Key Takeaway #3: Incorporate technology thoughtfully and with a purpose (not just because it’s cool)
Technology is all around us these days, and just because there is an app for pretty much everything, doesn’t necessarily mean you need to use it. The same goes for technology at events. While there is a lot of cool technology out there, it’s important to consider the value it will bring to your event.
Gamification can be a creative way to incorporate technology into your event. At festivals or exhibit halls, providing an app where guests can rack up points based on people they meet or activities they engage with can help promote movement throughout the floor. For associations or organizations that hope to educate attendees, creating a virtual “treasure hunt” where QR codes trigger videos or short text snippets can help lead attendees throughout a space while engaging them with facts and history.
If your event’s purpose is to increase the number of brand ambassadors, engage them in a way that promotes social sharing – perhaps they gain points when they tweet something or can trigger a reaction in a vending machine or on a digital screen by using a certain hashtag. One example provided at Elevate DC was this Havaiana palm tree lot, set up in New York City. Anyone who wanted a free palm tree was required to take a picture with the young men managing the lot and post it to social media to redeem their prize.
Some marketing activations took the standard tweet machine and turned it into something new. For example, this coffee company created a machine that would dispense a cup of coffee to anyone who stood in front of the machine and yawned. Using facial recognition software, the machine could determine what constituted a yawn and react accordingly. This was set up at an airport where tired travelers could enjoy a warm cup of coffee and have their curiosity tickled simultaneously.
Networking apps are another major component of most events. At Elevate DC, we were encouraged to use Wavework. Still unfamiliar with these types of programs, I found myself at a loss as to how to properly use it during the event itself. However, post-event I found it very useful when trying to find people I had met with, read people’s comments or notes on sessions, and remind myself of something that happened.
Overall Takeaway: Leveraging Media
At Linder, we are constantly encouraged to “Leverage Linder.” Each individual at Linder has his or her own passions and interests. We experience different versions of the same event and explore new areas of the industry. As a result, there is a LOT that we see and do. We cross-pollinate these ideas and share new findings regularly through brainstorming sessions and presentations. Elevate DC reinforced the importance of this idea of truly looking at what other people are doing around you and sharing these discoveries.
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