How to improve attendee experience with a smooth registration process

It is known that in business the first impression can be a deal-breaker, especially if you are a small company trying to work your way up. But does this rule apply to the event management industry? Do you think that an attendee’s first impression about your conference can affect your business? Well, the answer is yes!

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And even though it’s fair to say that the very first impression may occur when a customer tries to buy a ticket, let’s talk about the greeting and the registration process (and how to make sure that your attendees feel welcome).

 

Here are some insights:

 

Use the right software

It is impossible to ensure a smooth process if you need 3 minutes to check in or register each attendee. Here are some things you might do to welcome your guests: search each guest by name, look for their printed badge, collect their data. All these things add up to the registration time. But if you use an effective app, you just need to scan a barcode or a qr code to identify and welcome your guest. Here’s what you might do afterwards: check in, collect data into your database and have the badge ready for print. Easy enough when you have the right tools.

 

Make sure everything is functional

As Kelsey Ogletree said, technology has a dark side and I think it’s safe to say that a registration system crashing in the morning of your event falls into the not-so-bright category  . This is why you should always triple check your registration systems prior to your big event (and all the switches/cable). And also make sure that everyone who is involved in the registration process is well trained in using the registration software.

 

Divide the check in process into tasks

If you want to save some time with the registration process (and who doesn’t?) you should encourage the registration team to work with predefined tasks. For example, here’s a way of splitting responsibilities among three team members:

  1. One staff member scanned the ticket and verified access credentials
  2. One staff member printed the badge
  3. One staff member assisted attendees with the wristbands

The result? It takes a lot less time to check in/register each guest.

 

 

And some more tips for a perfect start:

 

Keep your team informed

Make sure your staff members know the basic information an attendee could ask (where is the wardrobe, where are the restrooms, which stairs to use – if there are any etc). On the other hand it’s wise to have an info point with permanent assistance for more specific questions and/or complaints (although you might think everything is in place – and maybe it is – chances are your guests will be at times in need of assistance).

 

Check in has it’s peak point.  Adapt

Keep in mind  that technology cannot solve all issues, so for the registration peak point you should open some extra check in points (most of your attendees will arrive 30 minutes prior to the start, so make sure you have some extra registration points in the first part of the day). Afterwards you can close some of them and your team members can focus on different tasks.

 

Take care of your team

Let me just quote sir Richard Branson on this one: “The way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers”. Make sure your team is fully prepared, motivated AND happy (yes, it is hard work, but you can still have fun doing it). Your attendees will be greeted with a big natural smile and that’s always the best way for them to start the day, and they are more likely to overlook any shortcomings that may occur later.

 

Not everyone will respect the schedule

Some of the participants may arrive earlier than expected: some traveled from out of town and came directly to the venue, some are just impatient and some misread the schedule… Don’t forget they are your guests, so treat them right. Ask them in, offer them a cup of coffee/water and explain that they will have to wait for registration. Keep in mind this is a very important part of your customer care process.

 

Water and coffee for everybody

Make sure you have plenty of water and coffee for all your attendees. It is best you let them accommodate with a welcome coffee; you will also need coffee breaks every 2 hours or so, otherwise your attendees will lose their focus.

If you host a full day event you be sure to include a lunch break in the schedule (if you don’t cater the lunch at least offer some information about restaurants nearby).

 

Don’t be afraid to get creative

Let’s admit it: we all love cool stuff. So do yourself a favor and use a cool badge (use a registration software that offers you this feature)  and nice colored wristbands. Trust me, your attendees will notice your attention for detail and will help you spread the word about your “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” event  by posting photos on social media.

 

There are many aspects that you must have in mind when planning an event, from the speakers  list to venue and suppliers. But don’t forget that the registration process is a an important part of your guest’s overall experience and keep in mind that a very good first impression works wonders.

How to successfully market an event

Marketing an event is neither innately or self conspicuous; a lot of patience and knowledge is required in order to properly promote it.

-POP

How do you make sure that your consumer keeps bonding with your brand?

Many businesses have the possibility to immerse their consumers in whole physical experiences through their products, promotions, show-rooms, shops, etc.

What about the brands that have no physical product to wow their consumer with, or stay hidden behind a blog and the social media channels. How do they engage with their customers?

The answer is events. The creation of promotional events through which brands can bring awareness and bond with your customers is definitely the success key.

Even knowing how important events are, many businesses don’t take full advantage and fail in delivering a good event. It is impractical to organize a surpassing event and offer top quality products and services if you are failing to promote it. Who will know or attend your event if you don’t sell it properly?

