Don’t you just love it when you organize an event and people come up to you afterwards and tell you how many fantastic contacts they’ve made?
It makes me feel like all the hard work that I had done was worth it.
Real people are actually benefiting from my work!
Despite being connected through online social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, various studies have shown that networking remains the second most important reason why people attend business events.
What this means is that conference organizers who can consistently provide an exceptional networking experience at their events, have an edge over their competitors.
And with the conference and meetings industry heating up, the quality of the networking opportunities you create for your attendees will only continue to become more important.
Organizing a great conference is not just about having the best speakers or having the best venue. A lot of the value comes from the people you meet, and using an app is a great way to heighten this networking experience.
Here are seven powerful benefits of providing a networking app at your conference:
1) Attendees can see who is attending
The way networking 1.0 worked was that people went to events and hoped to meet the right people.
The way networking 2.0 now works is that people can sign up to your event before it happens, see who is attending and plan meetings ahead of time.
Which one do you think your customers’ prefer?
Even if people don’t check who is coming before the event, the fact that they can browse through attendees by just using an app on their smartphone is very handy.
An app like this also helps attendees break the ice, as they can use the app to find common points of interest and approach other attendees with more confidence.
2) Attendees can check their compatibility
Although networking 2.0 is great, networking 3.0 is even better!
Networking 3.0 is all about having an intelligent system that actually recommends to you who you should network with, based on your interests, seniority, past networking choices and more.
This technology is now possible due to recent advancements in artificial intelligence technology. Scheduit is a leading networking app in this field especially since it is available on both web and mobile (iOS & Android).
Imagine walking into a conference, switching on Scheduit and immediately having a list of compatible people who you know will most probably welcome a conversation with you.
Such a tool was unheard of till just a few years ago but it is now being used in various conferences around the world.
3) Break down communication obstacles for attendees
There is a saying that we like using here at the office:
“Everybody is a hero behind a screen”.
Sometimes, even with background information on other attendees, some people find approaching others they do not know difficult. This is especially true for introverts (like me).
Having a messaging feature on a mobile app can be a life-saver. There’s nothing easier than sending a brief message to the people you want to approach and asking them for five minutes of their time.
The ability to message each other makes networking more efficient and easier, and this enhances the event experience for your customers.
4) Be environmentally friendly
A side benefit of having a networking app is that some of them offer added event specific features.
A common feature is that event planners can make the conference agenda available on the app. Using this feature instead of printing conference programmes has two benefits:
- it is more environmentally-friendly, an increasingly important consideration nowadays.
- you can make significant printing savings, leaving more money in your pocket to invest in making your event stand out.
5) Extend your networking to beyond the actual event
This is a very significant benefit, however to a certain degree it is something unique that only Scheduit provides.
The downside with many event apps is that they become irrelevant the day the conference ends. This is not so with Scheduit.
Apart from being an event app, Scheduit is also a professional social network. This means that after your event has ended, you can still continue to interact with your attendees using Scheduit.
Your attendees won’t want to uninstall the app because they’ll be using it to network not just with people who were at your event, but also with others who weren’t. It’s a social network.
The great thing about this is that in the future, when you’re organizing more conferences, you can use Scheduit as another platform on which to market to your former attendees.
6) Promote your brand on mobile
Mobile is no longer the future. It is the present.
Promoting your event on mobile platforms is now more important than ever before.
#Mobile is no longer the future. It is the present.
— scheduit (@scheduit) January 28, 2016
Your customers are constantly looking at their smartphones and this is why your brand has to start thinking with a mobile mindset.
Here are three easy steps you can follow to help your brand be more mobile-friendly:
- make your event website responsive so that it looks good on mobile devices.
- make your newsletters responsive so that they’re easier to read on mobile devices.
- use a networking mobile app so that you can keep your attendees engaged at your event, even when they’re using their smartphone.
7) Give your event an innovative edge
There is no doubt about it. Event mobile apps are set for major growth in 2016.
With that said, attendees that frequent many events, don’t necessarily expect an event to have a networking app. This gives you the opportunity to stand out in the eyes of your customers.
When prospects see that you are investing to truly provide an exceptional networking experience, they are more likely to attend.
Although networking apps provide so many powerful benefits for event planners, there still remains a few obstacles.
One of the main obstacles is cost.
The good news is that despite offering all the above benefits, Scheduit is free for event planners and attendees. And we don’t interrupt your user experience with advertising.
In the future, we are planning on releasing extra-special premium features that will make your conferences even more memorable. But even then, we’ll still have a free option for those more humble events.