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How Our Booth Games Improve All 5 Steps of the Trade Show Lead Cycle

trade show lead cycle 5 steps

Just as there are 60 minutes to an hour and 4 seasons to a year, there are 5 steps to the trade show lead cycle:

  1. Attract
  2. Capture
  3. Convince
  4. Follow-Up
  5. Report

Every step of the cycle is key to generating leads that turn into sales and profits. That’s why we’ve designed our interactive trade show booth games to help facilitate each step:

1. Attract trade show leads

Attracting trade show leads is certainly the best-appreciated reason for using our trade show booth games. Attendees walk into your booth for the fun, the excitement, the cool-looking branded visuals, the chance to win prizes, and to compete for bragging rights. Our games will help you attract more attendees out of the aisle and into your booth.

2. Capture trade show leads

Once you have attendees in your booth, you want to gather contact and qualifying information about them.  Our games do that in 3 ways.  First, attendees supply very basic contact info (name, email address) and answer a survey question or two to play a game. Second, if you are using our free add-on Lead Manager app, your booth staffers can access attendee lead info started on our booth games, and then add more qualifying info. And third, thanks to our revolutionary enriched data with our Lead Manager app, you get attendee’s social media and company profiles, so you have even more info about your leads.

3. Convince trade show leads

Just because you’ve stopped and identified a lead, it doesn’t mean you’ve convinced them that your company is a potential vendor. This is where our Challenge Bar Trivia Game excels.  While attendees are having fun playing our trivia game, they are actually learning insights and factoids about what makes your company a better choice, or what other products you offer.  You get higher quality leads as a result.

4. Follow up trade show leads

The lead data gathered by our booth games is fully exportable into Excel files that you can then import into your CRM system for both marketing fulfillment and sales follow up.  You can include qualifying questions attendees answer before they play the game that allow you to rate their lead quality and escalate lead follow up activities. Or, by using our Lead Manager app, your booth staffers can send lead fulfillment emails from their smart phones, and attach your digital brochures – while still on the show floor!

5. Report trade show leads

Our SocialPoint creative suite of booth games all integrate with our game platform, which includes a robust set of analytics and real-time dashboards.  You can share these dashboard chart visuals and charts with your management team, or export the lead data to do further analysis before sharing.

From attraction to analytics, you can get extra value all the way through the trade show lead cycle with our interactive booth games.

If you’d like to see more about how you can drive more booth traffic and get more qualified leads with our interactive trade show games, feel free to contact us with questions or to discuss your event with one of SocialPoint’s Digital Strategists. We’ll help you generate excitement, crowds, and leads.

Top 10 SocialPoint Trade Show Game Innovations of 2017

Top 10 SocialPoint Trade Show Game Innovations of 2017

2017 has been a banner year for new and improved trade show games produced by SocialPoint.  We’ve added significant features to all our existing products, and introduced new products that give our clients greater choice and more benefits.

Here are the top 10 innovations in 2017 to our creative suite of interactive trade show games:

1. Timed Trivia Game:

We added the capability to our Challenge Bar Trivia Game to set the total time that attendees get to play.  Usually exhibitors limit attendees to 60 seconds to answer as many questions correctly as they can. This was asked for by clients who wanted to get more attendees through their booth.  Now clients can set up our Trivia game 4 ways: as Timed Trivia, 3 Strikes and Your Out, have attendees compete head to head in our Versus game, or our next innovation:

2. Online Trivia Game:

For a long-time client we made a hybrid Trivia Game that both in-person and online attendees could play at the same time. Over 1,500 attendees played more than 3,500 Trivia games and answered over 55,000 questions!

3. Real-Life Button for Our Virtual Prize Wheel:

A client requested that we allow an attendee to start our Virtual Prize Wheel spinning by hitting a big, real button. We did, and it was a big success.  Attendees love the satisfying feel of mashing that real button, which created excitement and drew even more booth traffic.

4. The Game Guide:

To help exhibitors more quickly understand how to get the full potential value from trade show games, we published 52-page e-book called The Game GuideClick here to get your free copy.

5. Digital Fishbowl:

Our clients asked us for an even easier-to-administer trade show game, so we introduced this fall the Digital Fishbowl.  The fishbowl is a common sight in trade show booths, but with the Digital Fishbowl exhibitors get all the lead data entered for them by attendees, plus a more modern image customizable to their brand.

