Drive attendee engagement with a mobile conference app

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When the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) sought to answer the question of why people attend events, their research uncovered one overwhelming response: Education. 

On average, 92 percent of your attendees come to expand their knowledge at your event. And with the right data and technology packaged into your conference app, you can go way beyond their expectations.

Daniela Stipp, Event Technology Project Manager, Mobile App Lead at SAP highlights the opportunity for event managers. She says, “Personalization isn’t just a technology topic—it’s a content topic. Ultimately, what drives personalization is event organizers who really know their attendees and content, and who use data to assist in this process.” 

Combining data-rich recommendations with delivery in the palm of the attendee’s hand, the mobile conference app plays a unique role in driving engagement with session content. 

On that note, let’s look at four ways you can take an app-based, personalized approach to engaging attendees with session content.

Use app technology to connect attendees with the sessions they will find most valuable. Image from    Unsplash   .

Use app technology to connect attendees with the sessions they will find most valuable. Image from Unsplash.

1. Make attendee experience your #1 goal

Conferences can be overwhelming with multiple sessions and events taking place at the same time. Attendees can become overwhelmed with all the decision-making. Research has shown that over half of your attendees want recommendations based on their interests and previous attendance.

The mobile conference app is a powerful tool to help event managers enhance this experience. Using new machine learning technologies, conference apps can surface tailored, personal content recommendations so attendees can make the most of their time at the event.

Eventbase partners like Hubb and TurnoutNow offer data-driven solutions that make informed suggestions within the conference app. The result? Attendees can create their own agenda that is highly customized and relevant to their needs.

Hubb creates meaning from data, using tracking to understand what sessions attendees are adding to their calendars, what they’re searching for, what they’re filtering, and who they’re searching for in the community. This builds a robust profile of each attendee and allows tailored recommendations to be made. Attendees are given a unique roadmap to an onsite experience that is specifically designed based on their individual preferences.

TurnoutNow is also innovating in this space by integrating an individual’s pre-existing data alongside sophisticated machine learning algorithms. Their Prescriptive Recommendation Engine (PRE™) uses any relevant data to train the AI pre-event. Once the event begins, real-time behavior data is added in to hyper-target recommendations with 90%+ accuracy. 

TurnoutNow’s Prescriptive Recommendation Engine (PRE™) can make hyper-targeted recommendations with 90%+ accuracy.

2. Promote active session involvement

Once your app has drawn in the right audience to a particular session, in-app features like live polling, Q&A and chat can all contribute to higher engagement with content. Instead of being “the preserve of the vocal few,” moving engagement to the app creates a safe space for everyone to get involved, even those those who might not traditionally speak up in a large event setting.

Create a space where every attendee has the opportunity to contribute. Image from    Eventbase   .

Create a space where every attendee has the opportunity to contribute. Image from Eventbase.

3. Continue to adapt and learn

Surveys are commonly sent out after an event, but with an app they can be distributed at the close of each session. Keep them quick and easy to complete and you’ll benefit from immediate data so you can respond to aggregated sentiment. Content that is due to be repeated can be adapted if it’s not resonating or the schedule could be shifted to accommodate an unexpectedly popular session again.

Session feedback also builds into the holistic profile you have on each attendee. Depending on an individual’s responses, more relevant recommendations can be made next time. Taking a dynamic approach to scheduling and suggestions is only possible with rich, real-time data gathered from attendees through an app.

4. Maintain the value add

Rather than thinking of session-by-session engagement, your app can be the golden thread that maintains value for attendees throughout the full duration of your event.

Giving attendees an exclusive place to discuss content will encourage engagement and maximize longevity. With an in-app activity stream, session participants can share photos, discuss their own thoughts, and reply directly to the posts of others. These features encourage active interaction with content, rather than simply passive listening.

The Citrix app includes shortcuts to features that promote engagement like My Agenda and Notifications

The Citrix app includes shortcuts to features that promote engagement like My Agenda and Notifications

The activity stream can keep the conversation going after the event has ended, too. Initiate discussions around tips for integrating key lessons learned and include links to presentation slides and recordings to give attendees another chance to explore sessions they may have missed.

Combining data-rich recommendations with delivery in the palm of the attendee’s hand, the conference app plays a unique role in driving engagement with session content. It’s a great way to meet — and exceed — the education goals of your attendees through a personalized experience that will stay top of mind long after the event has come to a close.

Discover more ways to engage attendees with personalized content in the ebook, The Attendee Journey: Creating Personalized Experiences for Conference Attendees.