Event marketing is essential in order to attract the right audience

Event marketing is the best opportunity to bring your community together and spread the word. Best of all, the most effective forms of event marketing will get people talking, writing, and reading – all about your brand, products or services.

The best way of understanding your most effective forms of marketing is putting yourself in your attendee’s shoes. So let’s imagine you are your future event’s attendee.

What are the steps you undergo from the moment you hear about the event till you get to participate:

  1. Ways you could find out about the event:
  • A friend – word of mouth
  • A poster/ flyer/ TV/ Radio – Traditional Marketing
  • Social Media/ Email – Digital Marketing

It is important that both Traditional and Digital marketing channels are used properly. Sometimes first impression is the last impression and this is the time you can attract your future attendees with perhaps just a glance of a look.

Depending on the type of your event and audience segmentation you will decide which marketing mix will be appropriate.

With a poster or a flyer your purpose is to create eye-catching print that will attract people to participate in your event and offer the necessary information about it. If you are interested in finding more about how to create an attractive poster here are some tips & tricks how to do that, offered by Venngage.

Email marketing has the same purpose as the print material; catch the eye in a short time frame, inform and redirect to your digital channels.

TV and Radio Advertising are most of the time effective though they are pricey. If you are creating an event for tens of thousands of people big media spending is definitely worth it. Otherwise – maybe stick to something more cost effective.

Social Media is the most effective and affordable slew of tools you can use to market your event

The purpose of Social Media is not only to advertise your event before but also create an online community that will help maintain the interest in your event in between happenings.

It is important to know how to keep your attendees engaged before, during and after your event. According to a study conducted by Buffer in 2014 nearly as many attendees are talking about the events as during the event.

Therefore, it is important to create the excitement before the event, during and after:

Pre-event

The objective is to create excitement of the up-coming event, engagement on the Social Platforms and enroll those who are not decided yet if to participate or not.

How to do that?

  • Through posts that include questions, information, tutorials, etc.
  • Create an unified hashtag to use across all social channels –  even if it doesn’t seem important, using it well in advance to your event and on all Social Platforms can result in a successful tool in order to centralize all of the posts regarding your event
  • Don’t forget to add your hashtag in all your Social Media’s bio – once you have a link to your event, update your Bio section, and then people have a very simple way to find out more
  • Distribute your events on discovery sites across the web in order to reach a more targeted audience
  • Use Facebook, Instagram ads to re-market to prospects – show ads to people who have already visited your website.

During the event

The main objective is to make your attendees talk about and share your event :

  • Engage in live streaming with the peaks of your event
  • Encourage people to check-in, like your Social Media pages and post photos from the event

“In this fast-paced, noisy online world, visual content is the best way to not only capture the attention of fans, but also to have them take action on your content.” – Donna Moritz of Socially Sorted

Post-Event

The target here: keep them coming back next year. It is still important to continue promoting the event but the marketing will come from a place of knowledge and top of mind recognition, rather than having to refresh their memories.

  • Keep engaging with customers and create new possible leads for your future events by posting regularly and keeping the community updated
  • Harness the Power of Visual Testimonials – show the excitement and vibe of your speakers, attendees or the event in general
  • Share and leverage the user generated content since this will bring more authenticity and credibility to your posts.
  • Make use of all content produced during the event and post regularly

  1. When looking up for the event, your search engine will hopefully display the following:
  • Event’s website
  • Discovery sites
  • Social Media Pages

Search engines are making people’s life easier by guiding them in their search. But getting your websites to appear at the top of the search result is no easy thing. Your website needs to have a high ranking in order to be displayed at the top and this is possible only through Search Engine Marketing.

Another important aspect is the reliability of your website because it represents the portal to your event and the first step in your attendees’ immersion. This experience has to be appealing, concise, user friendly, up-to-date and synchronized to all of your pages.

Lastly, don’t forget to create a mobile website too, since many web users are doing their research from their smart phones.

  1.   While doing the research you will be looking to find out:
  • More information about the event
  • Who else from your friends are attending the event
  • Other people’s impressions and reviews

Your attendees are searching for more information because they want to rest assure that your event is what they are looking for. It’s a good opportunity not only to offer them all the information they are seeking but as well connect with them and make them feel part of the community.

Some of the information that you can offer them:

Insides (e.g., special contests during the event, special photo or autograph sessions, sweepstakes etc.)

Details (who else is attending the event, weather, location map, etc.)

Assurance (other people’s testimonials and comments)

  1. Decision time:
  • If happy – attend the event and ask friends to join
  • If not happy – don’t go, and even more, persuade others in not going

At this point your only hope is that your attendees are happy and desire to participate along with their friends and family. The only way to get here is by following the previous steps.

