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Have you attended a big conference, trade show or other event within the last five years? It is no secret that large conventions and trade shows are a big revenue source for many organizations, which is why many of them are drastically changing their methods to improve the attendee experience. It’s being changed via #eventtech.

Recently Eved LLC (@EvedMarketplace) hosted a webinar with a panel of event experts who explained why technology needs to be #1 on every event planners’ list of priorities. Technology not only during the event, but leading up to and the thought of making your event setup an easier experience. Event technology can help a planner with time management and content management, avoiding the reading and sending of thousands of emails or looking through thousands of data points.

One of the more recent trends for events is having attendees use their smart devices to engage with one another by using an app that was created specifically for the event. Eventbrite (@eventbrite) is helping make this possible around the world. But, these apps help the planner and attendee:

Arrange meetings faster and easier than ever

Real time updates on what is happening at your event 

Access to social media and live chatting surrounding your event 

What about event improvement past the post event survey?

According to Julie Silverstein, President & COO of Eved LLC, members or clients want to see improvements on 80% of user experience and 20% on back office work. They want to see more than just emails and excel, they want to see evolving technology and more visuals to give the end user the information they are looking for in a way that they are able to understand it.

We know that social media is key to events and not only to the attendees at the event, but the “attendees” that aren’t at the event. These attendees are what we like to call “non-attendee attendees” (we previously wrote a blog about this here). Creating a hashtag for your event on twitter, or an event page on Facebook can lead to

Conversation surrounding your event prior to the event

Cheap, if not free advertisement for your event

Attendee feedback without sending out surveys

Do not hesitate on upgrading technology surrounding your event, whether it be for yourself as the planner or for your attendees. Provide an area at your event for your industry’s newest technology, whether it has already on the market or is coming out on the market in the future. Advancing your technology will make your event seem new and exciting, which provides your attendees a reason to keep them coming year after year. They do not want the same experience, but they want a new and exciting experience every year, nothing drastic, but subtle changes that keeps your retention high and also brings in new faces.

Remember, technology constantly evolves. Making sure that your event is “with the times” is crucial. In essence, you are not creating a conference/convention, you are creating an experience that your attendees will remember. When your event feels new, exciting, fresh, and better than the year before, then it is most likely going to be your most successful event year after year. And that is your ultimate goal.

Nick

Photo by Jessica Gale