6. Instant Win Game:

This second new game is also easy for exhibitors and attendees. Instant Win Game players find out if they win the grand prize immediately.  Exhibitors get more booth traffic and an exportable list of leads, including the more qualified leads.

7. Lead Manager App:

Our Lead Manager App was our most important innovation of 2017. This solution allows an exhibitor to push the leads from our interactive trade show games onto their booth staffer’s phones. Booth staffers can further qualify leads with checkbox questions, notes, 1 to 5-star ratings, and even capture a picture of the attendee’s business card.

8. Lead Manager Update:

When we launched the Digital Fishbowl game, we also added significant new features to the Lead Manager app.  First, enhanced data: now exhibitors can get access to attendees’ company profiles and social profiles when attendees provided their email address. And, booth staffers can fulfil leads right from the booth with pre-planned email templates that include the exhibitor’s digital documents.  These new features work with all SocialPoint games.

9. Social Media Wall:

While we already have many cool visual effects in our Social Media Walls, we added new social message frame shapes such as a Polaroid photo, and new image backgrounds, for specific kinds of events.

10. SocialPoint Platform Simplification:

As part of our Partner Program, we improved the SocialPoint platform to make it easier and more process-driven, to allow our Partners to configure their clients’ games by themselves.

This past year we added new products and made significant improvements to our existing products.  As you can see, often our innovations are client-driven.  When we hear enough clients asking for a new feature, we not only create it, we make it available for our future customers, too.

If you’d like to see more about how you can drive more booth traffic and get more qualified leads with our interactive trade show games, feel free to contact us with questions or to discuss your event with one of SocialPoint’s Digital Strategists. We’ll help you generate excitement, crowds, and leads.

Debunking The Myth of 100% Attendee Participation in Events

“I want 100% of the attendees to participate in this activity!”  It’s a phrase that I hear from meeting planners all the time. They are convinced that the attendee engagement experiences won’t work if only 60% of the people do it.   I have an alternative point of view.   First, understand that there really isn’t any single activity that will get 100% attendee participation:  5 attendee engagement activities that never get 100% participation:  1.	Your Audience Poll: Most of you will achieve 60-85%.  The people who don’t participate either are not interested or didn’t get the tech to participate.  2.	Your Scavenger Hunt Game: I recently heard about a game that got 90% participation but most participation rates are much lower.  More like 40%-50%. 3.	Your Trivia Game: I have some clients who get 50-70% of attendees. We do have clients that get more – but that is rarely the case.  4.	Your Social Media Wall: These get about 20-30% participation. The people that are into it are really into it.   5.	Your Mobile Event App: Because it will only be used once, only a small percent of attendees are willing to go to the effort to visit their app store to download, install, and login.  6 attendee behavior types – and how many you have at your events:  Second, I believe that there are different types of attendees that have different types of preferences in your event. Here is a list that we adapted from the book Groundswell years ago. The list has held up pretty well:  1.	Creators  2.	Critiquers 3.	Collectors 4.	Sharers 5.	Joiners 6.	Inactives  These different attendee types have different needs from technology and your audience engagement experiences:  Creators – This is the person that can take a white piece of paper and make something magical out of it. They represent about 10% of your audience.   Critiquers – These are the people that couldn’t do anything with a white piece of paper. However, they are more than willing to write 40 pages of reasons why the creators creation is really bad.  You have them all around you. They represent about 30% of the audience. (In an event – you can use this skill to your advantage.)  Collectors – These are the people that like to collect a set of something. You know they want all the badges, or to get to all of the stations, etc.  These people are about 25% of your audience.   Sharer – These people prefer to share the ideas of others, rather than come up with their own.    Joiners – These people like to join. Sign up for this, that and the other thing.   Inactives – These people don’t want to get involved. They want to try and hide. They represent about 20% of your attendees.   Now the percentages are just rough estimates – some crowds vary in size. In our experience – if you use these numbers as a guide post – you can increase your outcomes.   Knowing that, if only 10% of the audience willing to create videos and other content, you're winning!  Even though almost everyone carries an astounding content-creating tool called a smart phone in their pocket, they won’t all want to use it.  Sure, they'd love to see a picture of themselves with their arm around their friend’s shoulder, but 90% won’t go to the effort to create videos.   You can increase your overall participation rate by giving opportunities and rewards for attendees to behave the way they prefer, whether it’s to create, critique, collect, share, or join.  Also, rather than trying to get maximum involvement within a single session or workshop, instead go for layered engagement.  When designing your meeting, we have different types of activities that appeal to these different audience behavior types.  Sprinkle these different kinds of engagement activities throughout your one day or multiple day event.  Eventually you’ll get a higher percentage of your audience participating, just not all at the same time.  So, you're not going to get every attendee to create, but if you can focus on appealing to these different groups and accepting the percentages won’t reach 100 percent but perhaps 30 or 50 percent, you will succeed.   If you’d like to see how you can create more engaging and interactive content using the wide variety of choices within our SocialPoint Audience Engagement System, feel free to contact us with questions or to discuss your event with one of SocialPoint’s Digital Strategists. We’ll help you generate greater attendee engagement at your events.

