How can I select the best app of 2013 for my event?

Everybody is talking about them. Everybody wants one. But many people struggle with how to choose the right one. We are talking about mobile event apps: an unstoppable hype of the event industry. On 16 May, the Event Manager Blog launched The Event App Bible: an impressive attempt to bring some clarity into the general confusion concerning event apps. The free eBook offers a great overview of the many possibilities out there, however without making an explicit recommendation for the best event app. We like to help you with that selection: we analysed all apps listed in The Event App Bible and chose our personal favourite.

06 How to select Best Event app 2013 How can I select the best app of 2013 for my event? by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)What should a good event app be?

In order to be of value to your event or conference, an event app should ‘mean’ the following to you:

  • The app should make our event experience more intensive by providing functions that cannot be replaced by non-tech solutions. That means the app should provide functionalities that simplify a user’s ‘event-experiencing-process’.

  • The app should create additional value by extending the lifetime of the event beyond the boundaries of the physical event. It should stimulate (potential) attendees to engage before and after the event.

  • The perfect event appp should benefit everyone involved: participants, sponsors and the event organizer.

What 7 features should my event app have?

Page 23 of the Event App Bible lists a myriad features and functions of event apps. Unfortunately most of them are not necessary or even useless for your event. What should a good event app in our opinion at least be able to do?

1. Easy to sign up and manage Registrations

This is the first step at any event or conference and, if badly organized, it can be messy and time-consuming. An app that let’s you register in a few clicks and helps the organizer to manage the registration process efficiently is very valuable.

2. Create a Personalized agenda

Most conferences offer a full programme. Give your attendees the ability to choose the sessions they are interested in and establish their personal conference agenda. The organizer receives valuable information about which session are going to be popular.

3. Exchange contact details through Badge Scanning

Networking is often at least one of the objectives of a conference or event. Now, what happens with all the collected business cards when you return to the office? A scanning function or another badging feature is useful to exchange networking information super efficiently.

4. Ability to Work offline

Ever been to a conference or event with poor WiFi access? Fill this one in for yourself …

5. Attendee networking & messaging

A good event app should help your visitors to detect other interesting people in the venue and to get in contact with them. It would even get better when it helps your attendees to stay in contact after the event.

6. Audience response system to increase interactivity

An app function that facilitates audience participation during the sessions adds value to your conference. Therefore it should enable attendees to send questions and comments to the stage.

7. Intuitive Design

Chances are big that stakeholders will user your app for the first time. So the learning curve should be smooth and easy. Good design makes an app not only more friendly to the eye but also more fun and easy to use.

Our nomination for the best event app of 2013

Mobiel Event App Double Dutch MSUK branding 180x300 How can I select the best app of 2013 for my event? by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)If we apply our list of essential functionalities to page 23 of the Event App Bible, only a few apps survive: Connectspan, DoubleDutch, NoodleLive and Spotme. If we then take a look at interface design, Double Dutch comes out as most promising to us. The app possesses all necessary functions which add extra value to an event. The modern interface is user-friendly and stimulates social interaction.

This week you get a chance to ‘test drive’ the app at the Meetings Show UK in London. Choose your operating system and download the #MSUK event app right here.

What do you think?

Which features should a good event app have in your opinion? Do you have experience with event apps? Which one would you recommend?

Please share your experiences with us!

Spread the word: how can Social Media increase the reach of my event?

Many event planners search for new ideas to reach more attendees. Social Media can help you to extend your reach beyond the boundaries of the physical event, meeting, trade show or conference. In this post I would like to share some tactics to make this work for you.

Create an experience ‘worth sharing’

The easiest way to achieve massive exposure is to let your participants promote your event. But how? Thanks to the rise of Social Media and mobile phones, we now all have the option to share special experiences instantly with our colleagues, friends and family. If you manage to create such a remarkable experience at your event, you can get the word out to the social network of each participant, which on average contains 300-400 people.

pope2013 Spread the word: how can Social Media increase the reach of my event? by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

Go for visuals

Which updates make good shareable content for Social Media? In times where everyone starts to suffer from ‘information overload’, we only quickly scan our news feeds for interesting stuff. How can you win the battle for follower’s attention? Simple: funny, eye-catching pictures. We capture images faster than text, thus if you want to be seen, you should put your energy in clever visuals.

