If you are a meeting planner, the thought of introducing technology into your conference environment might be a scary one for a variety of reasons. But the truth of the matter is, event technology has real benefits per 2013 research from Frost & Sullivan.
When 14,000 industry participants were polled, they felt that event technology can:
- Increase engagement by 33%
- Increase productivity by 27%
- Increase attendance by 20%
- Decrease group booking costs by 15%
- Increase sponsorship sales by 13% and
- Decrease printing costs by 7%
However, to make a smooth transition from a paper to a paperless solution, requires awareness of all that technology can offer. Below are the four things that scare attendees (and event planners) the most when it comes to technology solutions and what you can do about them.
Common Complaints about Technology
“It is too hard to use.”
If you are asking attendees to use a variety of apps on iPad rentals, make certain the entire package is easy to use. When each attendee checks into your meeting, provide them with a technology mentor that will give a 10-minute overview of the apps. Ideally, you want a technology solution that is intuitive, especially for a user who has limited exposure to mobile devices.
“This has too many bells and whistles.”
One thing you don’t want is an app that is an overkill for the conference. If the app or group of apps has options you end up not using, the attendee may be left wondering if technology was really improving the process.
Be wary of software houses that try and sell you a high priced, inclusive product. Bottom line: buy only the functionality you need for your event.
“The old way was just fine, why do I need to change?”
What they are saying is “I don’t see how this technology is meeting my needs any better.” Be sure you don’t implement technology for the sake of technology. Have a plan that not only shows them how easy it is to use but also shows how it will benefit them as an attendee.
One example is in the area of feedback forms. The old way was to use paper surveys that attendees filled out at the end of the conference. The likelihood of completion was less than 10 percent. However, with a real-time app on a smartphone or tablet rental, feedback can be collected and addressed on the spot. Research states that response rate on a mobile app is greater than 90 percent.
Tell attendees the value of technology before and during the conference. Don’t let them draw their own conclusions. Have mentors available for the frustrated few. Provide on-site techs if things do go awry.
“You aren’t using it.”
If you and your staff haven’t bothered to learn the technology and/or attendees see you constantly pulling out a binder, there will be a real disconnect for attendees. Since you selected the technology, it is important that everyone on your staff (including yourself) understand it and use it on a regular basis. Set an example and show them the way.
Technology doesn’t have to be scary, annoying or frustrating for attendees. It can provide informative and engaging content. It can be a valuable resource for attendees and one they will appreciate having. However, you need to address before your meeting the following:
- What benefits will attendees gain from this technological solution?
- Is it beneficial for them, you or both of you?
- Is training required? Who will train individuals on this app?
Once this is all sorted out, find the right set of apps and event technology for your group needs. Because remember, the right technology solution will most certainly pay off!
Rentacomputer.com Can Help
We offer unmatched levels of customer support and will gladly work with you through every phase of your meeting planning process. We make sure you have the best equipment for your event. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, text 908-485-7368 or call 800-736-8772 and we will get right back to you!
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