  1. Final step – Register online and buy the ticket
  • If 100% sure + flawless registration = ticket is bought
  • If 100% sure + unfriendly registration = there is a small chance that the ticket will not be bought
  • If 50% sure + unfriendly registration = big chances that the ticket will not be bought

And when you thought that might be all, guess what? – it’s not!

A registration process that it is complicated and slow it’s the worst turn out for your future attendees. The payment process has to be the easiest step from the whole journey.

Ticketing and registration platforms come in handy when in need for an efficient payment process. Using our event management and access management platform, Oveit, will not only significantly simplify the payment process but can help you bring more added value to your overall planning, such as:

  • Registration forms enable you to collect data in the form of text (name, company, position) dates (birth date, arrival date), emails, files (PDFs, PPTs, images and more)
  • Personalized badge design – just use data attendees filled in, drag and drop, add graphics and your personalized badges are ready to send by email or print
  • Mobile apps for ticket scanning, available on iOS and Android.
  • Support for Smart badges, NFC bracelets, access cards and NFC tickets
  • Seating design for seat based events

In order to sell tickets and achieve a successful consumer journey, attendees need to be kept engaged at every stage of the process. Providing a memorable pre, live and post-event experience will make your attendees more connected to your brand and will become, if not already, loyal. Consequently, by trusting you, they will innately recommend and share their experience with others both online but as well direct; word of mouth is still the most valuable marketing tool that has the highest conversion rate.

 

Technology changed the event management game

The world has changed.  Maybe Galadriel smells it in the air (and tastes it in the water...), but event professionals face the changes in their unceasing efforts to deliver the perfect experience. Day by day. And even though technology has a nasty habit of getting you distracted (you get like 12 emails, 8 phone calls and 37 FB/Twitter notifications per hour), it also offers a lot of help when organizing an event. So let’s see how technology changed the event management game:

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Access to real-time data

“Un homme averti en vaut deux” (an informed man is worth two), claims a French saying. And maybe the math is not quite right but we all know the importance of information when planning an event. Luckily today’s apps let you know every minute how many tickets you’ve sold and to whom (through the right tools, such as Oveit ).

For example most of the seats are empty 10 minutes before the posted start time? Verify the app and see how many people checked in. If 80% of the ticket holders already checked in (maybe they are in the lobby)  you’ll only have to deal with a small delay, not a fiasco. Using an event management software keeps you well informed.

 

Yes, we mind waiting

Time is money (for everyone). Professor Richard Larson, from MIT, has estimated that Americans spend about 2 years of their lives waiting in lines. Even sadder is that often the psychology of queuing is more important than the statistics of the wait itself” and people tend to overestimate the waiting time by about 36%. Today you can use an event management app that allows you to use any smartphone for ticket scanning and registration, making the queues go a lot faster (you can extend the scanning points with as many as you want; all you need is a smartphone).

 

Social media helps you meet billions

There was a time when word of mouth was the only way to communicate your event. Today, 3 of the most important social media platforms gather more than 2 billion unique monthly visitors; modern technology gives you the opportunity to market the exact demographics that you want. Although this is not the answer to all of your prayers it clearly makes it a lot easier when you want to make yourself heard.

 

Keep everyone engaged

People spend around 2 hours a day touching their smartphone’s screen and  85% of that time is, in fact, spent using applications. So we can understand why more and more #eventprofs are using applications when it comes to engaging participants. See for example TONOMAT, an app that allows everyone to be the DJ at your party, helping even the shyest to make himself/herself heard (via his/her favorite band).

 

You should always follow up your leads

62% of the leads are not followed up after an event. I really hope this is not the case for you. You invest a lot of time and money in planning your event and you should interact with everyone who registered. If someone spent the time to register for your event it means that they are interested in what you have to offer (not to mention those that actually attend it). So keep in touch with them!

Modern-day apps let you know who arrived and who didn’t, so you can follow up by segmenting your audience with different messages. Here are some examples:

“Thank you for attending …”

“Sorry you didn’t made it, here is what…”

 

Let the world see you shine. Live

40% of world population has access to the internet. Maybe the venue has a capacity of only 500 people, but today you can sell an unlimited no. of tickets for an online experience (live streaming is way cheaper than it was a few years ago). So, just like a big football match, your event can also be watched by millions for a few bucks (ok, maybe not millions, but you get the picture). You can sell live online access for a small price and/or you can even ensure a VR experience for those who cannot attend in person. (this is not something new but today the technological leaps make it possible for anyone to broadcast an event)

 

Replace cash payments to grow the order value

Carrying a lot of cash is not really fun (especially in crowded places where they sell alcohol). Use NFC technology to replace cash payments and you will have:

