fbpx

How much do you value the Attendee Experience?

We’ve all heard of User Experience and Customer Experience, two terms that helped industries focus on what really counts. Today I want to talk about Attendee Experience, the term that shares a truth we can not ignore: all efforts of the event industry professionals should be focused on the attendees’ experience.

There are multiple interpretations of the “Attendee Experience” term, all equally important and explanatory. But to better understand it I would like for you to see it as the overall experience attendees walk out with. And this overall experience is influenced by every interaction they have. With organizers, sponsors, exhibitors, and other attendees. It’s also the sum of interactions they have with your event “as a thing”. The way you communicate, the apps that you use the venue your event takes place at, the chair they sit in, the food they taste.

In other words, it’s what they feel when they think of your event.

If we agree that Attendee Experience represents the sum of the interactions attendees have with your event (direct or indirect), then we can also agree that the experience starts before the event takes place. And it doesn’t end once your event is over. In order to make it easier for us to follow attendees through their whole journey, I will divide AX into two categories:

on-site: it refers strictly to the on-site experience and how you can improve the experience during your event 

off-site: the way you influence the attendee experience before and after your event takes place

As you will see, these two categories are well related.

Off-site attendee experience. Before and after the event 

before

The first interaction takes place the first time your future attendees hear about your event. It’s late 2019, so no matter how they hear about your event they will definitely search online for more information. This is why it is important that your website makes a good first impression. Otherwise, we may talk about the last impression. 

Registration is a crucial step. This should be a flawless process that encourages attendees to register, so use a smart tool that allows you to sell tickets directly on your website. Collect attendee data, but let them know why and how you are planning to use that information. And I would strongly recommend you to use this information in order to create a better experience. 

Don’t spam your future guest (even if they allow you to), but keep them informed. Notify them as soon as possible over any changes that may occur. Event apps are a great way to keep your attendees engaged. Integrate it with the registration software in order to make it easier for them to access the app and gain access to your pre-event content. 

after

Your relation with your visitors should not end once they walk out of the door. After all, your event should be just one piece of the bigger puzzle. “What puzzle” do you ask? Maybe you’re not but hey… I’m writing this. You know: multiple events, event community, happy people that change the world we live in, the things that made you become an event professional.

Post-event communication is a crucial key when building a community around your work. Personalized follow-up emails(and by this I don’t mean the classical “Hello, name of attendee” newsletter), access to registered sessions from the event, top of the notch recommendations for other study materials, things that will make people feel your interest towards them. Those are the fine touches that will boost the overall experience.

During the event

Why a job in the event management industry makes you feel like you ride a roller coaster on a daily basis? It’s because time has a different value in this line of business and thousands of hours of hard word resume to just a few days of implementation. The show must go on should be the motto, during the event you need to be able to fix things on the go. Fix them first, you will have time to check why you needed to fix them afterward.

What makes an event memorable? If it would be to choose just one thing I would definitely choose “Content” as my answer.

I was part of a few events during the last 2 or 3 years* and had the chance to see things for myself; good content is crucial, there’s no doubt here, so regardless of your event’s theme you will need to find someone that can curate it. But guess what: good content is nothing without a good presentation (packaging matters!) and you don’t need to take my word for it.

* I wasn’t kidding, last few years gave me the chance to attend quite a few events and better understand what AX is all about

But let’s focus on things that are 100 % up to you and your team. And on how Oveit can help you, of course. I won’t talk about all of our features, you can read more about them in some of our previous articles. The one feature that will totally change the attendee experience is the one that will allow attendees to stay focused on what really matters to them. Networking, useful content, discovering interesting exhibitors. That’s why we keep on talking about our NFC feature. It allows us to pair the ticket to an NFC wristband and attendees can use it for access, payment, engagement, gamification, and more.

It works like this:

Our e-tickets are more than just tickets, they are as powerful as digital accounts. They store all the access credentials. And one ticket can store an unlimited number of different access credentials. The extra benefits you want to include. They work as digital wallets if you choose to use a cashless payment solution. And also allow attendees to share their information if they choose to interact with exhibitors or to participate in treasure hunts or other forms of gamification.

When attendees first arrive the e-ticket is paired with an NFC wristband and all their interactions become simple taps. Tap and pay, tap and play, tap for access, tap and interact. No need to store tokens, multiple QR codes, no need for them to manually input their information in order to be contacted by exhibitors or sponsors. Just pair the ticket with our smart wristband and let technology do it’s magic! Won’t go into the tech details, but let us know if you want to know more about it.

foto presenting an NFC chip wristband branded with Oveit

Engage the Five Senses

Content is the King, technology is the Queen, but don’t forget that our 5 basic senses help us better understand our surroundings. They also play a key role in setting up our mood. Here is what you should remember:

Sight – we are attracted by the beauty, so an outstanding venue will set a good start for the day

Touch – texture, and temperature. Maybe there is nothing you could to do regarding the texture, although you could consider this when choosing the badges or the wristbands. But for an indoor event, you could make sure that the temperature is just perfect.

