Monthly Archives

February 2016

Extending Engagement Beyond Events: Creating Private Social Communities

By | Blog

Wasn’t it a great feeling to have staged yet another successful event and get the crowd talking about it throughout the day?

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The outcome was everything you wished for. It created a buzz in social media, talked about in radio and was the talk of the town. Kudos! A pat on your back for all the efforts you put in!

But what if we say you deserved more adulation than what you received ? That the recognition wasn’t meant for just a single day!

What if you could sustain that excitement and buzz all year long? What if you could continue that cherished engagement long after the event is over? ‘A wishful thinking!’ you would say, wouldn’t you?

‘No…it’s not!’.

Let’s start from where it all began!!

From the very event…from the very successful event YOU organized!

There was a great zeal among the audience to see, to hear, to network and familiarize. As self-evident as it may seem, networking remains one of the top reasons for people to attend events. Why not build on this desire to engage by giving them a platform that seamlessly bridges their online- offline interactions?

We believe that technology, when used the right way, can complement human interactions and behaviour. We live in a time where smart phones have become our identity. We carry it with us everywhere and stay connected on the go.

In spite of that, users won’t download an app or continue its use if they see no value in it. Therefore technology needs to be complemented with the right kind of content – one that is context aware, relevant and valuable. Social channels provide an open platform for people to express, but may not be the best place to have context relevant conversations within a heterogeneous group. Whatsapp comes close, but the type of content, group limitations, lack of analytics and moderation make it unsuitable as a medium for professional conversations.

If you want your attendees or event community to stay connected and continue the conversations, then consider the following imperatives.

Branding

When your event community wants to stay in touch, they do so under the umbrella of your brand. Therefore having an open forum such as a social channel does not meet the desired objective of having a safe, context relevant communication channel. White labelled mobile apps are a great option.

Content

Content is king. Or queen. It is important to have a variety of content to publish. Don’t just send short announcements. Try blogs. Newsletters. Polls. Surveys. Photos. Videos. Do not settle for less. Opt for content management systems that let you quickly adapt your content across social and mobile channels.

Interactivity

It would indeed be a dull affair if all the content were linear in tone and text. A lecture is the last thing your attendees would hope for in your event. Remember! People like to socialize. They want to hear and be heard. And in between these two acts they relieve their experience. So, choose a solution that lets your community create, share, like and promote content. Turn that passive consumer into a passionate brand ambassador.

Moderation

Yes, we can see that worried twitch in your forehead when you read about the “letting your community create content”. Trust us, in a forum with context relevant content and like-minded people, everyone feels accommodated and accepted. They feel at ease to contribute and share responsibly. That said, you need the flexibility to moderate/ tone down content if a situation arises. So gain access to your content board and stay in control.

Analytics

At any point of time, you need to be aware of the pulse of your community. Who is the most influential user ? Is there anyone who has minimal contribution? Are there people dropping out of the forum ? What are the trending topics of the day/week/month?. A good analytics dashboard helps you react to the trends, and improve on the already great engagement.

Don’t just create an event app – Create a community app. Start today. Explore our year long engagement & multi event solutions.
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Event Tech Every Event Manager Must Know

By | Blog

Imagine you had a magic wand that could tell what your attendees want! A magic wand that could tell your attendees’ behaviour, tastes and preferences ? Wouldn’t you then wave it often to see what their popular spot are or the amount of time they spend in the exhibition halls or many such revelations.

What if we tell you that you already have that magic wand – the smartphone which your attendee has, would you be surprised ? Don’t believe us  – Let’s explore how smartphone can help usher that magic and change the way event managers organize and run events.

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Smartphones come equipped with many sensors. When you have a mobile app that can leverage these sensors, you begin to track a number of actions – movement, proximity, time, interests and much more. This information can be captured real time, and even without the availability of internet. Predicting your audience’s behavior, channelizing their interests and providing unparalleled experiences is what makes events smarter, turning them into a blockbuster. Now add to this Bluetooth Low Energy Sensors such as iBeacons  – you land up creating hyper local “points of interest” within a given location.

The Power of Proximity Targeting

Did you know the average attention span for humans (8 seconds) in 2015 is less than a goldfish ? It’s not that we aren’t capable of paying attention. The reality is in today’s fast paced world of information distribution and creation, it is becoming increasingly difficult for anyone to pay attention to one thing for an extended period of time. Unless, it is relevant to them at that moment and place.

Technology is a huge enabler for this relevance smartly. The smartness of technology is in how you convert your attendee’s attention of 8 seconds with a notification, prodding her to view it in more detail by spending 1 minute, and using that minute to prompt her to take an action that lasts for minutes.

