Pg 14 - push-notificationsEngagement is the Holy Grail for meeting planners. You can see it on attendees’ faces when they truly feel engaged in the conference, whether they are beaming after the keynote, sporting a concentrated expression when poring over an abstract or laughing with a new connection they met at a networking event.

If you see attendees looking at their phones, however… Well, those attendees might actually be engaged, too!

But that’s only true if your association is using a conference app that includes social features that help them participate in your annual meeting more fully.

Here are five features of an engaging conference app:

  1. Social timeline: How do you stop attendees from spending their time on social media while at your conference? Combine the two! A social timeline lets attendees post, comment on each other’s posts and more while keeping the focus on your annual meeting.
  2. Person-to-person messaging: Networking is a critical aspect of your conference, and an app should help foster that. Person-to-person messaging allows attendees to connect with each other without exchanging contact information.
  3. Live polling: Everyone likes to know that their voice is being heard. Ask a multiple-choice question and see the responses roll in. Attendees will enjoy watching the real-time results change as more votes are counted.
  4. Push notifications: Using the App Content Manager, you can send out push notifications to attendees who have downloaded the app and agreed to receive them. Use this tool to announce room changes, give a two-minute warning for the keynote address or let attendees know that the exhibit hall is open for the day.
  5. Association posts to the social timeline: Put your association’s message and point of view in the conversation! Create a profile for the organization and post updates, reminders and news on the timeline.

Engaging attendees is half the battle. We live in a world rife with distractions; holding someone’s attention—much less achieving the loftier goal of engagement—is more challenging than it used to be. Use as many tools as you have at your disposal, including the mobile devices that your attendees carry with them everywhere.