Smell – there is a reason for which when a real estate agent shows you a new house it somehow smells like fresh baked cookies and rousted coffee. You could use the same technique to make guests feel comfortable.

Taste – food and beverages; should offer a variety of choices and consider the fact that some of your guests have dietary restrictions. Registration forms are a good way to collect this information.

Sound – the sound needs to be perfect during the presentations. Not to mention if you are organizing a concert. But you can also use sound to energize attendees and to give them the vibe that you want.

There are many ingredients for creating a better attendee experience and although things will never be perfect we can truly do our best in order to create an unforgettable event. And any small thing that can be done better will assist us in reaching our ultimate goal: the sparkle in people’s eyes when they come and congratulate us for our outstanding work.

7 reasons why you should use a cashless payments solution for events

I am a huge fan of the cashless payments solution, there’s no secret here. Today I would like to list 7 of the most important benefits of using one for your events.

picture showing Oveit's cashless payment solution used at an event
1. The cashless payments solution increases your revenue

As the cash habit fades away, customers tend to increase their spending limit. Reports show that attendees tend to spend up to 30% more at events where a cashless payment system is in place. They love to buy, but they just don’t like the long queues that make them lose all the fun. Which takes us to reason #2.

2. It speeds up transactions


The tap and pay system is, by far, the fastest way to process transactions. According to American Express, cashless payments are 63% faster than cash transactions and 53% faster than classic debit/credit card transactions. Each transaction can be processed in under 5 seconds, a mid-sized cashless payment set-up allowing you to process over 20 transactions/second.

3.Detailed live reports

The cashless payment system gives you live access to real-time data. It’s 100% transparent, allowing you and your partners to see live how much money attendees are spending (and how). It also allows you to create “cohort reports” and segment your attendees based on their spending habits (and combine those reports to any demographic data you have collected).

4. Fraud and losses become a thing of the past

With a cashless payment system in place, fraud becomes almost impossible. Not handling cash or tokens will make it impossible for someone to steal the vendor’s income or the attendees’ money. Human errors may still appear, but with an easy to use cashless payment system, they are highly unlikely and easy to correct.

5.Multiple revenue streams

Using smart NFC tags for payments allows you to also use them for attendee engagement and experiential marketing. The event ticket is paired to the tag (that can be stored into the event wristband, card, or badge) and allows attendees to interact by a simple tap of the hand. It can also be used for smart screens and gamification, converting your event into one fun ecosystem. And sponsors are always attracted to new ideas for attendee engagement.

6. Less staff needed for access control

The event wristband can also store your attendees’ access credentials. Permissions can be checked by a simple tap to an NFC receiver, allowing you to delegate your team members to more important tasks. It’s also faster than traditional scanning, allowing attendees to move to different sections of your festival without having to wait in endless queues.

7. Increased overall attendee experience

I have saved it for last but in my opinion, this is the most important benefit of using a cashless payment system. The speed and safety that it adds to your event will make the whole experience unforgettable. Not having to carry your wallet, being able to purchase a beer without having to wait for ages, allowing you to use your wristband to claim perks, those are all benefits that we all crave for.

Why use our cashless payments solution?

What differentiates us? With Oveit you can set up a cashless payment solution without the need for expensive hardware. We have developed a mobile app that transforms your mobile phone into a powerful and easy to use POS. No need for special scanners or NFC devices; add credit and record purchases using just day to day mobile phones.
Another reason why you should definitely use or solution is that it works both online and offline. And because it does not require a special set-up it can be used in any location you wish. Like a remote island or the top of a mountain.

Contact us for more info.

Using social media to promote your events. Cheat Sheet for visual content.

Visual content is very appreciated and the mix between it and social media is irresistible, but not all event planners have the time to deal with the numerous social platforms that are available today. To help you I have created this cheat sheet for the main social media platforms and the photo dimensions that you should use on each of them. Visual content has the ability to instantly share emotions that your attendees felt while partying at your events and the purpose of this article is to help you better use social platforms when promoting your event(s).

