How to effectively use digital for your next event without breaking the bank
If you’ve been tasked with raising the bar on last year’s event without blowing the entire budget in one digital swipe, then check out our top digital additions to ensure maximum delegate engagement.
From effective email invites to awesome apps for audience participation, this month we’ll be looking at some effective ways you can use digital to ensure your message has maximum impact, stays consistent and gives the insights and ROI you need without breaking the bank.
Bespoke emails that deliver
To spread the word about your event…
A well-designed and carefully structured email campaign is still one of the most effective ways to communicate with your audience and grab their attention from the very beginning. Personalisation within your subject or email headers are just a couple of many great ways of humanising communications and maximising your open rates. If you’re sending an invitation, it’s important to make them feel exclusive. Remember a light touch is always advised when it comes to personalisation to ensure your copy feels natural. Insert their name into every other paragraph and things start to feel a little weird.
Also be careful not to over-look importance of details such as a well-crafted subject line, the placement of calls to actions, add to calendar functionality and carefully timed sends (during optimal open times), as these all boost the usability and effectiveness of your emails. Above all, make sure you have a clear and consistent design direction throughout every email. Don’t settle for poor quality images, inconsistent layouts or poorly modified off the shelf email templates. Every sends within your email campaign represents you, your business and ultimately sells your event, so quality control must always be at the top of your list.
Using event Microsites to boost registrations
Give your audience more reasons to register
Now, in an ideal world when it comes to getting your audience to register, be it for an internal or external event, you’d send your email invite, and everyone would take the bait and signup. But as we all know, this isn’t always the way. Sometimes they will need more information to make up their mind and pop their name on the list.
Having the info about your event all in one place, along with a clear route to your registration is a very effective way of ensuring you convert anyone still sitting on the fence. Providing a taster of what’s on the agenda, hosting speaker bios and providing travel & location information will definitely help seal the deal. One solution we have found works brilliantly is a simple event microsite that can be aligned with your brand and host your registrations all online. We built our platform from the ground up and we’ve saved our clients’ time and money by doing the groundwork ahead of time.
During registration is the perfect time to capture a little more data about your audience. Why not gather people’s opinions and insights on hot topics that are important to them to address during your event? This is a fantastic way of empowering your audience and making them included, from the very beginning, right the way through to post-event feedback.
Avoiding a slow death by PowerPoint
People that create engaging presentations know:
Content is king. Communicating that content is an ace in your pocket. We’ve all heard the dreaded term ‘death by PowerPoint’, but what’s really scary is the fact these horror stories (of insanely complex graphs, clipart and minute text) are still haunting even the best events. If people have switched off after the first 20 minutes, it’s kind of all a bit pointless, right? Help avoid this by taking these simple steps.
We suggest you stick to a well-structured presentation template and give this format to all the speakers. An example presentation format could be to kick things off with a nice quote to set the tone, an opening question, the main body of content, a slide to reflect and summarise, finishing with a statement or quote as a memorable takeaway. Think of your presentation like a movie script with a beginning, a middle and an end. Delegates like having a format to help them understand where they are at during a presentation. Remember your on-screen visuals are simply a backup to what you are saying. A wise man once said ‘less is more’, make that your golden rule and you won’t go far wrong.
Breakouts from the norm
There’s more to networking than tea & coffee…
During your event, keep things interesting by providing a variety of engaging touchpoints. Speaker presentations and panel sessions are great, but have you considered breaking delegates into interactive sessions? Why not try giving attendees the chance to do something other than networking during tea & coffee breaks. From interactive touch screens and VR experiences to simple feedback ‘like’ and ‘dislike’ buttons, there are many ways you can keep your delegates inspired and entertained on a variety of budgets. One great way to give a voice to even the most introverted delegate is to introduce digital polling or live Q&A. It’s now super easy to turn any smart device into an engagement tool, where the speaker can dynamically react to the audience’s live feedback.
Pushing the power of communication
Found yourself with a bigger budget and want to really push your delegate experience? Native Apps are a great way to engage users throughout the event. With content pushed directly to their smart devices; notifications letting them know when their next session is, or a last minute change of agenda, there isn’t a better way to enhance communication at your event. Apps also serve as a powerful networking tool, allowing a world of useful resources and options for maximising every part of their event experience on the ground.
The world of digital within the events industry is forever growing with new and exciting ways to engage your audience, but whatever you choose to do, always remember content is king! If your digital comms are well crafted, personal, professional and user friendly, you can still raise your digital game without blowing your budget.
Editor: Matt Sweet