10 Essential Event Planning Tools Every New York Planner Needs

May 15, 2024 Jessica Stewart

Some people have unusual phobias, like fear of the color yellow, aka xanthophobia. While the fears that keep NYC event planners awake at night don’t have fancy names, they’re just as scary as any phobia. 

Toppled wedding cakes, presentation video mishaps, and defective photo SIM cards are the stuff of nightmares. But topping the list of horrifying event happenings is leaving event attendees bored to tears. Nothing is scarier than being the event planner in charge of a room full of yawns and early departures. In this article, we give you ten essential tools to get NYC event participants excited throughout the duration of the event and increase attendee engagement. And you’ll never lose sleep again.

Boost Attendee Engagement When You Host a Q&A

Speaker presentations are a fantastic learning tool. However, an accompanying Q&A session gets an audience pumped up and addresses knowledge gaps that may have been overlooked in the initial presentation. And wouldn’t you know it? There are some new-fangled ways to ramp up the engagement even more at a Q&A.

1. Use a tossable microphone. Nothing brings a smile like a playful game of catch. Big, soft, and durable, a tossable microphone can fly from one participant to the next without so much as a high-pitched squeal. 

Catchbox is the biggest name in tossable microphones. You can even get branded covers for Catchbox to elevate the experience. However, there are a few budget-friendly options out there for smaller events. Qball is tough enough that it’s marketed for student use. And you can get a Big Mic Ball in the shape of a football. 

2. Use a microphone app. Perhaps your event is for the C-suite crowd or a similarly stodgy crew, such as attorneys. In any case, you can’t picture them regressing to child-like joy with a tossable microphone. No worries, there’s an app for that. 

Crowd Mics transforms attendees’ phones into microphones. Attendees can also use the app to text their questions or respond to polls. And just in case one of the suits in the room gets zany, the Q&A administrator retains complete control of the mic and is able to shut down any monologue that gets weird.

Make Attendees’ Opinions Count

Nothing elicits a yawn like being talked at for hours. NYC event planners can avoid inducing that feeling of being lectured by giving attendees the opportunity to express their opinions. Polls, surveys, and quizzes in real time can keep your audience engaged and make them feel like they are part of the conversation.

3. Slido conducts a live dialogue with participants and broadcasts responses on the event’s screen. Ask participants multiple-choice or open-ended questions. Conduct polls and project a visually interesting word cloud. The interaction and resulting visual cues give depth to your presentation. 

4. You can unlock more interactive experiences if your presentation has slides. With Glisser, participants can view slides directly on their smartphones. Participants can comment on slides or take notes within the app. Glisser also allows attendees to download the slides for future reference.

Gamify Your Event to Boost Attendee Engagement

Chances are that when a corporation announces a mandatory event for employees, there are more than a few eye rolls. Conference presentations feel a lot like school, and it’s not uncommon for participants to expect to be bored. You can shake up expectations and give attendee engagement a shot in the arm when you gamify your NYC event. Don’t forget to offer tantalizing prizes like gift cards or company swag.

5. Set up a scavenger hunt with Canapii. The idea behind a scavenger hunt is to get participants to explore the event and interact with others. You can challenge participants to learn an interesting fact about another attendee or take a photo with an attendee who works at a specific location. Attendees earn points for the “items” they collect.

6. A trivia game will reinforce presentation material while boosting attendee engagement. The Training Arcade allows you to create a customized trivia game using a variety of question formats. With a points system, a leaderboard, and a 60’s game show vibe, The Training Arcade can transform the stuffiest of material into spirited competition. 

7. Create tailor-made games that are as addicting as Candy Crush. LoQuiz offers a wide range of creative app games that send attendee engagement through the roof. Whether your attendees are scrambling to collect coins, Easter eggs, or photos, they’ll be completely immersed in the cutesy graphics and worlds within the ready-made games in LoQuiz. Best of all, LoQuiz gives you the tools to begin creating games yourself. 

Empower Attendees to Network Like Pros

Attendees are confronted with a sea of faces when they walk through the doors of your NYC event. And for the introverts among us, being surrounded by strangers is an isolating experience. Even gabby extroverts may have trouble spotting kindred spirits in the throng of participants. Increase attendee engagement with apps designed to facilitate networking.

8. b2match uses AI to match attendees using profile information. Matches are made based on the attendee’s goals. Whether they’re looking for business contacts or simply for a crew to make the conference more enjoyable, b2match aggregates profile data for a winning match. 

9. Networking apps are only as good as their data, and sometimes attendees aren’t up for inputting what amounts to an autobiographical novel. MeetMatch uses big data to create networking matches made in heaven. Finally, a better use for big data than the cat videos Facebook keeps showing you. 

Use Push Notifications to Increase Attendee Engagement

Event attendees can be overwhelmed at an all-day event. They can lose track of time or forget about a session entirely. You can lessen the stress with push notifications. 

10. Use Cvent’s Attendee Hub Event App to send notifications to attendees.  Let them know when the session is starting or when lunch is being served. You can even use push notifications to urge attendees to attend a wellness break or participate in games. 

Attend The Event Planner Expo 2024 for More Great Event Ideas

Planning NYC events is exciting but scary sometimes, too. However, you can find strength in numbers when you attend The Event Planning Expo 2024. You can commiserate and exchange ideas with more than 2,000 other event professionals, guaranteed to grow your event services business to new heights! 

And while The Event Planner Expo 2024 won’t alleviate octophobia (fear of the number 8), it will feature over 50 speakers who can help you pull off successful events. The Event Planner Expo 2024 will also be chock full of people looking for a top-notch event planner. You can connect with them when you sign up to be an exhibitor.

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