Using apps for Events

Using Apps for Event and Meeting Planning

If you’re already using (or at least exploring) an app for your events, you’re on the right track. Apps are a great communication tool for your event or meeting attendees. They offer the convenience of having conference agendas, breakout schedules, speaker information, and many other details at their fingertips. But are your meetings interactive and engaging? Consider these questions to discover whether apps have a place at your next meeting or event.

  • What is the format of your meeting?
  • Are they all “sit and get” or do you use interactive or engaging tools?
  • Have you been thinking about adding a crowdsource or interactive polling element, but not sure where to start?

Apps You Need for Event and Meeting Planning

There are so many options when choosing an app for interaction. Apps such as Meetoo, Poll Everywhere, Crowd Compass are among the many options for audience interaction. There are also internet-based services such as Sli.do that do not require your attendees to download an app to participate. Let’s be honest, for some users, it has become monotonous having to download another app and create another login. Special features allow you to customize the look with your own branding, create themes, tailor questions, and integrate those responses into a speaker’s presentation.

Smart Functions for Using Meeting and Event Apps

Most apps and interactive tools are simple to use. When you take the time in advance to plan and set up questions for polling, they can be a seamless addition to your meeting that adds tremendous value.

Polling is a benefit to offer your keynotes to receive questions and input based on their message. It is also a useful and efficient way to submit questions to the moderator of a panel in addition to pre-planned questions. Interaction gives your audience a voice ¬– especially to those who have something to offer but prefer the anonymity that texting a question or comment provides. Many people are not comfortable with speaking in front of a group.

Poll results may be displayed on a screen for attendees to see as part of the presentation, or they can easily be kept confidential. While all poll results are collected for later analysis, sharing the results with the room in real time is interesting for attendees and can be a conversation starter.  The most value offered by a polling app is likely going to be gaining insight and feedback from your attendees while they are in your audience. Let’s face it, people are looking at their phones during meetings anyway, you may as well capture their attention – and have it work to your benefit.

As with any event element, define your goal and have the option you choose be a solution to that goal.

What is the goal?

  • Interaction & Engagement
  • Data collection
  • Feedback & Surveys
  • Questions & Comments for panels or keynotes
  • Fun!

There are a lot of choices – spend some time researching and comparing the features to ensure that you end up with one that fits your needs.

Technical Considerations for Apps

Another big detail is Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi becomes a higher priority and you will want to provide a good wireless internet connection for your meeting to maximize utilization and minimize frustration for your attendees. Work with your venue to order the appropriate amount to cover your attendees. It is important to consider your audience to ensure the industry and demographic will utilize the tool. Providing a device or smartphone option for those attendees who don’t have or don’t want to use their own device is a simple solution for this.

While event app interaction is simple, it is important to share instructions with your users. An important tip to keep in mind is to consider posting the information in multiple places. Try having digital signage or display on screens as attendees are entering the room and use simple instructions to share the event or meeting code. Having this information available throughout the meeting or conference may allow participation from audience members who weren’t at an opening session. Give your audience resources so that they have easy access to join the app interaction at any time.

Use your trusted AV production partner as a resource to see how to incorporate using interactive apps into your program. They can help determine the best size and placement of screens and displays and help operate these additional items to ensure a smooth program.