“I want 100% of the attendees to participate in this activity!”

It’s a phrase that I hear from meeting planners all the time. They are convinced that the attendee engagement experiences won’t work if only 60% of the people do it.

I have an alternative point of view.

First, understand that there really isn’t any single activity that will get 100% attendee participation:

5 attendee engagement activities that never get 100% participation:

  1. Your Audience Poll: Most of you will achieve 60-85%. The people who don’t participate either are not interested or didn’t get the tech to participate.
  2. Your Scavenger Hunt Game: I recently heard about a game that got 90% participation but most participation rates are much lower. More like 20%-30%.
  3. Your Trivia Game: I have some clients who get 50-70% of attendees. We do have clients that get more – but those are exceptions.
  4. Your Social Media Wall:  The level of participation depends on the audience demographics and the calls to action that the event organizer creates.  Many get about 20-30% participation in a conference or event – without encouraging participation or showing the social screens in large public places. However – the people that are into it are really into it.
  5. Your Mobile Event App: Because it will only be used for a few short days – I have never heard of any event getting 100% of the attendees to download the mobile event app. It’s a huge effort to visit the app store to download, install, and login. I am constantly surprised by the low numbers of usage of these apps.

6 attendee behavior types – and how many you have at your events:

Second, I believe that there are different types of attendees that have different types of preferences in your event. Here is a list that we adapted from the book Groundswell years ago. The list has held up pretty well:

  1. Creators
  2. Critiquers
  3. Collectors
  4. Sharers
  5. Joiners
  6. Inactives

These different attendee types have different needs from technology and your audience engagement experiences:

Creators – This is the person that can take a white piece of paper and make something magical out of it. They represent about 10% of your audience.

Critiquers – These are the people that couldn’t do anything with a white piece of paper. However, they are more than willing to write 40 pages of reasons why the creators creation is really bad.  You have them all around you. They represent about 30% of the audience. (In an event – you can use this skill to your advantage.)

Collectors – These are the people that like to collect a set of something. You know they want all the badges, or to get to all of the stations, etc.  These people are about 25% of your audience.

Sharer – These people prefer to share the ideas of others, rather than come up with their own.

Joiners – These people like to join. Sign up for this, that and the other thing.

Inactives – These people don’t want to get involved. They want to try and hide. They represent about 20% of your attendees.

Now the percentages are just rough estimates – some crowds vary in size. In our experience – if you use these numbers as a guide post – you can increase your outcomes.

Knowing that, if only 10% of the audience willing to create videos and other content, you’re winning!  Even though almost everyone carries an astounding content-creating tool called a smart phone in their pocket, they won’t all want to use it.  Sure, they’d love to see a picture of themselves with their arm around their friend’s shoulder, but 90% won’t go to the effort to create videos.

You can increase your overall participation rate by giving opportunities and rewards for attendees to behave the way they prefer, whether it’s to create, critique, collect, share, or join.

Also, rather than trying to get maximum involvement within a single session or workshop, instead go for layered engagement.  When designing your meeting, we have different types of activities that appeal to these different audience behavior types.  Sprinkle these different kinds of engagement activities throughout your one day or multiple day event.  Eventually you’ll get a higher percentage of your audience participating, just not all at the same time.

