of events has seen a drastic change in the last five years. Social media, mobile penetration and smart-phone apps have transformed the way organizers interact with the attendees before, during and after the event.
Let’s look at some of the major drivers of this change, and the various tools you can use to plan and organize your event.
Before The Event: Marketing & Registration
Gone are the days when pamphlets, expensive newspaper ads and word-of-mouth were the only ways to get the word around. Registration and payment collection would be a major hassle, especially for attendees from other cities.
“We used to rely on the goodwill of our friends to publicize the events, and the days leading up to the event used to be extremely stressful, not knowing how many people will turn up to register on the day of the event!” says Sujata Bogawat, Program Leader of Startup Leadership Program.
The arrival of social media and online ads has taken away some of that stress. Event organizers now frequently use content marketing and spread the word through their online social network. Paid ads on Google and Facebook allow fine-tuning of keywords and audience leading to better-targeted reach to the audience of interest.
“Now I can choose how much to spend on advertising, change content of the ads as frequently as I want,” says Saurov Kakoti, Marketing Manager of Headrush.
A new breed of free do-it-yourself online event registration platforms is greatly easing up the registration hassles. Townscript is a great example. It takes just a few minutes to setup your event registration page, and you can start accepting payments online, and gather as much data as you like during event registration.
During The Event: Audience Engagement
How do attendees get to know the schedule of events once they arrive at your event? Are you still using printed event guides?
If all your attendees are expected to have a smart phone, why not make the logical transition to Event Apps? As an example, Townscript’s Event App is free to setup and packs a host of features. You can push schedule changes and announcements in real-time. You can link speaker details to their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. [Your attendees can connect and interact with each other before, during and after the event.]
Actively engaging the audience was next to impossible in the pre-technology era. Now Event Apps allow speakers and organizers to conduct polls, take questions, share additional slides and notes. There are event apps like CrowdMics – which get converted into mics.
People often ask the speakers for a copy of their presentations, and speakers often say they will email a copy to everyone. We all know how often that happens! Whereas, with free sharing platforms like Slideshare, you can pre-share the slides and link them in your Event App.
After The Event: Measuring Impact & Feedback
The decibel levels and duration of claps used to be the only feedback for the organisers even a few years ago. It would be a rare achievement if the event got covered by a newspaper. Now you can literally measure the height of waves created by your event!
With tools like Eventifier, you can easily track what’s being said about your event on social media. It’s a beautiful concept to know about the attendee’s expectations before the event, their experience during the event and their feedback after the event.
These types of tools are really helpful to measure your event’s success and give you concrete numbers which you can use for future events.
Organizing an event does not need to be like flying blind without a parachute! There are enough mobile and web apps available to make your event as suave and techy as flying in an Iron Man suit with Jarvis guiding the way!