A combination of iBeacons and Geo-Location enabled mobile apps give you the power to target personalized, location specific, content to your attendees. Proximity targeting pins your event location to the target audience, making sure they never lose their way in the floor plans and venue layouts. It can also be used to track attendee movements and create heat maps of different areas of your event space.
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The ability to target location specific content opens up many possibilities. You can use it for something as simple as sending a personalized “Welcome” message or to publish special offers based on interests & actions. Too Boring ? Why not set up something interactive and fun – a treasure hunt for attendees to discover various exhibitors across your venue. Exhibitors and sponsors can benefit from proximity marketing by promoting context relevant content only to attendees in specific sessions or to attendees near their stalls.

The use cases of proximity targeting are myriad and we are just scratching the tip of the iceberg. Drop us a note if you would like to be a part of it.

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Imagine if you can track attendance at exhibitor booths, popular spots at your venue, times at which most attendees visit exhibitor stalls, attendee movement through your venue. You can use this information to not just plan your event venue but also to unlock new revenue streams. Exhibitors and sponsors benefit by promoting product offers to attendees based on their interests, time and proximity.

Real-time insights from event apps can help event managers make informed decisions. Through live surveys and interactive content, event apps can capture attendee feedback on popular speakers and influencers, session ratings and trending topics. Event managers no longer need to be in the dark about event trends or wait until after a few weeks to glean insights about their event.

Summary

Event intelligence and proximity targeting will continue to grow in popularity at events. But an isolated application of Bluetooth beacons or analytics without context is insignificant.The right mix of proximity targeting and context aware intelligence brings the right impact at your events. It helps you in curating engagement that transforms attendees experience into a phenomenon that catapults your events into a blockbuster.

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The story of how we won our first award

By | Blog

Remember the concert where your audience turned up in huge numbers and returned disheartened on learning that the star-artist didn’t show up? Weren’t you irked beyond when you had to run around communicating a last minute venue change at a recent tech conference you organized?

 

To put it into perspective, events result in two polar outcomes- a huge success or a dismal show. As an organizer, being at the receiving end of logistic and organizing bandwagon can escalate into a nightmare. It poses a threat to the very experience an organizer cherishes to create. How does one solve these intangible problem?s Are there key parameters which minimize last-minute uncertainties ? How can organizers enhance attendee engagement ?

It was an observation of these challenges faced by event organizers that set off Mangalam & Pallav, co-founders of AIDAIO, on an exploration into the nitty-gritty of events industry. As Pallav and Mangalam gathered insights from event organizers, speakers, attendees and sponsors, they found a dire need for events to go digital. And an even greater value in nurturing social communities around events. Pallav fondly recollects, “Carrot is an idea born in a conference!”

Managing last minutes changes is an issue that bites every event organizer. Schedules of events are printed weeks before the event. However they are susceptible to alternations, even on the day of the event. It was this pain-point that Carrot addressed in its early days. On its advantage, Pallav remarks, “Carrot apps are powered by AIDAIO’s powerful and flexible backend system.  It allows event managers to customize every bit of detail on the apps anytime, anywhere instantly. With Carrot, event managers gain control to publish content changes real-time and send instant announcements. It doesn’t stop here. You can switch on/off features, change app look and feel, moderate user content, support local language and much more in seconds. It’s the kind of control and agility that can empower every event organizer.”

Further he adds, “In terms of accessibility and adaptability, the platform gives an edge to promote event apps well in advance. Events don’t need to be constrained with app approval timelines with the ability to design and publish an app in ONE hour.”

Our efforts didn’t go unnoticed. In recognition of the innovative technology, product design, flexible solution, of Carrot, AIDAIO was recently shortlisted among the Top 10 Promising Start-ups by CII, at the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Summit in November 2015. This came a few months after being nominated in the Best Event Technology category at MICE Asia Pacific 2015, held at Singapore.

“It’s a milestone we are honored by to have achieved so early in our journey. We owe it to our partners & customers who adopted our solution early. They made us a part of their journeys, and became a part of ours.” said Pallav.

We are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and can’t wait to continue challenging ourselves to produce valuable solutions for the event industry. Thanks to everyone who encouraged us and continue believing in us.

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Redefining Attendee Engagement at Medical Conferences

By | Blog

“What an App. I am overwhelmed. I haven’t witnessed such experience in any state, national or international medical conference. Take a bow”

–  Attendee at KOSCON 2015

KOSCON 2015 – SUCCESS STORY

Karnataka Ophthalmic Society is one of the largest State Societies in India affiliated to the All India Ophthalmological Society. The 34th Annual Conference KOSCON was held at Hubli, Dharwad between 20th and 22nd of November 2015.

