Let’s face it: We’ve become dependent on our smartphones. Case in point: A recent IBM study found that 91 percent of mobile users keep their device within arm’s reach 100 percent of the time.
If you’re like 81 percent of the small businesses and nonprofits that participated in a recent survey from Constant Contact, you plan to increase your use of mobile technology to market events this year, but like 90 percent of those survey participants, you may need to learn how.
Here’s a quick primer on integrating mobile into the management, marketing and follow-up of your events.
Exploring the many tools available for event management can be overwhelming. Before you commit to any one particular offering, make sure it includes these mobile features:
Mobile tickets should contain time-saving information on registrants (name, mobile phone number, payment status, etc.), and a QR code for check-in, which can be scanned on a smartphone with a QR code reader, like QR Droid for Android or RedLaser for iPhone. Event planners can say goodbye to snaking registration lines, and stacks of paper and sticky notes as they quickly check-in attendees upon arrival.
Once you’ve got the right event-management tool in your hands, you can also use mobile technology to market the event and boost attendee interaction. Here’s how:
- When creating mobile-friendly invites, don’t go overboard with images. Use white space wisely, and ask only for the information you really need.
- Place a QR code on all promotional materials that connect people to a mobile-optimized event registration site.
- Create a Twitter hashtag for your event and include it on your website, invites and signage. Start Twitter conversations with prepared and ad-hoc tweets that are sent out before and during the event, highlighting news, speakers and attendees.
- Ask attendees if they want to receive texts leading up to, and during, the event, so they can get updates, reminders about presentations, alerts on schedule changes or other news of note.
- Use mobile as the main mechanism for event contests by encouraging attendees to text or tweet their entries to win giveaways.
- Capture the event in real time by taking photos and videos and posting them to Facebook, Twitter or your blog. Ask attendees for permission before you upload those images, and keep your videos under the two-minute mark.
- Stay in touch after the event by texting a short survey to attendees and let them know you’ll incorporate the best ideas into future planning.
- Send a thank you to attendees and volunteers and include news, like the total from donations and news of upcoming events. Do this through a combination of mobile, social and email marketing.
You’ll soon find mobile integrations are the easiest, fastest and most convenient way to streamline the management and promotion processes — and a great way to further engage your audience before, during, and after your events.