meetingtech1Technology is continuing to be integrated into meetings and events not only for convenience and efficiency but also because attendees, sponsors and exhibitors are demanding it.

While it can seem overwhelming to fully integrate your next meeting or event with the latest technological tools and social media channels, there are several apps and programs meeting planners can tap into to make connecting nearly seamless. In fact, doing so will increase chatter online about the event, its sponsors, the venue and nearly all aspects of the event — from luncheons to networking sessions and presentations. Additionally, planners will be able to garner real-time feedback about ways to improve the present event or future events.

Here are a few tips and tools that help bolster engagement, improve interactivity and help personalize the overall meeting experience for attendees.

Tried and Tested Tech Ways to Improve Interactivity and Engagement

Mobile Apps Are Winners

Mobile applications such as Speecheo, Evolero and Goombal allow for real-time feedback during presenter sessions (and more). The apps create an online community, allowing each attendee to choose the sessions, sponsors and trade show exhibitors they want to connect with.

Gamification apps like Livecube, SCANVenger Hunt and The Go Game are great ways for attendees to learn more about each other in a fun and productive way or break the ice through scavenger hunts and challenges throughout a conference.

Allow for Second Screens

In addition to using large screens, allow attendees to live-stream each session on their mobile device. Attendees will have their own viewing of the presenter up close and personal. In addition, they can pull in the presentation, take notes and even ask real-time questions via social or text that each presenter can answer on-demand.

In order to live stream to each device, attendees will need an app such as Livestream, UStream or Periscope on their mobile devices. In addition, the meeting requires a strong Wi-Fi connection that is recommended to monitored in order to deliver streams that don’t buffer.

Pulling up the presentation can be as simple as pulling it up from the cloud, utilizing Office 365 or Prezi. Notes can be taken via Evernote and social applications such as Facebook and Twitter are very popular conversational channels with attendees.

Collaborate Via the Cloud

Rather than printing materials or marking up presentations, why not move all conference materials to the cloud? Attendees can all view presentations, Word documents and spreadsheets in a real-time basis and edit or comment on the subject matter.

In addition, there are no worries about losing the data because it is instantly saved, and collaborators can see edits and comments as they happen.

This option can be particularly effective for small meetings and brainstorming sessions.

Use Social Media Differently

There are several ways to improve interactivity with social media, but here are just a few suggestions:

  • Highly publicize the Twitter handle and hashtag for the event.
    Remind them at the start of every session and post signs throughout the venue to encourage attendees to use both when tweeting about the conference. In addition, monitor and encourage Twitter conversations. Give prizes for the most retweeted and interesting tweet of the day and respond in a timely manner to any questions or comments.
  • Host a tweetup.
    This event is particularly useful if your conference is very large. It allows Twitter users to come together to meet in person, and since it is only announced on Twitter, you will be able to garner your key social influencers here.
  • Set up an Instagram booth.
    Having photo stations with Instagram cutouts allows your team to snap pics of attendees having fun and post them on your event’s social channels as well as attendees’ own channels.
  • Record short videos and display responses on a video wall.
    A video wall with relevant, engaging information displayed on it can be a natural gathering place for attendees. Ask questions of random attendees like “Why did you attend this conference?” or “What have you learned so far?” or “What do you enjoy about this hotel?” Use Vine or Instagram and record their six- or 13-second answer. Put several answers on the wall and watch attendees buzz about it.

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