So, you’re not going to get every attendee to create, but if you can focus on appealing to these different groups and accepting the percentages won’t reach 100 percent but perhaps 30 or 50 percent, you will succeed.

If you’d like to see how you can create more engaging and interactive content using the wide variety of choices within our SocialPoint Audience Engagement System, feel free to contact us with questions or to discuss your event with one of SocialPoint’s Digital Strategists. We’ll help you generate greater attendee engagement at your events.

Why You Need To Make Time For Audience Engagement

make time for audience engagement

Not including time for audience engagement in your events and presentations might have worked in the past, but today’s audiences have higher expectations of being involved with learning and interacting.  So, you need to make the time!  Just consider how audiences have become more hands-on in reaction to major recent changes:

20 years ago – Internet searches and YouTube videos:

About 20 years ago Amazon.com was created, kind of when the Internet got really popular. Today, when my friends or my brother and I have an argument about who’s the best sports athlete we don’t just guess – we Google search it to see who is right.  And, we Google it on our smart phones. You probably do that, too.  And when I need to fix the dishwasher, rather than call a plumber, I go on YouTube to find videos. You probably do that, too, and so do your audiences. Do-it-yourself videos have changed your attendees’ behavior.

10 years ago – Mobile/Social enables content creation, sharing, collaboration and critiquing:

When the iPhone came out about 10 years ago that really started a social mobile revolution. Now, where I live in Minneapolis Minnesota, over 85% of the people have smartphones! That means 85% of the people are content creators, because the phone in their pocket is a tool for creating content and sharing that content. They don’t need anything else. They have the tools and experience to create content and share or critique it or collaborate with others about it.

Today – More people with advanced education:

In the United States there are more college and master’s degrees per person than ever before. In the last 20 years the number of U.S. master’s degrees has more than doubled.  And the number of college degrees per capita went up over 40 percent.  The number of secondary degrees is the highest ever.  That means your audience is more educated, so you’ve got smart people in the room. With Audience Response Systems (ARS) you have a way to Google them and get them involved in what you’re trying to do, rather than force them to just sit and listen.

If you think that you don’t have time in your program, you better make time! Because your audiences have the tools to figure out what the answers are to their problems and go solve them.  You’re better off using that audience collectively, engaging them to create something greater, instead of just having a speaker and leaving all that brainpower and willingness left fallow.

If you’d like to see how you can create more engaging and interactive content using the wide variety of choices within our SocialPoint Audience Engagement System, feel free to contact us with questions or to discuss your event with one of SocialPoint’s Digital Strategists. We’ll help you generate greater attendee engagement at your events.

5 Ways to Create Audience Participation in Presentations

5 Ways to Create Audience Participation in Presentations

How many presentations have you attended that could have been delivered more effectively as an email?

You know the drill.

The speaker unleashes a tidal wave of PowerPoint slides with graphs and charts going every which way.  It’s hard to pay attention. They rarely ask questions or solicit feedback to involve the audience.  To add insult to injury many speakers will read the slides.

That’s bad. Really bad.

You don’t have to be that person!  Follow the suggestions below to get your audience involved and help them pay attention to you!

1. Schedule audience participation into your presentation

Yes, you need to plan audience interaction in your presentation.  I would recommend 10-20 minutes.

Why?  Because attendees stop paying attention after 10 minutes AND your presentation is probably the third one of the day. They can only take so many graphs and charts.

If you can get them to consider rhetorical questions, participate in small group conversations or ask you questions, then you will win.

2. Help people participate during your presentation

For audience interaction – speakers should inspire the audience to act.

When we looked at the reasons people attend conferences words like Try, Share, Meet and Discuss bubbled up to the top.

Along those same lines the key audience participation words are ask, answer, poll, rank, vote, play, capture, collect, discuss, display, share.  Notice: “sit and listen” are not on the list.

These are the actions that you can inspire your audience to take.

3. Think about attendee engagement as “Googling the audience”

If your audience could answer questions for you as quickly as Google – what would you ask them?  What questions should they be asking themselves?

Here are 10 questions senior leaders should be asking but are afraid to ask.

