As we navigate conferences, meetings and events in today’s world, it gets trickier to manage people. Everyday, planners try to figure out the best way to move a crowd or deliver information in a quick and easy way. Many events have taken on a new approach, as conferences, festivals, raves and marathons combine technology with crowd transition. From mobile apps to LED technology, the future is here and ready, with cost-effective ways to enhance attendee experiences. Here are two examples:
Let’s start with smartphones, often the best way to send and receive information.
Mobile apps are a powerful communication tool, because they facilitate a two-way conversation. You can use push notifications, surveys, registration forms and integrated social networks to engage users.
Since many people have their smartphones with them 24/7, you needn’t wait for them to be in front of a computer. Until now however, this has been an expense most small and midsize companies couldn’t handle. Not anymore. Meet Hatch-An-App.
Hatch-An-App is a Web-based platform that lets you build your own mobile application for iPhones and iPads, and Android phones and tablets. You don’t need to know any code, and you can design and put together a mobile app in one day or have the Hatch-an-App team build it for you. It lets you update content in real time, which is perfect for meeting and event professionals. A planner can build a custom app for a conference, and modify it before, during and after an event.
For example, you can release the app three months before the conference with bios and videos of featured speakers, the full event schedule, sponsor information, GPS directions for hotels and restaurants, and a registration form for buying tickets.
During the conference you can update the app with push notifications about room changes and event start times, new photos and videos and special offers for participants.
After the conference, you can add an early-bird registration form for the next event and update speaker and location information. The changes appear instantly, and you don’t need to resubmit it to Apple or Google Play.
Apps are cool, but there is more you do to make crowd control manageable, yet fun. As a planner myself, I’m always looking to enhance my clients’ experience, and I’m also a techie, so I’m always on the lookout for the next evolution. I am completely intrigued by BlinkFX.
BlinkFX is a really cool and innovative entertainment system that helps you engage directly with attendees at any type of event. It engages them by using an interactive light-up wristband, lapel pin or lanyard that will respond and sync with any content, music or presentation of your choosing. Imagine being able to shift guests from one experience to the next, just by changing the color of the wristband and the signal. Plus, it’s super easy.
You can control the system with almost any DMX512 lighting controller or DMX software. If you don’t have those, BlinkFX has an easy software that runs on any computer. BlinkFX has worked with Frito-Lay and the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas. Most recently Onstage Systems of Dallas tested the wristbands and found that they improve the overall experience.
There are so many new technical advances in events and, in the next few years, expect your guests to have even more advanced and exciting options to explore.
Technology can make your event smoother and more fun. Have you used Hatch-An-App, BlinkFX or some other technology at an event? Please share your experiences — good, bad, ugly and amazing — in the comment section below.