The panelist didn’t show up. Nobody heard your question. And that party was a buzz kill.
Events are hard to plan and harder to execute.
We know people come to conferences to learn industry news, make business deals, and yes, have fun. But even if you have the party, bring the industry experts, and create conference rooms and conference party mixers, will the mantra, if you build it they will come, stand true?
Event Marketing Specialist, Gabriela Xavier:
Xavier has been with CDM Media Inc., a leading B2B technology marketing and media firm, producing C-level executive events globally, since 2010, when she started as an event and online marketing specialist.
This past spring, Dovetail launched their own internal event app, which they built from scratch, for the several events that they host through CDM Media Inc.
Xavier drew upon her event marketing knowledge and shared how her team built an iOS app to change the way Dovetail, and hopefully others will execute conferences.
Dovetail, is an app built by and for CDM Media’s events, which are conferences with executive level IT managers locally in Chicago and also internationally. Prior to developing their own internal app, they relied on a third party, but felt they had limited functionality in terms of social media integration among other things.
There is nothing new about event apps. Companies have made the switch from paper to smartphone, including at events, but event apps are becoming more powerful tools.
The main benefit of having an event app is that it places the conference on a digital level. Attendees can access the entire agenda and be notified of events and room changes instantly. No more paper.
An App That Facilitates Connections at Events:
For each event, attendees sign into the portal for their event-specific portion of the app. Their profile, which includes a photo, company description and logo, and personal bio, allows for attendees to get acquainted on a deeper level.
As attendees become acquainted with fellow attendees, they are able to reach out to the through the app. It’s like finding out whose in your class before your first day of school.
Attendees typically sign into the app about a week before the conference.
Talking Points and Q&A:
The app also helps event planners curate content specifically tailored to attendees through the use of white papers and case studies that attendees can access in the app. How users interact with these resources might effect presenter’s presentations or alter subject matter in the conference.
The app also helps to facilitate questions during a presentation. Attendees can submit their questions to the presenter throughout the session, and, even better, if you missed the session, you can view questions and answers from the session. No more fear of missing out.
Another key feature that Xavier was excited about it that, as an event organizer, she doesn’t have to wait until the end of the conference to receive user feedback.
Attendees can give feedback after sessions and throughout the conference. This makes a huge difference and will help event organizers address issues while they still can, rather than doing better next time.
Event App Features:
- View the full event agenda and your personal itinerary
- Read attendee biographies and company information
- Access white papers, case studies, and presentations that correspond to agenda sessions
- Receive event updates as they happen
- Send messages to other event attendees
- Read a scrolling Twitter feed with the latest event information
- Share event updates across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram directly from the app.
- Access detailed venue maps.
Other Companies Can Use the Dovetail App:
The Dovetail app is currently in a transitional stage. It was built from the knowledge of event planners for CDM Media Inc. and from feedback from the previous app.
“The app can be customized to any events,” said Xavier, “It’s a blank canvas.”
The app is exclusively offered at the Apple Store. Dovetail found that their event attendees are primarily Apple product users. Though, Xavier noted that there are still some who have a Blackberry and a few who have Android phones. During conferences, these users are given an iPad to access the app for the duration of the conference.
Dovetail plans to offer the app for it’s clients’ companies to use and then market it to other companies to help event planners better manage their events and conference goers have a more personal and digital experience.
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