How to Use Tech to Win Social Events

Everyone knows this scenario. You attend a social event and serendipitously make a genuine business connection with someone. You can envision working together on an exciting project. After several minutes, you move on, only to realize too late that no form of contact was ever exchanged. This mistake is common, but not inevitable. Thanks to mobile phones and event apps, the chances of this unfortunate situation occurring can be lessened and your attendee’s ROI maximized.

In a recent webinar, Brooke Gracey, marketing manager at Cvent, discussed how to leverage technology to boost social event ROI.

More: New Management Systems Lead the Charge for Industry Tech  

The Value of Connecting

Cvent recently partnered with communications marketing firm Edelman to survey more than 1,000 event attendees to find the why behind event attendance. When asked why they sacrificed their time to attend these events, time that could be given to family or work, respondents cited two common reasons: professional development and networking. As part of this survey, attendees were asked how much of the overall event experience they attribute to networking. The consensus was that 80 percent of the value of social events came from interacting with others. The importance of making social connections—at events and in daily life—cannot be overlooked.

Essential Tools

As mobile phones have gone from a luxury to something indispensable, they have become a tool that planners can use to help attendees network more effectively.

According to Gracey, the average U.S. adult spends 5 hours per day on their mobile device and picks it up over 2,600 times a day. The research platform emarketer.com projected that by 2019, mobile phones will surpass television as the medium receiving the most attention from consumers. So those attendees will more than likely be carrying some sort of device (maybe even two) with access to the world wide web. Why not use that smartphone ubiquity to boost your attendees’ chances of making a valuable connection?

Closing the Loop

Back in the day, a mobile event app could show attendees their schedule and maybe offer a map of the show floor, but today, it can do so much more, including:

  • Facilitate engagement by listing attendees and sponsors in a searchable database.
  • Streamline communication through attendee messaging
  • Offer easy, instant appointment creation

With these tools, the chances of later engagement become more likely.

Exhibitor lists, interactive maps and PDF attachments make conferences more user-friendly. RFID nametags help planners track attendee movement, so they can make quick decisions in real time. Smart badges also simplify lead capture by creating contacts for future engagement with the scan of a tag. This can heighten the chances of making long-term connections.

Attendees join social events with the intent of networking. With the smart use of technology, planners can make sure their attendees are able to create invaluable connections.