How Technology Aids Event Planning and Experience
As we move further into the technological age, there is an increased expectation from consumers to receive digitised experiences, especially in the events industry. Long gone are the days where event planning was a drawn-out process, creating and distributing brochures, waiting to receive physical responses from the target market. Now, everything is instant; the integration of technology has made event planning interactive and efficient, predominantly through the use of mobile apps.
With the new wave of prospective university students being digital natives, it is essential that universities adopt new event planning strategies which are congruent with their customers’ wants and needs. A research paper from University indicates that 95% of international students own a mobile smartphone and have used it to visit university websites to download university apps, view university social media, take a virtual campus tour, and submit a university application. Evidently, technology is changing the way global audiences interact with universities. Here are just a few of the many ways that technology can enrich events and improve event experience.
Virtual Attendance for Global Audiences:
One of the biggest challenges universities face is providing their international students with the same immersive event experience as their home students. Thanks to mobile innovation, tools have been put in place so that international students can be involved with universities’ events in real-time.
Live streaming is a great tool for expanding audience outreach as anybody in any corner of the world can view an event as it takes place. Sites such as Google Hangouts and YouTube are popular communication platforms which can be utilised by universities to stream talks or hold interviews, meaning students never have to miss out. What’s better is, for those who cannot be present at the exact time of an event or would like to re-watch it in the future, they can be saved online, giving the target audience constant access to reliable content.
Personalised Event Experience
Offering prospects a digital alternative can help empower a stronger, more personal connection with the university before the event even begins. The problem with printed guides is everybody gets the same generic information, which can be tedious to sort through. With an event app, users can filter through plans and organise their own event so that the information is relevant to them.
In addition, with an event app, guests can have an up-to-date feed on the itinerary; the burden of dealing with last minute changes is made much easier for universities as they can quickly spread the word online simply by sending a push notification to users’ mobile devices, helping minimise disappointment on the day. Having a mobile app means that universities can use it to stay connected to their students, and they’ll use it to stay connected to their event, promoting a personal connection.
Networking and Brand Awareness:
The power of the internet can help generate buzz around your event, giving universities more exposure internationally. What international students want is a clear visualisation of the atmosphere that the university endorses. Social networking is key to engaging prospective students as it provides them with a window to what other students in their position are saying.
For example, The Viral Impact of Events study found that 77% of respondents said Facebook was the most effective social media tool leading up to events, and 55% named it as most effective afterwards. Organisers can plan events on Facebook so that they can share dates, times, an overview, regular updates and can actively communicate with people through wall posts that anybody can see. Also, followers can see who is interested in or is going to an event, meaning they can engage with other students, making the event experience more exciting.
Twitter is also a fantastic tool in providing real-time updates during an event. By promoting the use of hashtags, universities can categorise all of their attendees online so they can find each other more easily. It also encourages online discussion; if the event is good, attendees will share this via social networks. The more people who see this type of positive reinforcement, the greater chance there is that interest in the university and their events will grow.
Better Insight into Event Satisfaction:
One of the top priorities of event planners is improving the attendees’ experience. Getting personal feedback from attendees allows planners to see what works and what doesn’t work so that they can avoid making the same mistakes next time. Integrating surveys into an app is an efficient way of collecting feedback quickly and is convenient too as attendees can complete it within the app immediately after a session when the information is still fresh in their minds.
Mobile technology is the way forward. Mobile apps offer a functionality that previous methods, such as paper guides or brochures, cannot provide. As Proodle Solutions recognises this, we have developed an intuitive app which encourages networking, highlights event aims and efficiently organises a personal itinerary for the duration of events. We aim to help increase the value of institutions and consolidate a strong, personal relationship with prospective students.
If you would like to know more about how Proodle can digitally influence your international recruitment efforts, email us at [email protected] or give us a call on +447776557159