  • No more pickpocketing
  • Less queueing
  • 0 cash loss
  • 30% increased order value
  • Happier attendees

Oh, and by the way…

It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” Charles Darwin

 

Further reading:

  • http://www.preoday.com/blog/the-changing-scene-of-consumer-experience-in-festivals/
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/opinion/sunday/why-waiting-in-line-is-torture.html
  • http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/social-networking-websites
  • http://blog.mobilosoft.com/blog/e-tickets-vs-m-tickets-difference-and-benefits-for-consumers
  • http://www.marketingdonut.co.uk/exhibitions-and-events/exhibiting/planning-your-follow-up-after-an-event

How to engage visitors emotionally

“Tech can, and should, bring joy and enrichment to galleries.” – Brendan Ciecko, CEO of Cuseum

traveling on a student budget(1)

Believe it or not, Museums are investing in technology with the purpose of reshaping the traditional museum into a conjuring experience. They are not only acknowledging the new services as Facebook, YouTube or Snapchat but they are actually trying to find ways of fitting in alongside them.

Museums are investing in technology

Some museums like the MET museum from New York are actually investing in a digital media department composed of 70 staff and 70 more handling tech hardware in general.

Museums are doing everything possible to fight their competition. But as Sree Sreenivasan, the MET’s chief digital officer is saying “Our competition is Netflix and Candy Crush, not other museums.”

“Our competition is Netflix and Candy Crush, not other museums”

From 3D scanning and 3D printing, to virtual reality and special apps, these technologies are being applied in a multitude of ways. Still other technologies are being tested and developed as museums seek to ever broaden public access.

The digital revolution, managed to disrupt the whole industry. Museums are starting to implement cutting edge technology not only to engage visitors emotionally but  as well to create powerful avenues for learning.

Technology is engaging visitors and creating learning avenues

So without further ado here are some of the technologies museums are implementing:

NFC & RFID

With NFC & RFID technology used in museums there is going to be no need of tour guides, asking  questions or wondering about what you are looking at. Some museums around the world are employing NFC and RFID so that visitors only need to swipe their phone near a specially designed hot spot in front of the exhibit to be given a full tutorial and information on the things they are seeing in front of them.

With the purpose of creating a conspicuous experience museums have started to embed technology not only for  informative purpose but as well to create a powerful avenue for learning. Creating interactive trivia games, visitors have to answer correctly questions using the information found within the museum and by answering correctly the questions  the tourists will have the opportunity to win sweepstakes.

Embedding technology can create a flawless experience

NFC and RFID can be used not only within mobile apps(active mode) but as well integrated into your wristband(passive mode). When registering, the wristband can be linked to your social media account and allow you take photos in designated locations which can be posted automatically on your social media profile or kept in your memory bank. As well you can tap your wrist onto art which you liked in order to memorize it and explore it later. The wristbands can provide you access to your entitled locations through the museum without having to hand out your ticket all the time. And of course for the little ones who are getting easily distracted and bored an immersive adventure can be created.

Beacons

“My sense is that beacons aren’t a life raft, but a bridge to the next generation of museum users”  Elizabeth E. Barker, said,  director of the Boston Athenaeum.

Beacons can detect where visitors are and send them specific information

Beacons are considered as the enabling technology for devices to alert apps or websites (which the user has opted into) when someone approaches or leaves a location. In other words, museum or other venues that have beacons in place can detect where a visitor is at any given moment and send him specific information.

Museums can also use beacons to send additional info; for example , a visitor standing near a painting might get a phone alert directing them to rich , interactive content relating to the painting.

The Brooklyn Museum is using iBeacon technology as a way for guests to interact with museum experts.

3D printing and scanning

De Young Museum – San Francisco, MET and Brooklyn Museum are just a few examples of museums whom adopted  3D printing and scanning.

De Young Museum has collaborated with Google on the Google Art Project , where its collection of art is being digitized for online viewing, the de Young also dabbled with 3D printing when it needed to create a special stand for an 18th-century French clock. Using MakerBot Replicators and 3D CAD software, the museum fabricated a plastic stand that fits the clock perfectly.

Augmented reality

Through AR visitors can find out more about a specific art piece by placing their smartphone or tablet over the object.

With augmented reality, visitors can use a simple smartphone to discover more information about a piece of art in an interactive manner. For example , placing a smartphone or tablet over an ancient statue could display missing parts that have broken off – giving the visitor a glimpse of how it would have looked when it was new. Because AR responds to your movement in the environment, the experience is also completely 3D.

Working with Samsung, the British Museum used AR to create an education program for kids, where they can explore virtual content as they wander through the museum. AR is still in its infancy, but museums around the world are already testing its potential.