As I’ve always said what works for one event planner doesn’t work for all and surely not all platforms will have the same impact when trying to engage your fans. Not all social media platforms will help you as much when promoting your event, or at least not in the same way. But to understand where attendees like to engage you we strongly recommend to use at least the following:

 

Photo dimensions for Facebook

With over 1.3 billion daily active users, Facebook is by far the most popular social media platform. We have talked about it before, in a dedicated article, about how to use it to promote your events. Today, before showing the right dimensions that you should set your FB picture, I just want to give you one more reason you should use it: over 60% of the marketers still consider it the most important social media platform¹.

cheatsheet with photo dimensions for facebook

 

Visual content on LinkedIn

The business-oriented social media platform may not be the best place to engage your attendees, but for sure is the best one to be seen by your future sponsors and partners. With over 550 million users (half of which are monthly active) LinkedIn is the best social platform for Business2Business marketing. Over 90% of B2B marketers use it, 72% of them seeing it as a good source for qualified leads².

visual content on LinkedIn

 

Photo dimensions for Twitter

Twitter is all about the momentum and a great way to share live insights from your event. There are 336 Million Monthly Active Users, 80% of which are affluent millennials³.

photo dimensions for twitter

Tip:

Video content is very powerful on every social platform, but its growth on Twitter is impressive. Remember that the length of a video on Twitter cannot exceed 140 seconds or a 1900 X 1200 px. resolution and that you cannot tag your attendees in Twitter videos.

 

How to use Pinterest to promote your events

Pinterest is great for those that are looking for fresh ideas and it’s the social media platform that really puts infographics to work. Creativity is at its best on Pinterest, so I dare you to show us the Top 10 reasons attendees love your festival or 7 ways to recycle during a festival. But it’s also great if you are looking for inventive ideas for your future events, so don’t neglect it when searching for some inspiration.

upload dimensions for Pinterest

 

Photo dimensions on Instagram

It’s not the first time we write about Instagram either. We have even posted a 2018 update on best features that you can use, so today I just want to focus on photo dimensions.

photo dimensions for Instagram

Tip:

A great way to use Instagram option for multiple uploads is to edit a landscape photo 2160 X 1080 and to cut it into 2 separate 1080X1080 photos. Using the multiple upload option you can upload the 2 photos and Instagram will unite them into your original picture for a fresh experience. This is how the final result will look like:

Let me know how you like to use social media to promote your events.

 

¹source: Wordstream

²source: Omnicoreagency

³source: Twitter

photo dimension on social media infographic

 

The chip that helps you create better experiences

Although the title of the article refers to a small piece of plastic,  it really focuses on something much more important: the way in which technology can dramatically improve the experience you offer through events. It’s not the first time when we talk about how #eventtech allows us to create better experiences. It’s also not the first time when we talk about NFC technology and how it can be used within events. But today I want to retake together the customer journey and see how “a small piece of plastic” can make a BIG difference. For everyone involved: event planners, security team, sponsors, vendors, and most important…attendees.

Festival goer tapping NFC wristband to NFC reader

Festival-goers attend your events for the memories that will remain with them forever. They want to have fun and your ultimate goal is to make sure they will. But their fun means many sleepless nights for you and your team. It means speed, accuracy, well-crafted messages, information, and sweat.

Access control

Here is the journey attendees will take at your festival and here is how this small piece of plastic will lead their way.       

Let’s start with check-in, the first on-site interaction between you the attendee. Queueing is one of the biggest problem festival goers (and planners) face and that small piece of plastic can dramatically change things. How? If you pair the festival NFC wristband to the ticket and attendees receive them before they actually arrive on site (via mail or pre-registration parties) the check-in process will become much faster. And what a better way to welcome your attendees than a queueless view? It can also be used to access different areas on site will not just allow attendees to do this, but it will also capture their information.

Use cashless payments to create better experiences

Cashless payments are a real game-changer for events. Bar queues are, by far, the most annoying part of any big (or small) festival or concert. I will always remember that time when I missed half of Robbie Williams performance because I wanted to buy some beer water. Cashless payments dramatically reduce the waiting time for your attendees. A report conducted by American Express states that cashless payments are 63% faster than cash and 53% faster the standard card payments (but imagine having an internet problem…that would not be nice!). But speed is not the only benefit that cashless payments bring to the table. Cashless payments will also increase your revenue (reports state that incomes can go up to almost 30%) while decreasing fraud and loses. Here the main benefits of using a cashless payment solution:

  • Visitors tend to spend 15-30% more (Ex: By creating an entertainment micro-economy #coachella2017 managed to register a gross income of over $114 million)
  • Speeds up purchases & reduces queues
  • Minimize cash handling
  • Captures all sales
  • Control and transparency

Schedule a live demo to find out more about our cashless payment solution.

Attendee engagement

With the right tools, attendees are more likely to interact with your sponsors. And to make this process as easy as possible we have developed our integrated NFC technology so that it can be used to allow your partners to collect information from your attendees. With their explicit consent, of course.

Any attendee can express interest by simply tapping the wristband, allowing the exhibitor to collect data and follow up instantly. The flawless of this process encourages attendees to interact with the brands that they are interested in. They don’t need to spell their names or type in their email address, two of the most common reasons for which people tend to avoid sponsor interactions within festivals or concerts.

Picture of tablet and NFC reader and people in the background

There are many benefits of using NFC technology, but this article was just about 3 of them. Another important aspect is that having all that data in one place, you can use it to create better experiences within your future events.