Objectives

  • Make KOSCON 2015 interactive and reducing paper to Go Green.
  • Create a digital hub for all event information and engagement.

Go Green – One of a kind, paperless Medical Conferences

Medical conferences print a lot of collateral – paper abstracts, agenda, brochures etc. KOSCON made it their vision this year to elevate the event experience by going paperless, and adopt a digital platform. The KOSCON 2015 mobile app, powered by Carrot, displayed interactive real time content, enabling attendees to engage in two-way interactions.

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interactive-timelineDigital Engagement – Building Private Social Communities

The KOSCON Mobile app was not just a replacement of paper brochures. The app provided many interactive channels for attendees to post their comments, photos, respond to polls, quizzes and much more. Even conference delegates who were not present at the venue could stay tuned to the buzz of the event.

KOSCON attendees embraced the interactive event activity timeline, with the organizing team constantly communicating latest updates, reminders, and photos from across the conference venue. Attendees even used the app to post their questions to speakers and provided their feedback and rating for the sessions.

Injecting Fun in a Professional Conference

Medical conferences typically include discussions, paper presentations, and lectures on serious topics. As such, it becomes very crucial to hold the attendees’ attention span constantly and throughout the event; and the gamification provided by the app enhanced the attendee’s experience and engagement.fun

“The app was very effective in staying connected with the attendees. It seamlessly fed live updates and notifications to the attendees. We could even manage attendee travel needs with live bus schedules and updates”

Dr. Shrinivas, the chair of organising committee for 34th edition of KOSCON

Result

  • 80% Attendees used the app for all event needs
  • 70% Overall Attendee Engagement increased

Download a PDF version of this success story.

About Us

Do you want to know more about how we can help you in delivering a digital and seamless event experience? Visit us at www.aidaio.com. Another way you can reach out to us is to write to us at [email protected]

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Valentine’s Day! Why Event Managers should look forward to this day?

By | Blog

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Everything in this world boils down to one thing – Love. Love of a person, Love of travel, Love of food. This Valentine’s Day we unfold another genre of love that remains unrealized. The unspoken love between an Event Manager and their attendees.

Because we believe that unless there is a personal, “can feel your pulse” connection no amount of elaborate setup, yummy food, dazzling performances or gripping speeches will leave event attendees dreamy eyed. Success of an event should be judged by how attendees reminisce about it long after it’s over – How many memories were created? How many relationships were forged? How many old bonds were strengthened?

So here is our take on how you can gift your attendees the perfect Valentines year.

Woo them personally: Create a buzz around what you have to offer with your personal touch. Give them a personalized unique experience. How? Gone are the days of pamphlets and static websites that just gave out information. Find your attendees ahead of D-day and stay close. And what is closest to your attendees? No prize for guessing the answer – their mobiles. It’s the personal gateway for individual engagement in today’s world.

Entertain: Now that you have their attention don’t lay back.Events are vibrant, creative and lively with conversations and memorable connections. We believe and have experienced that it takes a lot of creative effort to inspire people’s behavior, So why not evoke your creative genius to entertain and engage your attendees until the D-day with groupie photo-contests? Or fun competitive quizzes to the lead up to your event? Have more ideas? We are listening.

Communicate and Commit: Don’t let lack of two-way communication weaken this budding relationship. When you give your attendees a glimpse of the promise you have made, they will have queries, doubts and inputs. In this kind of digital courtship, trust and comfort is set on the grounds of how much they know you and how much you listen to them. Give them real time updates. Solve their real time problems. Time, Place, Internet no barrier. Know more.

Welcome them to your Community:  Your community is where all your attendees are, where your team is and where your invited guest delegates are. You need to make them talk as one single community. We know that this will not only make everyone excited about the D-day, they will also have more take away in the form of friendships, networks and memories.

D-day/V-day/E-day: The day arrives when you beautifully wrap your event and gift it to your attendees. All your hard work will be worth every penny when your attendees are drawn into the magic that you put together. And you will know what they are experiencing, moment-by-moment. You will know what excited them the most, what made them happy and what made them think.

Valentine’s Day is for anyone you deeply care about. Be it your partner, your friends, or in the dazzling world of Events “your attendees”  – the 💗 of every event!

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Why Event Managers don’t adopt Event Apps

By | Blog

When wevent-manager-adoption-imagee launched Carrot – native white-labeled mobile apps for events, we observed that there was a clear absence of in-venue digital engagement. According to a 2013 report by Frost & Sullivan, 80% of event processes continue to be manual.

