The recipe for planning an annual meeting calls for 1 part tradition, 1 part ingenuity, and many, many parts organization. You build your yearly event on the foundation of what’s worked previously and make changes in response to feedback (internal or external). But no matter how you slice it, the majority of your energy every year goes to complex organizational tasks like:
- Juggling incoming data (contact info, registrations, proposals)
- Booking (venue, catering, room assignments)
- Triaging questions (from members, presenters, reviewers)
- Tracking attendees (event attendance, sessions, schedules)
Fortunately, this is the slice of the meeting-planning-pie where event technology is best positioned to make a meaningful impact. Consider these four event technology solutions as you search for new ways to streamline next year’s annual meeting:
Event Technology Solutions For Annual Meetings
Once upon a time, event apps were a luxury at large-scale tech-savvy conferences. No longer. User-friendly platforms like GuideBook and CoreApps have made it possible to build event apps with straightforward drag-and-drop interfaces. Apps can provide enormous value to attendees, organizers, and sponsors alike.
For example, users might use them to view an online agenda—personalized to the sessions they’ve registered to attend—or to review abstracts in an online gallery. There are even networking opportunities, so attendees can build professional relationships that make your meeting even more valuable. According to research done by Guidebook in 2016, 86% of attendees rate an event app as a top 3 factor in how much they enjoy their time at an event.
You should also consider the granular data that apps can feed out for post-meeting analysis. Which sessions were most popular? Which speakers were most viewed? How did the event flow, and where were the bottlenecks?
Facial Recognition Technology
This is an event technology that hasn’t fully matured, but it’s well on its way to the annual meeting market. Already seeing creative uses at concerts and major sporting events, facial recognition can contribute a lot to meeting organization. For instance:
- Check-In: The precision, speed, and security of your check-in process will receive a huge boost when you include facial recognition.
- Behavior Mapping: Consider how this technology can contribute to session tracking, event participation, and more. Big data on audience behavior is critical to improving future meetings.
- Security: Event planners have never been more aware of security concerns than they are today. Facial recognition technology was invented for security reasons and can help you detect trespassers or unusual activity before a problem arises.
Chatbots on Your Website
An automated chatbot on your association’s web page can save you a lot of time by handling FAQs, directing attendees around the meeting, and ultimately reserve your staff’s attention for the most complex or unique issues.
You could also consider using your chatbot for an exit survey, which will reinforce the valuable data your event technology solutions can glean from your meeting.
Conference Management Software
Comprehensive conference management software can dial-up your organization at the same time as you simplify the process. Look for end-to-end event technology solutions that include these features:
- Customizable Form Builder Software: This can do double duty by handling both general registration and submission of session proposals.
- Complete Abstract Management System: From collection, to review, to session building, abstract management can be streamlined and automated.
- Visual Scheduler Application: Drag and drop sessions into an online schedule builder that will later feed out to your event app.
Our OpenWater platform was developed with these features—and many more—to help you plan and organize your annual meeting. If you’re interested, request a demo today and evaluate whether OpenWater has the right event technology solutions for you.