1. Event Apps are just one part of the live experience
Event apps are not the be-all and end-all. It’s true! They might replace some elements of your existing event design and they definitely capture data in a way that no programme ever can, but they are fundamentally communications tools. Therefore they must be given their appropriate place in the communications mechanisms you’re using at your event. There’s still a place for raising hands, scribbling notes, talking directly to people (heaven forbid!). Apps should enhance, support and improve the live experience and never interfere with it.
The Internet Party’s Candidate Challenge was all about ensuring that the candidates themselves were accessible and audible, that people could really ‘feel’ what they were standing for, and how passionate they were about the Party. We were really impressed by the team who put on the event, who continually made sure that the live experience dominated, and the app supported.
How are you using your event app to enhance the live experience?
2. Promoting the app as a means of engaging with the event for those that can’t attend, gives it a real purpose.
We’ve blogged before about the need to cement and then promote the one key element that you want people to engage with your event app for. The ‘what’s in it for our event, and therefore what’s in it for you’ feature. There are so many features in event apps that people can be confused as to how it will actually be useful to them, so pick one and promote hard.
The Internet Party made it clear they wanted their whole party membership to engage with the selection process, not just those who could be in the city where it was held. The app was therefore primarily used to rate and evaluate candidates, and was promoted alongside the live stream. Members could log into the stream, and evaluate using the app just as if they were in the room. A hybrid event in action!
How are you extending your event to communities who can’t actually be in the room?
3. Don’t forget the data
The best way to capture real time data – feedback in the heat of the moment from your audience – is to use their mobile devices. They take out their phone, vote, rate or respond and the data is captured instantly. You can display it in real time, and access it later for manipulation and analysis. Now smartphone penetration is so high, there’s no need to hire in specific devices.
The Internet Party event was a highly professional event, run by an organising team that needed to make sure their community’s voice was heard and captured and that there was transparency about the process. They also needed to be flexible in their data capture options as the event design itself was continually evolving in the lead up to the Saturday night spectacular. Eventually a combination of live polls (for real time display of results) and surveys (displayed against speaker profiles) was chosen.
How are you currently capturing data about your event – and what do you do with the knowledge you gain?
4. An app concierge can really take the pressure off
We deliver around 30 events each month in countries all over the world. Sadly we can’t be at all of them (although think of the airpoints!) For most of them indeed, our online support, training, knowledge base and helpdesk are enough to ensure event organisers are well prepared and excited about deploying the app at the live event.
Sometimes though, an app concierge is that extra team mate you need. Our app concierges attend events (often just for the first morning to encourage and inspire people to download and use the app). We take the stage briefly to explain to the audience what you’d like them to do with the app and remain on hand for questions and advice. We can update notifications and content too. We sometimes also take the stage for the keynote presentations and act as a social media concierge – liaising between your online and in-event audiences to bring the social media conversations into the room.
In this instance, our app concierge Kowhai was on hand to ensure that everyone downloaded the app before the main event started, and that the live polls were displaying as they should do behind each candidate as they presented.
Who have you nominated as your app concierge for your upcoming event?
“From an Internet Party perspective, it was important that we select our candidates via a democratic, transparent process that allowed all Internet Party members to have their say. Using the Internet to facilitate this via a live stream of the event with live voting via the ShowGizmo app speaks to the core digital values of the Internet Party and the digital world we live in.”
Andy Pickering, Brand Manager, Internet.org.nz