By Jenn Heighington, senior Event Coordinator at Managing Matters
The world of event planning has evolved, and so has the way events are executed. The days of registration spreadsheets printed by the dozen, haphazardly highlighted as attendees check in are long gone. When a registrants asks “has <insert name here> checked in yet?”, we no longer have to sift through and cross reference three different lists to be able to provide them with a quick yes or no answer, because, there’s an app for that!
Event apps have become a key element in the successful execution of today’s events. They provide an innovative and modern way of streamlining registration, event schedules, sponsor and exhibitor information, and even networking. I can speak from the perspective of both a planner and conference attendee that had utilized this technology and how much it improved my experience.
The event planner’s perspective
From the planner perspective, having a clean, quick, and electronic registration and check-in process means less bottleneck, paper, and loss of data capture. Being able to provide your client instant registration data is crucial and is a huge value add on site.
Sponsors, exhibitors, presenters and keynotes can all be featured within the same app, and delegates can go directly to their profile or website which provides added exposure and traffic. This is a sure fire way to attract additional sponsorship and exhibitors.
A conference or event program can be loaded into an app, and users can set reminders of breakout sessions they wish to attend, or download a map of a tradeshow floorplan so they can plan their optimal route around the floor. If a change of schedule, room, or speaker should arise, simple edits can be made and a delegate can be notified of said change instantly. In addition to the aforementioned, one more bonus is all of the paper and printing this saves. More and more, it is an important element in the planning process to be environmentally conscious and leave as little footprint as possible.
If the planner in me hasn’t sold you on the idea of an event app yet, maybe the attendee and app user in me will. A few months ago I was fortunate to be able to attend a conference focused on the event industry that was completely run by an event app. I registered through an app, I made a profile, I signed up for my breakouts, I linked my LinkedIn and social media for networking, I participated in (and was runner up) a ‘meet and greet’ scavenger hunt, collected sponsor and exhibitor information, and was able to access the app after the event to stay connected with everyone I networked with.
I will admit, I am a millennial who unlike most, is not reliant or all that wowed by her cell phone and its technologies and finds any excuse to actually not be on it. But, I drank the event app Kool-Aid, and I’m hooked. It is my ideal way make an event stand out, memorable, and to make it matter.
About the author
Jenn Heighington is a senior event coordinator at Managing Matters and has been professionally passionate about events for over five years.