Mobile Apps seemed to be a good solution to address this. Although most event managers found event apps to be a great differentiator and a value add to the services they provide, they continue to be hesitant about adopting a digital complement for in-venue engagement with their audience.

This blog is an analysis of why event managers hesitate to adopt apps, and some guidelines on how to choose apps that overcome these barriers to adoption.

Some of the reasons we heard from Events Managers:

I already have the event’s website

Most events put up websites with event related information. Event organizers feel that it is redundant to publish the same information in a mobile app too.

Yes, we agree. However, mobile apps go beyond information publishing. It is a tool for engagement, interaction & personalized communication to the attendee. Mobile apps help increase audience engagement by 77%. Below are some snapshots of insights gained from events that were powered by AIDA.

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Would attendees download an app just for my event?

If an app remains a replica of an event brochure or website, it will have a short-lifetime and there will be resistance to download.

Hence, it is critical to find solutions that go beyond a replacement of printed materials. Solutions from AIDA focus on audience engagement and value creation before, during and post the event. The focus of an event app must be to increase interactivity in the audience, and not just informational. The 5 key facets of an app should be Information, Engagement, Networking, Analytics, and Monetization. Attendees will be more inclined to adopt an app that addresses these facets when compared to an app that serves as a mere replacement of a printed materials.

I do not know how to promote an app?

We had put together some tips on how to promote event apps in an earlier blog.  We have observed that when  enough buzz is created around an event, app engagement peaks from a week before the event and continues for up to a week after the event is over. However there is a great potential to capture attendees attention by continuing to engage with them for much longer. AIDA also offers year-long engagement/multi-event apps that allow you to stay tuned to your audience all year long.

Negative Feedback

Event organizers also feel wary about attendees posting comments on the app for fear of a negative buzz. However, we have observed that most delegates are quite prudent when posting comments. Also organizer involvement in the app interactions, helps stay tuned to the buzz that’s happening and react to it sooner, rather than letting things go out of control. In addition, when coupled with a ‘moderator’ facility, organizers can choose to keep a healthy engagement alive on the app.

Isn’t app development & maintenance expensive and who bears the cost?

Many event organizers feel that costs of event apps are high and are unsure if it justifies the return of investment. For starters, the mobile app can reduce printing costs at an event by 7%. But more importantly, the apps create a new channel for revenue and better returns on investment for the organizers and event partners.

Sponsor visibility, sponsored messages, direct connect/facility to exchange business cards with sponsors and exhibitors can create much better ROI for your partners. Attendee engagement, stats on usage of the app, how often attendees connected to a partner through the app, among others provide great insights for organizers and partners and add value from a lead generation/marketing perspective. Always choose apps that provide you these added benefits.

There is no Internet in-venue, the app would be useless

This is definitely an issue with event apps that are just web views.

So it is important to choose mobile apps that can work completely in the offline mode. Event Apps powered by Carrot  need Internet only when first installed. Attendees can continue to use and interact with the app even when offline.

So, if you are an event organizer and are now convinced about why an app is a great idea for events, give us a buzz. But if you are still hesitant about adopting event apps, still give us a buzz. We are curious to learn why and want to see how we can address your concerns.

Drop us an email at [email protected]da.io or leave a comment on our blog.

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12 tips to promote your event apps

By | Blog

Mobile apps have become essential for every event. In an earlier post we highlighted how mobile apps can boost at-venue engagement by over 77%, besides other benefits like last-minute changes, lead generation, attendee communication, marketing and sponsorship opportunities. But for event organizers to realize them it is equally important to promote the app.

More than half of event organizers face a challenge when it comes to promoting their apps. An app promotion strategy is required to trigger organic downloads. Our experience has shown that when at least 50% of your attendees download the app it will show tangible ROI for your event.

App promotion methods are subjective to type of your event. Below are some methods that have worked for us. Feel free to try them out and let us know how it works for you.

