Exhibition News March 2019 - Page 55

Tech Let’s get personal Jamie Vaughan, head of European sales at Cvent, looks at some of the ways tech can personalise the visitor experience T he growing market for personalised services shows no signs of slowing down, with more consumers wanting their preferences and interests recognised. Advancements in technology offer organisers the opportunity to deliver a more tailored attendee experience pre, during and post-event, and yet many organisers still are not utilising these solutions to shake up tired formats that no longer resonate with their audience. There are numerous ways technology can be leveraged to offer attendees a more personalised experience: Digital registration Personalisation starts with registration. Online registration form fields should ask the right questions to build a comprehensive profile of the attendee. Studies indicate that attendees are willing to provide more information for a customised experience. Personal invitations Step up email invitations with a personalised video message embedded in an e-card or cut through email inbox noise with a customised subject line and content that speaks directly to the recipient’s needs. Utilise custom mobile event apps A customised mobile event app allows organisers to interact with attendees in a far more dynamic way pre, during and post event – whether it’s to present unique content, share updates, provide tailored agendas, facilitate networking, or to give attendees a way to interact with speakers and contribute to sessions in real time. Research shows emails are read 10 per cent of the time, whereas push notifications on mobile apps are read 85 per cent of the time. Include gaming elements Gamification can enhance the attendee experience and encourage greater engagement. Popular methods of gamification include in-app solutions to encourage actions like early registration and social media shares, interactive touchscreen points, customised scavenger hunts, and digital passports that allow attendees to collect points for attending seminars or visiting stands. Personalised push notifications can foster competition while steering attendees to complete objectives that enhance their overall event experience. Personalise signage Exhibitions are often hosted in vast spaces and, as not everyone has the same interests, directional signage is particularly useful. By utilising RFID, near-field communication and similar technology alongside smart-badges (encoded with information attendees provide during the registration process), it is possible for trade show visitors to receive personalised welcome messages on screens as they enter or leave the venue, as well as receive push notifications when they are approaching an area of interest to them. Tailor catering Organisers can take event catering beyond the basic options by collecting more data on food requirements pre-event. This information can be utilised to supply more of what the attendee wants – whether it’s more wellness, vegan or gluten- free options – and less of what they don’t; helping to reduce food waste and increase attendee satisfaction. Dedicated post-event communication A personalised experience doesn’t end when the event does. As each attendee will have a different experience, organisers should tailor communication based on their specified preferences and on the sessions they attended. Timing is also key. There’s little point to sending a barrage of emails in quick succession directly after the show when attendees are just getting back to work. March — 55