Events are no longer confined to the four walls of the hall. If you apply technology properly at your next conference, seminar, workshop or forum; you might as well have virtual attendees from places far away. In fact, as we press forward, I expect to us to have events where the number of virtual attendees exceeds the number of attendees on ground at the event. Especially niche events without mainstream appeal. Quick examples that come to mind are the annual conferences of various professional bodies.
For years, event organizers have fought technology in event, feeling it is just plain distracting – rather than focus and get full benefits of attending the event, some attendees might just spend the whole time taking photos and tweeting every bit of the event which could be kind of awkward. Yet, as many have come to realize:
- Fighting technology is futile; technology always wins
- Gains of adopting technology is usually greater than the downsides
Whenever I get invited to speak at an event, I don’t tell my audience to switch off their phones, rather I tell them to post live insights from my session on Twitter and tag me in the tweet (I’m @amorebise). It works wonders; in a few minutes, you get many mentions, retweets and your “5 mins of fame” moment begins on Twitter and as a speaker, this has led me to connect with many people in the audience I would not have met otherwise.
No doubt, technology has changed the face of events, making them more interactive, informative and expanding their reach further than ever before. Tech in events is something I will blog about often on this blog.
So, here’s some quick tips you can use for your next event (I will expound more in future posts).
Use Social Media for publicity
Event organizers should not only limit themselves to offline means of publicity, you can also spread word about your event online. You should at the very least create an event page on Facebook, tweet about it on Twitter and create an hashtag. You can also use Email and SMS lists for publicity, a great SMS based tool that is handy and useful for events is OneCrier.
Livestream the event
Events are no longer confined to the four walls of the hall, you can livestream every bit of the event to whoever is interested in participating, regardless of their physical location.
Livestreaming events is easier than you think. All you need is a camera and internet connection. There are lots of livestreaming services on the internet that allows you to livestream your events for free. I use UStream a lot for my video livestreaming and I can easily recommend them.
Use Twitter for attendee feedback
You can receive attendee feedback easily and keep track of conversations going on by using Twitter. You should create an hashtag for your event that you will require attendees of your event to use.
A lot of event organizers go the extra mile of setting up a projector to display such tweets live. Such small gestures go a long way in spicing up your events.