4. Create a feedback loop

A feedback loop is a way to take all of the small engagement conversations and bring them back to you the speaker. This might be through live polling results, conversation recaps, Q&A, word cloud or some other technique.

For example, sometimes speakers ask the audience to discuss a ___________ that ____________ (example: discuss a leader that inspires you).  Then, attendees form groups of 2-3 and talk for a few minutes. Where does that conversation go afterward? Is the information fed back to the audience? Or do they keep it themselves?  Savvy presenters will ask someone to share these conversations.

5. Consider Live Polling and Interactive Q&A

If you have a large audience, then live Polls and Interactive Q&A would be a great way to get people involved with you.

If your event is not providing an event app, then you may consider an audience response app to scale up your audience participation and attendee engagement. There are several options available and most have a basic interactive Q&A and Live Polling feature.

Also, these audience response apps have live results displays so you can create a feedback loop. Yeah!

If you don’t know how to use the technology read this guide: How to Prepare Your Speakers to Use Audience Response Apps.

The Big Finish

Don’t let your next presentation be a tidal wave of PowerPoint slides. Incorporate 10-20 minutes of audience participation activities into the presentation.   We promise that you will see the results in your post-event feedback forms.

Have an awesome next event!

If you’d like to see more about how you increase audience and attendee engagement in your events and trade show booths with our interactive games and event apps, feel free to contact us with questions or to discuss your event with one of SocialPoint’s Digital Strategists. We’ll help you generate more fun, excitement, and results.

Successful Interactive Trade Show Games In A 10 x 10 Foot Booth

10 x 10 foot trade show booth with trade show games

When you are in a 10 x 10 foot booth space, you have to work even harder to stand out from the crowd.  That’s because there are so many other 10 x 10 foot exhibitors, plus all the other exhibitors are in larger, presumably more attention-getting spaces.

That’s why adding an interactive trade show game to even your smallest booths makes a lot of sense.

Even in a 10 x 10 booth space, your game needs to reflect your brand, engage your target market, and advance your marketing goals.  However, there are specific issues to including an interactive trade show game to your 10 x 10 booth.  Here are those issues, and how to ensure your interactive game is a success:

1. Your budget is smaller

Many of our clients don’t bat an eye at our trade show game prices when they intend to use them in an island exhibit, because they compare our prices to other activities or custom-programmed interactives and see what a bargain we are.  Yet, because you won’t get as many leads from a show with a 10-foot space, and because you likely do so many more shows in 10-foot spaces, there’s a reluctance to invest in a digital game.  If this is the case, ask your potential vendor if they have a pricing structure that rewards you with lower prices when you reuse the game.

Consider that the game is still only a small portion of your overall costs for that event, but can double your results. Most of all, consider ROI – what is the value of each extra trade show lead you get? An interactive game may be a fantastic additional investment if your average sale from a trade show lead is high enough.

2. Your tight display design

Your 10 x 10 booth space is likely already cramped.  So how do you add a game into the design?  Our most successful clients design their exhibit layout and graphics to include both the game’s technology and messaging right from the start.  That means they integrate any flat screen monitors into the backwall or on a kiosk, table, or stand.  Plus, they include bar-height counters for game iPads, and they include graphics messaging such as “Play To Win” or other messages about the game in their exhibit graphics.

And while your space is small, there is another dimension to consider: Some of our clients also divide the front and back of their booth space, and have the game played on a kiosk or table on the aisle.

3. Your likely booth staffers

In your island exhibits you most likely have a diverse team of booth staffers, drawn from multiple areas of your company, such as sales, marketing, management, engineering, and customer service.  Yet in your 10-foot booth shows, while you may have similar kinds of staffers, more likely you will rely on your field sales reps to booth staff.  These staffers are likely less willing to set up a more sophisticated game like our Challenge Bar Trivia.  To ensure success when dependent on field sales reps, easier game implementations like our Digital Fishbowl work best.  These simple games also ensure you get lead data recorded from booth interactions, when the leads might not make it home to your otherwise.

Interactive trade show games can be a huge part of your 10 x 10 foot booth success, because they attract more traffic, boost engagement, and done right, facilitate better and faster lead follow up.  They are a worthy part of your budget, provided you properly integrate them into your display design and choose them well to match the strengths of your booth staff team.

