From the show floor: PANNZ 2014

From the show floor: PANNZ 2014

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1. When utilising an event app for the first time it makes sense to focus on the promotion of a single feature: for the Performing Arts Network of New Zealand (PANNZ) it was the session evaluations.

Promoting the specific feature that is most relevant to your event type keeps your message very clear and simple for delegates. Getting them to download and use the app is the first task. For example, if you ‘evengelise’ a feature such as session evaluations, this incentives people to get the app for that purpose and once they do, they will understand what else they can do and try out other features. The PANNZ team wanted to provide feedback to their presenters during pitch sessions so they communicated this fact at the start of conference — I kicked this off on stage by demonstrating the download and login process. Our system was configured so that any session attendee could send comments to the organiser who made this available to the presenter.

What is the feature within your event app that is most likely to engage your delegates?

2. How you use your event space and where you place your exhibitors within it crucial to the success of the event for many people. 

PANNZ made great use of a small exhibition space built around working desks which were also serving positions for morning teas, lunches and post-event drinks and a great way of guaranteeing foot traffic for exhibitors. All exhibitors also had QR Codes displayed at their booths allowing delegates to favourite them and collect documents and contact details.

How are you guaranteeing traffic to your exhibitors’ booths?

3. The positive effects of going fully digital should not be underestimated. 

There was a specific emphasis on reducing paper at PANNZ this year. They were using an event app for the second time and it was great to see them continuing their commitment to reduce printing by making the programme and most of the communications to delegates in digital format. In point 2, I touched on the Exhibitor uploading documents to the app reducing the need for paper brochures and the submission of electronic session evaluations. The event evaluation forms were the other thing that went digital — these were only available through the app with no paper alternative.

What is your appetite for reducing paper at your events?

4. Networking opportunities don’t need to end with the event — promote post-event networking through your app.

Having our app opens up the possibility for on-going networking between all parties involved with the event for a full year after the event. Collaboration is crucial to people within the performance and arts community in Australasia. Through the use of messaging, contact lists and links within the app PANNZ attendees can now continue to connect with each other, event the ones who’ve returned overseas. It was great to see people who had not used an app before asking for help, then getting enthusiastically stuck in to the networking options.

How will you be promoting continued conversations after your event? 

5. What’s on offer at the venue can make or break contemporary events.

PANNZ had very definite requirements form a venue and went through an intensive selection process to find the best option. The venue in question offered an ideal space for the event. The venue staff, wifi … and coffee … were all top of the line; genuinely accommodating and clearly committed to making the event a memorable experience for everyone involved.

Could you be getting more from your venue supplier? 

“PANNZ was very pleased to be using ShowGizmo again for the market this year, in my opinion an event app is a ‘must-have’ for events these days. Having just returned from a similar event in Australia with no app, it made all the difference. The ability to send updates direct to delegates, including room changes and great functionality like the session evaluations meant more of our attendees were reaching for their devices this year. ShowGizmo is not a gimmick, it is an essential part of your event toolkit.”
Mark Westerby, Producer, PANNZ

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