For any of you event planners who consider yourselves to be veterans, do you remember what it was like to plan a sizable event 20 years ago? You had paper lists and landline phones to manage. And when the time came to start spreading the word about your event, it took mailed invitations, flyers, and word of mouth hustle.
It’s pretty remarkable when you really think about how far the events industry has come, especially with the onset of technology and innovation. But as event planners, you’re not done evolving. And the introduction of even smarter, faster, and more convenient tech continues. Don’t stop trying new strategies and embracing new things. Here are just a few ways New York event planners are streamlining their processes with some of the latest trends and innovations.
Recognizing the Benefits of Specific Solutions
Don’t rush out to implement every shiny new object or technology you encounter. Be selective about trying and choosing the best tools that work with your process. Look for certain improvements in how you manage your time, for example, including digital scheduling tools. Identify apps and automations that reduce human errors, like grammar checkers for your content. Whatever new products or software you explore, make sure it’s solving a unique problem and adding value to your event planning routine. There are plenty of app options right now that help with:
- Surveying guests after an event
- Connecting project managers and staff in one communication channel
- Tracking guests and registrations in real-time
- Billing and expense management
What Technology We Gained from the Pandemic
The pandemic certainly forced a lot of industries to embrace online and digital solutions, whether they were ready to do so or not. And being the resilient adapters that you are, event planners found new ways forward, too. And a few of those technology-based solutions are here to stay, including the boom of the virtual event. Even now, as planners and events transition their conferences back to in-person, the hybrid and virtual options allow for even broader event audiences. What once began with thermal temperature scanners and contactless payments has since evolved into an even more robust event planning ecosystem.
Branded Event Apps Are Game-Changers
Speaking of hybrid events, there are amazing ways to blend technology with the traditional, in-person experiences. And branded event apps are leading the charge. At the more entry-level, the event app serves as a central contact point for attendees where important information, schedules, exhibitor details, parking, maps, and speakers live. But exploring even further, you can find layers of additional value. Today’s branded event apps can also:
- Offer live chats and polling
- Provide community message boards
- Integrate with other platforms
- Send attendee notifications and updates
- Integrate with video content
Gamification As a Movement
Technology has significantly enhanced how event planners keep attendees engaged. And gamification has become a movement. Gaming elements as part of your events are popular for providing layers of added stimulation to the event. Maybe it’s a point system with rewards, friendly networking competitions, or prizes. But there’s a digital way to make gamification easy and valuable to almost any event theme.
Live-streaming Is a Huge Addition
If you’re not leveraging the tech and tools for live-streaming your events, you’re missing out on increased revenue, improved marketing, and far better attendee engagement. In one study, companies are finding that by live-streaming their events, they were able to achieve roughly 23% conversion rates from remote attendees, who eventually transitioned to become in-person attendees. And there is all kinds of mileage to be had with your live-stream footage even after the event ends, on the marketing side, for your event planning business, and for the subsequent years’ events, as well. Other benefits of live-streaming include:
- Improve hybrid engagement
- Archive event footage for portfolio use
- Promote this year’s event with short footage snippets of last year’s event
- Footage can be used to secure sponsorships
Near Field Technology Advancements
Near field technology involves innovations that allow for transferring of data between devices. Yes, it’s contactless payment options and digital credit card readers. But for New York event planners, it’s about harnessing the efficiency of digital guest registration, badge access to workshops or speakers, and real-time polling. These incredible efficiencies will streamline wait times for guests and improve the overall engagement, making it better for every event to come and your bottom line. Look for other ways to embrace near field technology by:
- Embracing mobile device interactions
- Integrate social media at every turn
- Explore virtual experiences
Have you incorporated some of these tech innovations into your event planning process? What other digital solutions are you using to improve your strategies? The good news is that New York event planners can probably say goodbye to the old days of paper lists and delayed communication. But don’t forget to always be looking to technology for ways to improve every aspect of your business.
For more ideas about harnessing technology for events, along with a host of inspiration, check out our blog series. Don’t forget to get your Event Planner Expo 2022 tickets, either, and let us know if you’re still considering exhibitor space or are interested in sponsorship opportunities.