Find your ‘Mickey Mouse’

Mickey Mouse Spread the word: how can Social Media increase the reach of my event? by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)So how can you create a situation where an attendee grabs his cell phone to take a picture and share it with his friends? Learn from others. When you go to Disneyland, what would be your personal highlight? Right, you want to be on a photo with Mickey Mouse. The Disneyland mascot is so popular and well-known, that the picture itself has more marketing power than any written information. But you don’t necessarily need a popular mascot for the photo moment. The most important aspect is that you create a special situation, that is unique for your meeting or event and which places your attendee in the spotlights.

Leave the sharing to them

Of course you could place photoboxes, green screens or other fancy stuff for cool pictures. However, the great disadvantage of such tools is that you somehow have to manage how your attendee will receive and share the picture. Most shares occur instantly and are quickly forgotten after the ‘magic moment’  has passed. Thus, activate and facilitate the use of own cell phones and cameras, so that your attendee can share his picture immediately. Extra advantage: you don’t have to figure on which social platform (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc) you have to place the photos to maximize the reach. They will take care of that themselves, by automatically sharing the picture on the network where most of their audience is!

Sharing with attendees cameras Spread the word: how can Social Media increase the reach of my event? by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)And now what?

We hope you like our approach as described above. Interested in being able to do this yourself? Take a look at our Training Social Media for the Events Industry (in Dutch only)!

Social Media for events: interview with Eventplanner.TV

Check out this highly engaging episode of Eventplanner.TV about Social Media for events. Watch untill the end, where Gerrit shares Donald’s concept of “Some to Some” communication for the first time.

Description:

Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, … Everybody is talking about it, but how many event organizers actually succeed in using social media? How many of them make money with it? Gerrit Heijkoop knows all the secrets of using social media successfully for your event.

How Can I Be Social – A Social Media Checklist for your next conference or event at #EMEC13, Montreux

Gerrit Heijkoop and Donald Roos will take you on a journey that will grow your confidence in how to approach new social technologies when organizing your next meeting or event.

View in external player (Silverlight): http://bit.ly/HCIBSEmec13

07 How Can I Be Social   A Social Media Checklist for your next conference or event at #EMEC13, Montreux by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

You can see and download the slides of this session right here:

HCIBS on air: the power of mobile studios

In May 2012 Gerrit Heijkoop visited IMEX Frankfurt as part of the IMEX Social Team. Together with Ruud Janssen he explores how events and conferences can benefit from mobile studios.

Your questions and comments are welcome!

Watch full length video at: http://vimeo.com/42823708

TRANSSCRIPT

Ruud Janssen: So tell us because from the cameras, our viewers see quite a bit of what’s going on here, but where are we and what’s surrounding us that they don’t see because…

Gerrit Heijkoop: Yeah.

Ruud: That’s what they’re missing not being live, right?
Gerrit: Exactly. Exactly. Because you always see this very nice backdrop.
Ruud: Yeah.
Gerrit: And we must say, if you watch these videos a lot, you might have seen me and Ruud in this video shops a lot because we really like this video booth. This is a really…
Ruud: Ah so now we get the high angle…
Gerrit: Oh we get the…
Ruud: The apparatus.
Gerrit: As you can see, we are in the middle of the show floor in this nice little mobile studio supported by Abbit Meeting Support.
Ruud: And you’re taking a pan actually from the left hand side of the room all the way to your right hand side.
Gerrit: This is to our right side.
Ruud: And so you get to see what’s happening in the alleys and you see the buzz, right?
Gerrit: Yeah. Yeah.
Ruud: It’s like a bird’s eye view of the show.
Gerrit: Yeah. And the fun thing is if we now take this back to our audience, you’re now sitting at your laptop, at your office, at home, anywhere, looking at these guys sitting in the middle of a show floor.
Ruud: Yeah.
Gerrit: And what I like is, we all know that this content…you need to get…to capture content at the event, right? And this is such a nice moveable, ready to go setup to capture…I mean, now it’s us in here, which can be relevant or not, you decide. Like it, share it, if you do, but this can be your speakers.
Ruud: Yeah.
Gerrit: This can be your association opinion leaders, just making quick interviews, shareable, great content.
Ruud: So we’ve got 20/30 square meters, we’ve got…
Gerrit: Not even…
Ruud: Technicians…
Gerrit: Yeah, yeah.
Ruud: …that are streaming out the technology. We’ve got some lighting, but it provides a moment in the spotlight for those that you want to highlight at your events, right.
Gerrit: Exactly.
Ruud: Yeah. Allows you sponsorship to work with you. I think the format in itself has become almost now a point of meeting for a lot of people.
Gerrit: Yeah.
Ruud: At the tradeshow floor, right.
Gerrit: See you at the mobile studio, yeah.
Ruud: See you at the mobile studio.
Gerrit: Yeah, yeah.
Ruud: People may set up appointments, have conversations, sense what’s new, and this is the buzz corner to capture that and bottle it, correct?
Gerrit: Yeah, and this content will go online and be the buzz for the next event or for Fresh or for whatever we would be talking about. Yeah.
Ruud: Cool.

