To say that a lot has happened in the course of the past few months that has changed the global landscape is a bit of an understatement. For most of us, it has felt like the fabric of society has been torn to shreds and there are few vestiges of normalcy left. In days like these, it is helpful to remember that the ability to adapt to a changing and unpredictable environment is a hallmark of a successful person – or a successful business.
This type of agility serves us well no matter our station in life, and it is this quality that is being tested and forged in us now.
Here at Certain, it has become increasingly clear to us and to our customers that digital, virtual, and hybrid events are becoming more important, and in some cases necessary in order to meet business objectives.
Several of our customers, including Rockwell Automation and Microsoft, are working with us to forge the way ahead and come up with innovative ways to meet the same event objectives – whether social networking, knowledge sharing, or generating actionable marketing insights.
In this blog post, we will cover the myriad ways in which an event mobile app is an ideal solution to aid you in shifting towards digital solutions for your ever-important events.
Easy, Effective Communication
In the first place, event mobile apps are essential for communicating effectively with your virtual attendees. Not having attendees of your event in one physical place could make communication a bit tricky, but the messaging capability of a mobile app – including both broadcast messaging and private message – is the ideal solution.
In our mobile app solution, Touchpoint, messages can be pre-scheduled to be sent out – complete with push notifications – at intervals throughout your virtual event, as reminders that a webinar is about to begin, or that a new presentation has been uploaded to the app. The private messaging capability will make communication between virtual attendees easier to facilitate – communication can be kept entirely within the app, without exchanging email addresses.
If your virtual attendees are spread out all over the globe, a robust mobile app content management system will be able to accommodate multiple time zones to allow push notifications and session times to appear at the correct time relative to a particular attendee’s location, making coordination painless for you as the event planner.
A mobile app is crucial – perhaps now even more than ever – in fostering social connections among attendees. With virtual events, it’s unavoidable that attendees will be spread out across the country (or even across the globe)… But this does not mean that we are doomed to feel disconnected.
Share Relevant, Timely Content
The next way that mobile apps can be an asset to your virtual events is by helping you push relevant content to your attendees. With the majority of the global workforce now working from home and consuming more digital content than ever, it is all the more crucial for you to provide your virtual attendees with content that is pertinent and useful to them.
As an example, the Touchpoint system has multiple avenues for publishing content and ensuring that a certain attendee type is seeing only what is relevant to him or her (bonus: if you are using Certain’s registration Platform, these attendee types can be generated at registration and seamlessly integrated with your event mobile app). Blog-style news stories can be published within the app at intervals throughout your event to facilitate engagement, creating an event-specific news feed that includes links to externally hosted webinars, highlighted content, or video recaps of virtual sessions.
And because it is now more crucial than ever that your attendees are able to interact with content they consume, published content in the app can be opened up for ratings, comments, and feedback given by end users. You also have the option of creating a separate menu button in your event app dedicated entirely to important documents – brochures, presentation PDFs, press releases, health updates, and much more. Links to externally hosted videos and webcasts can be included as well, making your mobile app a hub for your virtual event.
Facilitate Attendee Engagement
The third way that mobile apps can enhance virtual events is by facilitating attendee engagement during virtual sessions. For example, Touchpoint’s Agenda feature allows for a wealth of information to be provided for each session – this can be used as a focal point for informing attendees as to the session time, featured speaker, virtual location (URL) of the live stream, and a description of the session that is as in-depth as you want it to be. Attendees can check-in using a code provided during the session to let you know that they have attended.
But it goes much further than this – event mobile apps also provide various ways that attendees can engage with the material you are providing, as well as the speakers who are presenting the material. Touchpoint’s Live Polling feature makes it easy for speakers to quiz the virtual audience, or for the audience to ask questions of the speaker – and for all of these interactions to be seamlessly captured as attendee insights that are immediately accessible to you in the form of detailed, downloadable reports. Session surveys can be utilized to allow virtual attendees to rate a particular session or give their feedback in an open-ended format. A session description can include an in-app link to a discussion board set up to discuss an ongoing session.
Foster Social Connections
Finally, a mobile app is crucial – perhaps now even more than ever – in fostering social connections among attendees. With virtual events, it’s unavoidable that attendees will be spread out across the country (or even across the globe) – geographical distance will always be a factor by the very nature of a virtual event. But this does not mean that we are doomed to feel disconnected. A robust mobile app solution has multiple features that you can leverage to support interaction and networking.
In Touchpoint, the Activity Feed feature allows you to have a private social feed that is specific to your event – users can post their thoughts, photos of their home work spaces, comment on other users’ posts, etc. Our customer, Deutsche Bank, has relied heavily on this feature in their regional grad programs – one program posted various topics each day and encouraged grads to post photos related to the topic. Every day, the winning photo was selected, highlighted within the app, and the grad who posted the winning photo would receive an Amazon gift card as an incentive to continue to participate. As mentioned before, the messaging feature has a one-to-one component as well, allowing attendees of an event to connect without ever leaving the app.
Many mobile apps can be gamified, as well. For example, the Touchpoint Badge Game module can be modified to fit a virtual event, with attendees earning badges by checking in to various sessions, sending a private message to another attendee, or posting a photo in the Activity Feed.
Furthermore, the polling feature can also be used outside of live events as stand-alone questions that users can access and answer anytime that is convenient for them. Many of Certain’s customers use this feature to set up icebreaker-style questions like, “What is your favorite summer activity?” Unique answers can then be featured in the app via a broadcast message or the publishing of a daily wrap news story.
Capture Real-Time Insights
For all of these features, there is a real-time flow of data and insights that are waiting to be captured and synced to marketing technologies – all of this engagement can be turned into measurable data that can then be fed back into the martech stack and turned into actionable intel into what makes your attendees tick.
Whether it be relevant content, session recommendations, or personalized and timely follow-up, real-time insights enable your sales and marketing teams to follow up intelligently from the digital event.
We hope that this post has helped to get your wheels turning on how crisis can be turned into a real opportunity for growth – for you, your business, and the global events community. If you would like to learn more about how to leverage an event mobile app for your digital events, contact us to speak with one of our event professionals. We’re here to support you and your company as you find the best way forward for your events program.
Written by Bethany Stewart, APAC Customer Success Manager at Certain