If you’d like to see more about how you can drive more booth traffic and get more qualified leads with our interactive trade show games, feel free to contact us with questions or to discuss your event with one of SocialPoint’s Digital Strategists. We’ll help you generate excitement, crowds, and leads.

Faster Trade Show Lead Follow Up: 6 Tips For Better Results

faster trade show lead follow up

Why should you follow up on your trade show leads fast? Because if you don’t, your chances of winning the sale plummet drastically. According to InsideSales.com, 35–50% of sales go to the vendor that responds to leads first!

That means if you contact your leads second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth or later, you are fighting over 50 to 65% of the pie with all the other potential vendors – except for the first responder!

So, what can you do to ensure you have fast trade show lead follow up?

Fulfill trade show leads fast!

Here are some planning ideas to implement so your trade show leads receive the fulfillment they asked for right after the show:

  1. Using paper (business cards or lead cards) to take leads? Scan those leads at the show site and send a pdf to your data entry team back at the office each day. You can also overnight deliver them, or bring them back with you on the plane. Have a team ready to data enter them, even hiring one or more temps to get them into your database quicker.
  2. If you gathered leads digitally at the show, with the show’s app or another app, export your leads quickly and import that file into your CRM. Our interactive trade show games and our Lead Manager App let you quickly download the leads into an Excel file. You can download them after each day of the show, or when the show is over, right from the cloud, and then import them into your CRM system.
  3. Have your fulfillment letters and packets prepared before you leave for the show, so that doesn’t slow you down after the show. With our recently upgraded Lead Manager App (which comes free with our games), you can even load in your lead fulfillment letters, and have your booth staffers email lead fulfillment (both a letter and digital documents like brochures) from the booth right after talking to each lead.

Get your sales people their trade show leads fast!

  1. Choose qualifying questions on your lead form (digital or paper) that match what your sales reps want to know and what data fields you have in your sales and marketing database. That way your sales reps will be motivated to follow up, and you will get your trade show leads into your database easier. The surveys in our games and the forms in our Lead Manager app are all customizable to capture answers to whatever questions you want to ask prospects.
  2. Qualify your leads at the show based on which are the most valuable, and rank them. Send the best leads to your sales team right away (even from the show floor), then send your intermediate leads out a week or two later, and then send your lowest quality leads last – or just put them into your marketing database to develop until they are ready for a sales person. Our Lead Manager App lets you instantly rank leads from one to 5 stars. And surveys in our games let attendees self-qualify their own level of follow up.
  3. Make sure you know ahead of time who gets which kinds of leads. You don’t want a delay because of territory or vertical market issues preventing you from forwarding hot trade show leads off to the proper sales person.

You’ve invested thousands of dollars on that pile of trade show leads. Keep up the effort to ensure they get their requested info fast, and that your sales team is prepared to call or email them as soon as possible. Challenge yourself to measure and shorten the amount of time that takes. It’s so worth it!

If you’d like to see more about how you can drive more booth traffic and get more qualified leads with our interactive trade show games, or see how our Lead Manager app integrates with our games, feel free to contact us with questions or to discuss your event with one of SocialPoint’s Digital Strategists. We’ll help you generate excitement, crowds, and leads.

How to Prepare Speakers to Use Audience Response Apps for Greater Attendee Engagement

Preparing speakers and presenters to use Audience Response Systems and event technolgy for greater attendee engagement

The greatest advantage of event apps and audience response apps is to give your attendees a voice.

Instead of passing around microphones in a large audience of 1,000 attendees, an event app or audience response app can be used to capture hundreds of questions instantly from curious attendees.

Equally important – activities such as brainstorming can be scaled up to hundreds and thousands of participants with the same rich participation that you get from groups of 8 to 10 people. While these technologies are loaded with capabilities – it’s very likely that most of these technologies will be new to your speakers. This post provides a guide to help you prepare your presenters to use these tools in their presentations and workshops.

To give their event session audiences a voice, more event producers are asking their speakers, facilitators and panel moderators to use interactive technology, such as audience response systems.  But are speakers prepared to use them?

Step 1: Create a case for change

Most speakers gravitate to the PowerPoint lecture-style presentation, because that’s the content delivery format that they know. If they are in a large corporation they are probably used to creating PowerPoint documents that double as informational documents that are shared via email as well as in presentations to small groups.

