What is the difference between a forgettable event and an event worth remembering? We believe that the power of personalization at events delivers more value to attendees than any other aspect.
Personalization and customization are concepts becoming increasingly relevant in today’s society with personal data readily available and consumers expecting tailored products, services and experiences. As such, we are starting to see an evolution from the traditional methods of personalization in events to more modern activities incorporating the latest developments in technology. If you’re looking for a way to add value and deliver an exceptional event experience to your guests, here’s our guide to the five Ps of personalization at events.
Personalizing your guests’ experience begins with the very first interaction they have with your event. Concierge-style chat bots can be integrated into your event website, app or even Facebook page – making them a first point of contact.
They utilize Artificial Intelligence (AI) and offer round-the-clock support for any event related questions, acting as a personal assistant for each of your guests. Your chat bot should be programmed with the entire event database including session times and venues, and be given a personality to match the vibe of your event. For example, a corporate seminar or conference should involve a chat bot with a professional vocabulary, whereas a more casual expo or themed event should develop a bubbly chat bot that represents the style of the event. Keep in mind that AI technology learns through human interactions, so always monitor your chat bot and pre-empt any inappropriate questions it may be asked.
One of the most commonly asked questions directed at event managers is “How do I increase the participation of guests at my event?” Guest participation levels are a large factor in determining the success of any event, and add to the personalization attendees experience. Technology has proven to be a significant driver of guest interaction and participation, and can be integrated in many different ways. Social media walls, hash tags and live polling are three ways that encourage guests to share their personal opinions, photos and ask questions via their smart device. By using an online presence, guests feel more comfortable sharing their opinions with others, plus it eliminates the awkward silence in the room when waiting for the microphone runner to sprint to the back row of the auditorium. More advanced technology concepts such as wearable technology and virtual reality provide a novelty appeal to guests, increasing participation levels and allowing guests to have personal experiences with different products or brands.
Sending your guests push notifications when a seminar or activity is happening at your event can provide great assistance in encouraging attendance and tailoring the attendee experience. By finding out your guests’ particular interests, you can personalize the type of sessions you notify them of, and be proactive in your delivery. For example, if a guest has previously shown an interest towards a special guest or keynote speaker, you can automate a push notification to be sent to their personal device 30 minutes before their session starts. This can be achieved through a customized event app or simply communication software such as email or SMS marketing.
Personalized post-event follow-up communications drive personalization right through to the very end of your event timeline. They remind your guests of the sessions, activities, people and products at your event and ask for valuable feedback that may help you in planning future events. Post-event follow-ups can also be used as a ‘soft sell’ approach to push any products/services you had on display at the event, which can be useful for any contacts that didn’t attend on the day or for those who would like additional information. Furthermore, follow-ups are a great opportunity to nurture relationships with prospects and clients, especially those that are new. It’s important to initiate follow-up communications while the event is still relevant to guests, and so by planning in advance and setting up automation, the relevant communication is sent to the right people at the right time, whether they attended on the day or not.
Though this article highlights the importance of personalization, the extent of this should be implemented in moderation. With software companies sourcing and selling information about our personal lives and everyday habits, many people feel violated when companies know too much about them. In this case, event managers should be cautious not to over-personalize at events, as this may have a negative effect on your guests’ experience.
If you would like to know more about personalizing your guests’ experience to drive greater results from your event, get in touch with our team of event travel management experts: