How to use technology during your event

Once all the planning of your event is out of the way, you can start looking forward to the big opening and ensuring all your delegates end up going home satisfied.

But technology still has a big role to play during the event itself, so it's vital you look into what you'll need to have set up at your venue before any attendees start to arrive.

First and foremost - WiFi is an absolute must. Delegates will be expecting to be able to go online from your event and without a good internet connection, it's going to be hard for them to use social media to talk about your event and spread the word even further.

WiFi might also be necessary to access some of the event registration software you have used during the planning stage, so you really need to make sure this is ready for the big day.

Getting your delegates in

If you are expecting a lot of attendees to turn up at your event, you're going to have to ensure they can get in quickly and smoothly with as little as hassle as possible to avoid queues. The last thing you want is to have delegates waiting in a queue to get in, missing out on the start of your event, so having lead capture worked out in advance will get you one step ahead.

Check-in processes can also be improved by using technology such as devices that can read barcodes from mobile phones to ensure entrance into the venue is seamless.

If you want to include people who couldn't make it to your venue, you might also wish to look into webcasting as a cheaper option for interested parties, where they can keep up with all the action without attending. This could then be promoted through your social media channels during the event itself to generate more buzz.

Social media connections

Social media sites such as Twitter can be a fantastic way to get the most out of technology during your event, but you will need to be careful with how you use them.

Twitter walls can be a popular way to display live tweets about your event through the hashtag you have designated, but these have gone wrong in the past when they have been hijacked. If you are considering a Twitter wall at your event, it is probably best to filter through the messages before you allow them to appear, ensuring nothing unpublishable slips through.

Another possible use for Twitter during the event is for delegates to send messages to speakers during their addresses - this can be handy for shy attendees who do not want to shout their questions out and can encourage more participation with the audience.

In the past, many event planners would have asked delegates to turn their phones off once inside the venue, but now social media and other technology plays such a large role in events of all types, you'll probably want to encourage attendees to keep switched on and log in to the WiFi.

There's plenty of reasons why you will want your delegates to stay connected during the course of your event - perhaps most importantly, they can help to promote it to people who may be interested in attending in the future.

Event-specific apps

Even if you have a fantastic website and an interactive social media presence to promote your event, you might benefit from using technology to go one step further.

Having your own event-specific app can be a brilliant way to improve the experience of your attendees, while this is yet another way you can spread your message to your audience.

Many large events are already producing their own apps and this looks set to become even more popular in the coming years, with features such as maps to get around the venue and details on all of the speakers on the schedule.

Even once you've finished the planning stage of the event, there is lots to think about in terms of how technology can help to make it a great success.

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