It’s a social world for meeting planners, that’s for sure!
More and more meetings are deploying attendee apps to encourage social interaction on many levels. It’s a great way to engage attendees and encourage interaction throughout your event.
We’ve also seen how meeting organizers utilize Twitter, Facebook and other platforms to encourage additional interaction for attendees and to share the excitement and buzz of an event with an outside audience.
It’s great to share your event hashtag and encourage attendees to post comments and images from your event.
But, it’s not always suitable or appropriate, especially for events with privacy and security considerations. Also, some attendees may not feel comfortable sharing their presence and comments to the outside world.
What’s your solution?
Private social networks are an ideal way for meeting planners to create a fun and interactive environment for attendees to interact with each other, share images, comments and videos and take part in a truly interactive social experience, within the secure confines of your event.
These networks are growing more common as attendees have expressed their concerns about public exposure of their images and comments. Attendees can be assured that their comments and images are only seen by other attendees at the event, and event organizers are in complete control of the experience at all times.
Organizers can project the real-time feed of comments and images between sessions as well as in public areas of the conference. Another typical feature allows organizers to post advertising from sponsors, run upcoming session announcements as well as other communications on the social feed.
Typically, these private social networks are accessed via an attendee app, allowing attendees to post images, update their profile pictures, comment, tag and like other posts in a fun and relaxed setting.
Some solutions also allow exhibitors to post visitors to their booths and even deploy gamification within the social network experience.
“It’s a fantastic way for organizers to provide a secure and fun social experience for their attendees,” said Alec Sonenthal, Director of Technology for Centium Software. “In our flagship platform, EventsAIR, we deploy a private social experience called EventStream, and our clients (and their attendees) absolutely love using it.”
Mr. Sonenthal noted that the EventStream service can still integrate with external social networks and display public social comments, but attendees really appreciate the privacy they experience with the enclosed EventStream private network.
Mr. Sonenthal also spoke about another innovation found in EventsAIR. The EventStream tool can automatically create a post-conference recap video that displays a selection of images from the conference. Coupled with musical soundtrack and a thank you message, the video can be captured and shared with attendees as another way to encourage future attendance and interaction.
Another important consideration is security and management. Many meeting organizers wish to maintain a level of review and approval for these private social networks, and many do offer the ability to moderate, edit and remove any inappropriate postings before they are displayed.
In the big picture, however, a private social network is just one piece of your overall attendee engagement plan. Attendees still enjoy the ability to message other attendees as well as speakers, exhibitors and sponsors.
Also, organizers often depend on the attendee app to provide secure communications, alerts and news updates with their attendees.
At the end of the day, your attendees’ involvement and engagement at your event can often make the difference in their overall positive experience.
Happy and satisfied attendees is what we are all striving for!