September 30, 2014
Modern associations do modern things - and that includes putting on modern events. After all, you can’t call yourself a modern association if you’re still doing events the old way. Here are five modern things that people expect to be a part of your next event.
Before your event even begins, people need to register. And your attendees expect that group registration is a part of your modern event. Group registration enables one person to register for a group of people using their own account, a very useful ability to have. The reality is that in today’s fast paced day and age, many executives have staff that register for events for them, and these staff shouldn’t have to pretend to register as their bosses using their credentials and email accounts. Group registration allows the registration process to be handled by one point person in a built-in efficient way. Efficiency and usefulness - things that matter to the modern association.
Do you allow the online submission of abstracts for those that want to speak at your organization’s event? Speakers will expect that they can log onto your site and respond to a call for abstracts by submitting a digital version of their abstract. And when it comes time to judge the numerous submissions that come in, your members and staff will expect that they can log into the portal and score these submissions painlessly, online. Are you providing the modern experience that your speakers and members expect? Allowing online submission and judging of abstracts is an important part of putting on a modern event.
Another thing that separates modern events from the events of yesteryear is the ability to print badges on site. Can your association do this? Attendees will expect that they can show up and get a badge printed on site if they’ve misplaced their badge or if any other situation has occurred to leave them without their credentials. Being able to handle this common situation is important if you care about your association staying up to date with attendees wants and needs. Many AMS systems integrate to allow you to easily do this at your next event.
Event apps are big right now. Associations and other organizations are getting apps custom made for individual events that they put on. These apps have speakers for events listed (with bios and links to websites), reminders for educational sessions, live feeds pulled from the event Twitter hashtag and more. If your organization doesn’t want to get a custom app developed, then having an accurate, easy to download agenda is equally important. You’ll want to make sure that the agenda can be downloaded anywhere, like to a phone, and is in an easy to use format, like PDF.
"Associations are making custom event apps w speakers listed, reminders for educational sessions, Twitter feeds & more”
A final feature that attendees expect from a modern event is access to lead retrieval services. Lead retrieval services allow vendors to capture leads from interested attendees that visit their booth at the event. Most of these services rent scanners to exhibitors in booths which can be used to register the badges of those that stop by. A list of leads is then generated and given to the exhibitor based on the badges scanned. We’ve also seen new technology being used that’s integrated this functionality into smartphone apps that can scan badges with the built-in phone camera! Capturing the information of interested parties that stop by a vendor’s booth and following up with those leads is an easy way for many vendors to make their attendance at your event profitable and therefore justify their expense. Take care of your vendors as they take care of you by offering powerful modern lead retrieval services to them.
In today’s fast-changing world people expect certain things to be a part of a modern event. The five things mentioned in this article are based on conversations we’ve had with associations that are putting on meetings on the cutting edge of event management today. Make sure you’re offering these options to your attendees, speakers and vendors if you want to be able to call your next event a modern one.