Same as the rest of the museums described above, Getty Museum- Los Angeles is trying to stand out through their augmented reality art collection. For example it allows their visitors to explore from their laptops a 17th-century cabinet , by overlaying a virtual 3D object atop a live feed. Users can interact with the object, working in conjunction with the viewer’s body movements.

Virtual Reality

Discover the hidden beauty of the deep sea, fly to the farthest reaches of outer space, take a ride through the complex inner-workings of the human body, and more.This is what Virtual Reality can bring to you.

Virtual Reality allows visitors to participate in a immersive journey

The most comprehensive VR experience ever launched at a museum, The Franklin Institute- Philadelphia is now home to spectacular immersive films and state-of-the-art technology that will transform your view of the world. Using a HTC Vive or Oculus Rift you can be transported to another dimension where anything is possible – where elements are reacting to your movements and commands.

Most of the museums are using not one but rather a slew of tech tools in order to recreate the desired experience. Not sure if it is fortunate or unfortunate, most of the museums will have to embrace tech in order to keep their doors open. Some of the museums which also implemented cutting edge technology are: The museum of London, Centre Pompidou – Paris, Bill Nye’s Climate Lab at the Chabot Space & Science Center, Museum of Natural History – Denmark, National Museum – Kuala Lumpur, Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York City, Louvre Museum – Paris, etc.

 

More readings:

https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/how-museums-are-using-technology/#ixzz4g7WH5HnM

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/19/arts/artsspecial/museums-turn-to-technology-to-boost-attendance-by-millennials.html?_r=0

http://mashable.com/2011/09/14/high-tech-museums/#bum5Y2uUykqK

http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2016/12/26/5-ways-museums-are-using-technology-for-new-experiences/

Why use RFID and NFC technology within an event?

 Because it is simple, new and fun.

 

Weather you are a marketing agency or an event organizer you will always try your best in order to succeed organizing “the perfect event”.

EXHIBITION(1)

 

How do you ensure high-octane experiences within your participants and the overall experience?

No matter of what kind of event you are hosting, technology is playing an essential role in order to maximize your consumer’s engagement.

The Near Field Communication (NFC) ushered in a new age of technology. This particular innovation, brings an added value to the traditional concept of events, representing the key solution in creating wired experiences.

NFC can be used via smartphones and other enabled badges and devices, with amazing benefits for both event hosts and attendees. Basically, it’s a small chip that allows 2 devices to talk to each other when they’re in close proximity.

 

What does NFC actually do?

Imagine you are attending an event. You booked your ticket online, registered and linked your social media profile to your registration.

When reaching the event you will be handed out a NFC wristband which will offer you instant access, connections, memories and chances to win sweepstakes.

Ticket, wallet and, why not, phone free!

The NFC wristband is uniquely programmed to you and allows you to tap on special designed locations in order to:

  • Purchase drinks and food
  • Check-in and shoot photos that can be automatically posted on your social media page
  • Participate in challenges and win prises
  • Rate  your favorite products or shows
  • Save playlists
  • Check your Geo-location and your friends’

At the end of the event you can access your own memory bank where all your journey is stored. From photos, music playlists, food you’ve liked and many others.

Benefits for Event Planners

  • Faster check in
  • Less Staff needed – diminished costs
  • Reduces queuing time
  • Eliminates ticket fraud incidents
  • Enhance Security
  • Managing permission to specific access areas and lockers
  • Collect information about attendees
  • Consumption
  • Track time spent in different points
  • Ratings of products
  • Inventory of gifts – reducing loses
  • Tailored content – send specific information to particular attendees
  • Gamification features (treasure hunt)
  • Instant survey submission at the end of the event
  • Data and statistics are gathered and shared with the organizers and sponsors for continued interaction with attendees as a tool for future campaigns

Benefits for Attendees

  • Faster check-in (less time spent in line)
  • Cashless wallet: tap & pay
  • Social Media Posting (Photos, Check-ins, Songs)from different interactions
  • Access digital content and information from own smartphones (maps, slides, planning of the event)
  • Vote and rate favorite products
  • Win sweepstakes
  • Interactive challenges to keep the customer engaged
  • Customized wristbands
  • Geo-location (self and friends)

Wristband properties

  • Cost effective
  • Creates interaction
  • High quality print
  • Water resistant and durable
  • Tamper evident closure for maximum security

Integrating  RFID and NFC technology within events is a simple process when using Oveit and can have a significant impact. Knowing who your attendees are and what kind of interaction they are seeking is the most important thing that an event planner has to know. Once you know that, the rest is done by Oveit !