END OF TRANSSCRIPT

Thank you for watching: Sharing is caring!
Let us know what you think via Twitter
http://twitter.com/ruudwjanssen – Ruud Janssen
http://twitter.com/gheijkoop – Gerrit Heijkoop

http://twitter.com/HCIBS – How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

or join the conversation on Facebook: http://facebook.com/hcibs

Want to see more?

more videos from the interview with Ruud Janssen at IMEX Frankfurt?
or
more videos about the use of Social Media at conferences & events?

check http://www.HCIBS.TV

video credits:

production
ABBIT Meeting Support – http://www.abbit.eu

sponsors of video booth
LONDON & Partners
Meetings Review International
Meeting Support Institute

soundtrack
“River Flow” by unknown artist

HCIBS on air: the adoption of Social Media for events and conferences

In May 2012 Gerrit Heijkoop visited IMEX Frankfurt as part of the IMEX Social Team. In this conversation with Ruud Janssen he explains how Social Media are becoming an integral part of events and conferences and why you should start on Twitter now.

Your questions and comments are welcome!

Watch full length video at: http://vimeo.com/42823708

TRANSSCRIPT:
Ruud Janssen: What level of patience do meeting and event organizers need to have when they strategize that this is an important component of their communication? How much time should they give it in the user adoption of their group, for it to actually come to a purposeful business investment, backslash that the community starts getting built? How much time does that take, do you think?

Gerrit Heijkoop: I would say as a rule of thumb at least three rounds of your event or cycle. If you have an annual event, that’s three years. If you have a biannual, that’s six years, but you could do little stuff in between to improve that. If you have a monthly event it could be three months. It starts with what I call top management commitment, so as an organizer and as the executive level of an organizing committee or association, really standing behind this and adapting this and saying we are going to do this, we believe in this and we’ll lead the way.

Even while it’s only 5, or 10, or 15% of our audience participating. That could be like 10 tweets. You feel like, “Oh my God, is this paying off ever?” Now if you come to the second cycle, you obviously have the first 10 or 15 people who did it last time, and you have built up some evidence.

You have hopefully collected some cases, some nice stories about what happened last time. For example, for me personally, I was traveling here by train, I was tweeting in the train, obviously, to Roel Frissen, who was going by plane. We had a thing like, “Let’s race, who’s here earlier? Plane or train?”

Janssen: It’s like a Top Gear show or something, right?

Heijkoop: Exactly. It was like that. Then, two ladies who were in the train as well picked up, because they were both following us. We were like, “Oh you’re in the train as well. Let’s do a tweetup.” So we had this spontaneous tweet up in the train, in the bistro, I had a nice cup of coffee, and that worked out really well. I can’t tell you the end of the story yet, and I can’t tell you, well, I made so much business out of that, but these are the little seeds that make it grow. To go back to the cycle for the event organizer, so next event, you start celebrating the stuff that happened at the first event and that will make more people will catch on.

You need to grow that critical mass, and let’s be honest at this time the social media add ups are still a minority. It’s anywhere between 10 and 40% of your audience. That’s a minority

Janssen: But is the minority the movers and shakers, and those that are the innovators? Or is it the minority that’s just addicted to gadgets, technology and trying anything that’s new?

Heijkoop: Well, if you look at that curve, and obviously we all know the adoption curve is an S curve. Let’s say it took about five years to get to this either 10 or 30%. It’s not going to take another five years to gain the next 30. We all feel it.

Janssen: So now is the time.

Heijkoop: Now is the time to jump in.

Janssen: It’s not too late?

Heijkoop: It’s not too late at all, but within one or two years you will be at 60%. Then all of a sudden, if you’re not joining the conversation online, you are becoming the minority. You are missing out on stuff.

Janssen: You will be overwhelmed potentially,

END OF TRANSSCRIPT

Thank you for watching: Sharing is caring!
Let us know what you think via Twitter
http://twitter.com/ruudwjanssen – Ruud Janssen
http://twitter.com/gheijkoop – Gerrit Heijkoop

http://twitter.com/HCIBS – How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

or join the conversation on Facebook: http://facebook.com/hcibs

Want to see more?

more videos from the interview with Ruud Janssen at IMEX Frankfurt?
or
more videos about the use of Social Media at conferences & events?

check http://www.HCIBS.TV

video credits:

production
ABBIT Meeting Support – http://www.abbit.eu

sponsors of video booth
LONDON & Partners
Meetings Review International
Meeting Support Institute

soundtrack
“River Flow” by unknown artist

[NL] Social media op evenementen: interview met Eventbranche.nl op Event12

“Het integreren van social media op evenementen. Eindelijk praktische toepasssingen! Een gesprek met Gerrit Heijkoop van de Social Media Helpdesk.”