But in today’s world, event speakers need to do more than just lecture to keep people engaged and connected to their content and ideas.

Research shows that attendees stop paying attention after 10 minutes in the average conference session. And, it’s worse online! Online attendees are 1 click away from doing anything else on the Internet…like watching cat videos. How can you compete with cat videos?

When attendees spend 4-6 hours per day in conference sessions sitting and listening, most attendees are going to be lucky to remember three key messages from a speaker. So all of those detailed slides with secondary messages and supporting arguments will easily be forgotten.

Interactive meeting technologies such as audience response apps and event apps help with retention because they engage your attendees in a conversation. When you ask them a poll question or open-ended question they become participants in a conversation. The more that you can get attendees to participate the more likely they will be to retain the speakers key messages.

Related – What is Audience Engagement?

Step 2: understand how much time you should allocate for attendee engagement

Most speakers plan for a 50 minute presentation and 10 minutes of Q&A. Inevitably they go over time and leave only 2-3 minutes for Q&A. That’s bad.

We recommend that your speakers plan for 20 minutes of interactive time for every 40 minutes of lecture time.

Step 3: Share common attendee engagement tools for creating conversations

Above I mentioned that your speakers are most likely not familiar with all of the tools available to them or how they work. I recommend that you provide them with a list of the audience response system (ARS) capabilities in your event app or audience response app.

Here is a list of the most common conversation tools that you should expect in your audience response app:

  • Live Polls
  • Interactive Q&A
  • Discussion Topics
  • Idea Voting
  • Word clouds
  • Voting
  • Photo Captions

Regardless of your vendor you should have access to most of these conversation tools. Each one will work a little differently and all of them can be used to help your speaker’s achieve their conversation goals.

You may want to share examples of each with your speakers. So they can see how they work.

Related – 10 Ways to Visualize User Generated Content

Related –  Part 2: 10 Ways to Increase Event Attendee Engagement with Interactive Technology

Step 4: Recommend conversation templates that give speakers a roadmap for planning their attendee engagement activities

Here are 10 examples of conversation templates that might help.

Reveal Research: Before showing the results in the room, have the attendee’s answer the same questions to see where they stand. Review the answers after each question.

Pick a Path Case Study: Let attendees make key decisions in a case study presentation and see if they would have been successful. This can be executed with a combination of polling and idea generation. Present attendees with scenarios and let them make a decision about how they would proceed. Then, reveal what happened in the case study. And suggest a best course of action.

Comparison Word Cloud: The goal here is to get attendees to see how language changes from the start of a presentation to the end. Start by getting them to share the first few words that come to mind when they think of a topic. At the end of the presentation, repeat the exercise and see how the word clouds have changed. The second word cloud should reflect the language that you want people to use after they leave the room.

Compare and Contrast: Let attendees discover similarities and differences between two like seemingly similar things. These best way to execute this is through a series of poll questions. Give attendees three options: Option A, Option B or Both. Then through your questions allow them to share their opinions – while the speaker reveals the best answer. This could be used to compare two technology platforms (IOS and Android) or doing business in the US vs South America or comparing two different patient treatment methods.

Evaluate Projects: Let project teams present their project ideas (or results) for the audience to evaluate. Let audience members evaluate back-to-back pitches and proposals from their mobile device. This is commonly done with a series of surveys that are pushed to attendee’s phones. These surveys usually ask the audience to rate 2-3 different characteristics. Optionally – you can just have one live poll at the end to pick a winner.

Put Panelists in the Hot Seat: Turn up the heat on panelists by getting them to address hard questions from the audience. Audience Response Apps give you the opportunity to collect hundreds of questions. Your moderators can use this technology to filter through lots of similar questions and find the best-worded questions. This is particularly useful for organizations that are closing plants or merging operations. (Read more on interactive q&a)

Brainstorming: It’s easy to generate ideas and pick the best option with just 10 people, but with audience response apps you can do it with hundreds of people. Brainstorming is a process of capturing ideas, developing a evaluation criteria, rating the choices and picking a solution. By combining, idea generation, idea voting and live polling you can take an audience through all of these steps via the audience response app on their phone.

