Lisa Apolinski is a professional speaker, blogger, and digital strategist. With her company, 3DogWrite.com, she works with event managers to get their message to attendees, particularly through digital channels, on and off the show floor.
A Spin on the Same Old Engagement
I recently was at the Women In Travel conference, which had a focus on networking and connecting in order to promote and learn.
Since the focus of the conference was around the idea of connecting, I was very happily surprised with the spin it took on the traditional way of engaging.
Networking across industry and title, boundaries: This particular organization wanted to reach anyone who works in travel, regardless of whether they are a travel agent, or work with a corporation. The other unique point was that everyone was networking together. There were no boundaries when it came to job title or level of position – everyone had access to everyone else. Tomorrow’s leaders are today’s front line employees (we all have to start somewhere), and each person at the conference was treated as important and impactful. Take away: Having groups or segments can sometimes take away from noteworthy engagement.
Leaving the business card at home: At the event, new technology was used in the way of interactive name badges from SCANTrivia, part of the SCANVenger Hunt suite. Instead of simply exchanging business cards, attendees scanned one another and then had time to ask questions and learn more about the other person. By using mobile technology, it drove engagement in a unique and high-tech way that moved away from traditional methods of networking. Take away: There are a lot of options when it comes to using mobile technology for networking and it pays to investigate.
Getting personal: One more way this conference broke the mold was having trivia questions as part of the SCANTrivia interactive name badges. This was a fun way to ‘break the ice’ and learn something about the other attendee. The attendees also had a great time deciding on the question. It can be difficult to strike up a conversation at a conference – this was an easy way to get the conversation started. Take away: Help make the engagement genuine and easier by injecting some personality and unique topics into the dialogue.
Take a fresh look at how you engage your attendees, and see where you can add in a new spin.
Until recently, the opportunity to have a celebrity attend an event, attach themselves to a name-brand or endorse a certain product or idea was untouchable. The thought of paying a person to promote a product was seen as something only Fortune 500 companies could afford. Social media has changed all that with brands and businesses utilizing celebrity influencers to connect directly with their demographics and increase sales and profits.