Productie credits: Media Centrum Hilversum

HCIBS on air: opportunities and obstacles of hybrid events

In May 2012 Gerrit Heijkoop visited IMEX in Frankfurt as part of the IMEX Social Team. Ruud Janssen interviewed him about inspiring conferences and the evolution of hybrid events.

Your questions and comments are welcome!

Watch full length video at: http://vimeo.com/42823708

TRANSSCRIPT:
Ruud Janssen: What level of patience do meeting and event organizers need to have when they strategize that this is an important component of their communication? How much time should they give it in the user adoption of their group, for it to actually come to a purposeful business investment, backslash that the community starts getting built? How much time does that take, do you think?

Gerrit Heijkoop: I would say as a rule of thumb at least three rounds of your event or cycle. If you have an annual event, that’s three years. If you have a biannual, that’s six years, but you could do little stuff in between to improve that. If you have a monthly event it could be three months. It starts with what I call top management commitment, so as an organizer and as the executive level of an organizing committee or association, really standing behind this and adapting this and saying we are going to do this, we believe in this and we’ll lead the way.

Even while it’s only 5, or 10, or 15% of our audience participating. That could be like 10 tweets. You feel like, “Oh my God, is this paying off ever?” Now if you come to the second cycle, you obviously have the first 10 or 15 people who did it last time, and you have built up some evidence.

You have hopefully collected some cases, some nice stories about what happened last time. For example, for me personally, I was traveling here by train, I was tweeting in the train, obviously, to Roel Frissen, who was going by plane. We had a thing like, “Let’s race, who’s here earlier? Plane or train?”

Janssen: It’s like a Top Gear show or something, right?

Heijkoop: Exactly. It was like that. Then, two ladies who were in the train as well picked up, because they were both following us. We were like, “Oh you’re in the train as well. Let’s do a tweetup.” So we had this spontaneous tweet up in the train, in the bistro, I had a nice cup of coffee, and that worked out really well. I can’t tell you the end of the story yet, and I can’t tell you, well, I made so much business out of that, but these are the little seeds that make it grow. To go back to the cycle for the event organizer, so next event, you start celebrating the stuff that happened at the first event and that will make more people will catch on.

You need to grow that critical mass, and let’s be honest at this time the social media add ups are still a minority. It’s anywhere between 10 and 40% of your audience. That’s a minority

Janssen: But is the minority the movers and shakers, and those that are the innovators? Or is it the minority that’s just addicted to gadgets, technology and trying anything that’s new?

Heijkoop: Well, if you look at that curve, and obviously we all know the adoption curve is an S curve. Let’s say it took about five years to get to this either 10 or 30%. It’s not going to take another five years to gain the next 30. We all feel it.

Janssen: So now is the time.

Heijkoop: Now is the time to jump in.

Janssen: It’s not too late?

Heijkoop: It’s not too late at all, but within one or two years you will be at 60%. Then all of a sudden, if you’re not joining the conversation online, you are becoming the minority. You are missing out on stuff.

Janssen: You will be overwhelmed potentially,

END OF TRANSSCRIPT

Thank you for watching: Sharing is caring!
Let us know what you think via Twitter
http://twitter.com/ruudwjanssen – Ruud Janssen
http://twitter.com/gheijkoop – Gerrit Heijkoop

http://twitter.com/HCIBS – How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

or join the conversation on Facebook: http://facebook.com/hcibs

Want to see more?

more videos from the interview with Ruud Janssen at IMEX Frankfurt?
or
more videos about the use of Social Media at conferences & events?

check http://www.HCIBS.TV

video credits:

production
ABBIT Meeting Support – http://www.abbit.eu

sponsors of video booth
LONDON & Partners
Meetings Review International
Meeting Support Institute

soundtrack
“River Flow” by unknown artist

The power of Social Media for Events at #FRESH12, Copenhagen

Recorded at Fresh12 in Copenhagen, Denmark. For the Meeting Support Institute (MSI) with the kind support from Abbit Meeting Support.

See for more info about this conference (and more video’s with Gerrit!): http://www.thefreshconference.com