Ultimately the goal of a virtual event is to have attendees learning and engaging. Your virtual session agenda covers the ‘learning;’ now you need to identify how to really ‘engage’ your attendees.
First, gather all your meeting’s logistical details and then think about where you can capitalize on using a mobile app. Who are the vendors for the conference, how will things run from start to finish, and what are all the different components which make up your virtual meeting? Will, there be:
- Any pre-recorded items or is everything being live-streamed (audio only or audio/video
- A virtual exhibit hall?
- Breaks between virtual sessions?
- A moderator/MC?
- Session handouts?
- Links to session or event surveys/polls/evaluations?
- Continuing education or certifications for attending sessions?
- Alerts or means of communication to provide event updates?
- Any live virtual ceremonies, happy hours, votes, awards?
Now you can assemble your virtual meeting utilizing your mobile app as a focal point. At every step consider how you can maximize your mobile app to engage your users, so they have everything in one place at the tips of their fingers.
Here are some things to think about which will elaborate on what is already included in your virtual meeting:
- Any pre-recorded items or will everything be live-streamed (audio only or audio/video)?
Where and how can you put the URL in your app? Try using the session location field or the session description field for quick linking to the URL.
- Is there a virtual exhibit hall?
How can you put the exhibit hall in your app?
Use an interactive ‘floor map’ so users can ‘jump’ to an Exhibitor.
If the exhibits are being manned, include a way for attendees to connect with the exhibitors and message them in email or chat format.
Host virtual gatherings in small groups of six (or so) for short bursts of time, then ‘shuffle’ and move users to other exhibitors’ virtual tables/rooms.
Will lead retrievals be set up? By including exhibitors in gamification as a QR code with points, it will encourage interaction and booth visits.
- Are there breaks between sessions?
These 15–20-minute breaks are a great opportunity to send alerts, allow for attendees to make connections with each other in forums, and push promos or advertisements.
- Is there a moderator/MC?
A moderator/MC is the spokesperson for your organization during your meeting. Utilizing this resource can be extremely valuable. Having them direct attendees to the app to access specific items will guarantee traffic.
- Do you have session handouts?
Go green and only link to handouts electronically to drive attendees to access these important documents via the app.
- Are you linking to session or event surveys/polls/evaluations?
Using an app, you can get faster and more accurate feedback about this new virtual approach, or collect required data needed for outcome reports or continuing education since it is in their hand and fresh on their minds. Also, award points in your gamification for completed evaluations to inspire more participation.
- Is there a game?
Give points to almost any action you want an attendee to take such as: if an attendee visits your website, downloads a handout, or completes an evaluation, or you can give point values to QR code scanning (from a handout, a session, an exhibitor’s booth, a special event, etc.), or uploading an image to the gallery of themselves participating in one of the live-streamed sessions (use this to boost attendance in a session/event)…the gamification opportunities are endless.
- Do you have continuing education or certifications for attending sessions?
Utilize the app to ‘check-in and out’ of a session for attendance. Within a mobile app, you should be able to show the number of CE credits the session is weighted and show the different credit types.
- Are there alerts or means of communication to provide event updates?
Make sure you are sending a communication to your members about your event through the app. By sending in-app alerts, a push notification will populate on the mobile app encouraging users to open the app. If you’re sending emails out, then copy/paste them into alerts to help train your members to reference the app for information.
Make sure that you send alerts not only before the meeting but after the meeting and during meetings as well. Send alerts to all users who have downloaded the app or send notifications to either just those who are registered or just those who aren’t by setting up a target group to a scheduled alert.
- Are you having any live virtual ceremonies, happy hours, votes, or awards?
Host these types of events using a virtual exhibit hall or small group ‘rooms’ to replicate the feel of sitting at a table. Use the app as the platform to gain access and interact.