1. Know your objectives
With so many tools to choose from within the event-technology field, it’s easy to offer too much and overwhelm your customers, stakeholders or delegates. If you understand their objectives from the beginning, you’ll be able to recommend the correct tools. And think about budget before promising too much, as this will inevitably affect what you can do.
2. Pick a venue with good tech infrastructure
Make sure the venue can accommodate all your IT needs. Your budget will increase if you have to build a new network. If you expect people to work on laptops, think about the size of meeting rooms you’ll need as well, and whether the venue has the ability to deliver the set-up you want.
3. Make sure there’s a good internet connection
People working in the technology industry or attending a tech-related event will expect a decent connection. You may need to boost the bandwidth during the session if you’re asking everyone to engage online at the same time. You don’t want the speaker to be embarrassed by the tech not working. Click here for more on boosting Wi-Fi at events.
4. Collect data using RFID technology
Instead of standard clip-and-pin badges, try RFID (radio-frequency identification) badges, if your budget allows. These hi-tech badges enable you to gather rich data on attendees: you can track where people are in the building and work out how many people are attending each session. The technology provides much more insight into the delegate profile than simply saying how many people attended the event. The data you capture will help with content for future events, targeting sales and understanding trends.
5. Don’t waste money on irrelevant tech
Event apps and the like might be fun but don’t guarantee engagement, even among tech-orientated guests. There’s some research to suggest that delegates over the age of 40 are still more likely to prefer old-school approaches, while younger professionals often expect some element of social media at events. Try to take everyone’s preferences into consideration. Regardless of demographic, people still like a human touch – sweets on the registration desk always go down well.
6. Advertise the technology you’re using
If you’re investing in technology for your event, make sure the delegates know about it. If people need to download apps or prepare for the technology beforehand, send out instructions. It’s also a good idea to place information about the Wi-Fi on the registration desks.
7. Use prizes to encourage delegates
Sometimes people need an incentive to use new technology; prizes and rewards go a long way. If you’re looking to engage your audience with new tech, offer a prize draw for participation, with something they will value – such as time with a leading industry professional – as an incentive, rather than something that will end up in the bin.
How we planned the UK’s leading developer conference
The Capita Travel and Events team spent five months preparing the Publicis Blueprint DevWeek in April. Hundreds of experts gathered at the technology conference to hear about the latest industry trends, and share knowledge.