It is not a secret that networking is the reason why most people come to conferences and exhibitions. People choose events where they have more chances to make useful connections.
If you want your event to attract more people and if you want them to leave your event satisfied and happy, then give them a quality networking tool.
Using mobile apps for networking
Networking (social and professional) is using your circle of friends and acquaintances to solve life issues and business problems quickly and efficiently.
Obviously, connecting with some random person at an event will not do much for one’s business. You need to connect with someone like-minded, and for that you need a planned and business-like approach: you need to know what you are after and what questions you want to ask. In a crowd of thousands people, how do you find the 10-15 who are looking exactly for what you are offering? Especially if you have never met them and don’t know what they look like. How do you plan your meetings when everyone has their own daily schedule and, at the same time, makes spontaneous decisions, like joining a spur-of-the-moment discussion here and stopping for a cup of coffee there? This is an impossible task. Or rather, it used to be. Before mobile networking was invented.
For mobile networking, you can use either an app or web services. However, the latter have some serious drawbacks: the user has to be online, the functionality is very limited, you cannot send push notifications, there are no possibilities for branding, and so on. A mobile application does not have all these disadvantages, and has many extra perks.
So... why do I need an event app?
First, never again will you miss an invite to a meeting or a message in the chat. If someone wants to contact you, the application will instantly send you a notification to let you know. In the case of a web service, you would have to spend extra time constantly checking and refreshing the web page.
Second, you can plan your schedule and set up your meetings in advance, a few days before the event. The application will already be live, and your contacts will be more likely to respond. The list of attendees is available at all times, even when you are offline, so you can look through it and decide who you want to meet even when you are on a plane.
Third, if something has gone wrong and you are running late or cannot find the person you are meeting, there is always the chat. Just drop a quick message saying “Sorry, will be there in five” and be assured that you are still going to meet the other person.
Fourth, the reminders. In all the excitement, it is so easy to forget about a meeting. “Blip-blip, you have a meeting with John D. in 10 minutes.” - “Oh shoot, I completely forgot! On my way!” Your phone is always with you, so the mobile app is always here for you.
Fifth, it is so convenient when everything you need is in one place: your personal schedule, selected presentations and events are synced with your meeting schedule. You can look up someone’s photo or personal information at any time.As an organizer, what can I do to improve networking experience at my events?
As an organizer, what can I do to improve networking experience at my events?
You need Networking 2.0: the application will scan social networks to collect information about the person you are interested in and then will provide this information to you when you are scheduling a meeting with that person. This way, you can find out not only their professional interests, but also personal preferences, background, hobbies, etc. So, if you do not have enough time to meet all possible candidates, you can select the most suitable ones and prepare yourself really well for those meetings. Context is really important for a meeting to be productive. And the more information the event organizers manage to collect about the event audience, such as their social media accounts, email addresses, Skype names, etc., the more accurate information and better quality context they will be able to provide to their audience.
In addition to that, event organizers can use the information they have collected about their audience for other purposes, such as effective lead generation, targeted advertising and audience segmentation. But if you are an event organizer, you already know that.
What can I do to increase the number of meetings at my event?
One thing that can help is to know mobile phone numbers of your audience. For example, I want to invite someone to a meeting, but I don’t know if they have the app installed. What do I do? Well, invite them anyway. The right application (of course, we are talking about Eventicous) will use all available data to contact that person and let them know that someone wants to meet them. If their mobile number is in the database, the app will send an SMS to that number.
We have collected some statistics and, as it turns out, even if someone has not installed the app, 64% of meetings scheduled over SMS actually took place. For reminders sent via email, this number is much lower: 21%.
Plus there’s an added bonus: many of those who receive an automated SMS from the system will then go on to install the application and start actively networking themselves (the message will contain a link that you can click to install the app). So mobile numbers are very important.
People come to conferences for networking, and technology removes many hurdles and helps people find common ground. The attendees will leave your event feeling grateful for the time they had and for the new opportunities. And this is exactly what we are striving to achieve.