  1. App availability before event – Ensure apps are available in stores at least 2 weeks before your event.
  2. Email marketing about the app – Highlight app availability in every email communication – possibly in the signature. Do not forget to send out that big EDM blast about the features in the app !
  3. Signage across digital touchpoints – Promote your apps on website, social handles, partner sites, social campaigns with posts that provide the download link.
  4. Mandatory Staff downloads – Mandate on-site and off-site staff to download and use the. They can be the biggest promoters of the app during sales vists, registration/check-ins, partner signups.
  5. Incentivize attendees – Offer a discount on tickets or a gift-card draw sponsored by your partner to those who download by a specific date.
  6. Pre-event value creation – Using solutions like ours you can provide value for your attendees much before they arrive for the event like Attractions near-by, Speaker blogs/videos, Book transport and accommodations and many more
  7. Initiate In-app conversations – Push key announcements, simple messages, trivia and encourage attendees to respond by liking or commenting on public posts
  8. Reduce printed materials – Eliminating print would be ideal, but it can be a gradual phase out by giving attendees an option to choose print or get all information in-app.
  9. Word-of-mouth – Focus on unique value of an app like photo-sharing, personal schedules, get directions etc., that they can’t get with print. You can run an in-app campaign for co-creation of content.
  10. Speakers, Partners & Exhibitors – Create and show value of the app to them. Their adoption of app will multiply the effect on attendees. Sponsored content is a great way to get your partners interested in the app while creating more revenue for you.
  11. At-venue app signage – Put app details, QR codes on delegate kits,  volunteer t-shirts, posters at key areas – entrance, registration desks.
  12. In-session promotions – Reminding attendees to rate sessions or post questions will encourage app usage and downloads during the event.

Do not just focus on creating an event app – focus on creating the experience around your event app. We would love to hear your app promotion stories and challenges. Do share them with us.

Drop us an email to [email protected]

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Mobile First Engagement for Your Next Event

By | Blog

Today mobile phones are a 24×7 engagement channel. According to a study in 2013 by Frost & Sullivan, mobile apps increase attendee engagement by 33%. So why stop at using mobile as just an information and communication channel. It goes without sacarrot-engageying, before an event your goal is to drive attendance, but do not Attendee Engagement forget your attendees once they get there ! Leverage the mobility of your attendees to connect and engage your event’s physical and digital ecosystem.

The critical aspect of engagement is to understand your audience before choosing the type of content and tools. The right combination creates a an active, productive & thrilled audience. In addition makes your event an unforgettable one that will keep attendees coming back for years to come.

A mobile event app is a great tool to trigger engagement. It can make attendees feel involved to start sharing their thoughts, ideas and experiences of your event. Here are our favorite features from our event apps we have used to increase engagement by over 50% across concerts, conferences, workshops, corporate annual meet and exhibitions.

Activity Feed

Engage1An activity or news feed is the heart of your mobile app. It should curate and centralize everything that is going on at your event. It should be the launch pad for attendees to engage with other features in the event app. A buzzing activity feed creates an active channel for organizers to promote relevant information to the attendees. And attendees to post their content – comments, photos, opinions and much more. You can create a buzz about your event, long before your event has begun.

Contextual Announcements

Push notifications allow you to send messages that pop up on on an attendee’s mobile device. Sending a notification is only half the job – it is important to have a notification strategy to make these messages specific, relevant and timely. We leverage latest mobile technology to transform text notifications be actionable and include images. Push notifications can further be made impactful by using attendee location (GPS) and proximity (via Bluetooth beacons). For example, you can send out travel information for attendees a day prior to the event and auto-check-in & welcome attendees when they arrive at event venue.

Photos & Videos

save1Pictures and videos are worth thousands of words – and people love clicking them. While attendees can share their photos within the event app, you can enhance their experience by using digital photo walls like Hashout. You can project LIVE moderated crowdsourced photos and videos, from your event app and your social feeds, on jumbotrons.

Mobile Contests

Gamify your eQED8GG50PUvent engagement by rewarding attendees for simple but valuable actions like providing feedback, ratings, re-tweets, profile updates or RSVP. In addition, you can create spontaneous contests like  selfie contests, brand props contests or polls, quizzes and much more. Such engagement ensures attendees connect with your brand message long after the event is over. It can be even more rewarding if you can rope in your sponsors and exhibitors to giveaway goodies for the live contests and polls.

Rich Profiles

blog rich profileIn almost all your events, attendees are looking to connect with – brand (speaker, sponsor), vendors (exhibitors) or each other. Use your mobile app to facilitate such connections with rich profiles. Rich profiles should include social handles, business contact details, marketing collateral, videos and much more. In return you show high ROI to your attendees, exhibitors and sponsors by capturing connects within the app. Empower your attendees to tell their own brand story –  Of Course keeping privacy in mind !

Smartphones owned by your attendees continue to get smarter and more personalized. So do not miss out on smart & innovative features in your event mobile app. We would love to hear your take on it and what else can we do to re-invent event engagement. Meanwhile, stay tuned for updates to know how to make your next event smarter, captivating and engaging.

What are you waiting for ? Recreate Magic At your Events with Carrot

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