Simple, Fun Ice-Breakers: Using a word cloud or Caption This (Show people a photo and let them think up captions) is a fun way to get people thinking and active.

Massive Idea Collection: Create a series of topics around a problem you want to solve. Ask the attendees to share ideas around each topic. Then assign groups of people the responsibility for generating ideas around each topic. Present the ideas on the big screen. Optionally – you can have the audience vote for all of the ideas.

Sign up to Help: Many speakers are great at inspiring attendees – but they forget to convert that inspiration into action. Don’t waste all of that energy – prompt attendees with a signup form to capture a lead, volunteer for a project or signup to help.

Step 5: Help speakers craft meaningful discussion topics and questions

When it comes to open ended questions – you can ask any question via audience response apps and event apps to get a dialog going with your audience. But to get a dialog that helps you stimulate thinking, I recommend structuring questions with this formula:

“Discuss a _______ that __________.”

Here are some examples:

  • Discuss a leader that inspires you
  • Discuss a technology that you admire
  • Discuss an innovation that changed the world
  • Discuss a technology that you almost forgot
  • Discuss an innovation that you can’t stop thinking about

If you really want to create a dialog that will drive business change, here are 10 questions you can ask.

Step 6: Inform speakers how to integrate the audience response app and event app into their presentation

Here’s an example:

  • Before the event, a tech support person or team needs to setup your questions in the system and have them staged in order to support your presentation flow.
  • Add the questions to your slide deck to prompt you and the tech team. Then, the tech team will push the questions to the audience.
  • During your presentation, you should have a tech support person in the room with you who is either an employee of the event organizer, or someone from their hired audio-visual company.
  • If yours is the first session they are attending with the ARS, the audience will need some coaching on how to use it. After a few sessions, they should need less and less help. Ask to see how many do.
  • Attendees will be able to respond right away to your questions. Now you have dialog, and a better chance of keeping their attention.
  • When you are ready to see question results, ask the tech team to show the results. The results will be pushed to the attendees and to a confidence monitor for you to see as well. You can ask the tech team to send all questions, or choose only the most interesting questions.
  • Now you answer the questions or react to whatever content (idea voting, Word Cloud, discussion topics) your audience supplies.

Step 7: Provide speakers a task list for preparing for attendee engagement

To prevent your speakers from being overwhelmed, here is a short task list that will help.

  • Plan your session to have 10-20 minutes of engagement activities, including 5 minutes of Q&A.
  • Find out what ARS system and tech support your event organizer will have.
  • Select the engagement activity you will employ during your presentation. If you need ideas, use one of the conversation templates above, if your event’s ARS will support it.
  • Add questions to your slides (as a prompt) for the audience engagement.
  • Share your discussion questions, surveys, polls, etc with your event organizer.
  • If possible, practice using the ARS system before your session.
  • Arrive early to make sure that everything is setup as you expect.

Wrap up

If you made it this far, I hope this article will help you give your speakers the tools to engage your attendees and retain their attention by effectively integrating the available technology tools into your sessions.

If you’d like to see more about how you increase audience and attendee engagement in your events and trade show booths with our interactive games and event apps, feel free to contact us with questions or to discuss your event with one of SocialPoint’s Digital Strategists. We’ll help you generate more fun, excitement, and results.

Realistic and Improved Lead Capture for Small Trade Shows Staffed By Field Sales Reps

improved lead capture for small trade shows combines game with lead retrieval app

We’ve had very similar discussions recently with several exhibitors who have big trade show programs with big booths, but also lots of smaller shows with 10 x 10 booths that they, as the trade show manager, never get to.  Those small shows are staffed by field sales people or channel partners who have no face-to-face contact with the trade show manager.

And while it doesn’t happen every time, far too often the sales people staffing the booth don’t send the leads back to the home office.

These shows may be so small the show producer does not provide a badge scanner or lead retrieval app.  And the reality is, even if they did, the booth staffers may not use it, preferring to tuck business cards into their pocket.

So, the marketing department pays for the show, the trade show manager manages the show, and they get nothing to show for it.

Don’t get me wrong, there may have been value created at that show, including leads that turned into sales.  It’s just the marketing department has no way to track the leads to sales. If they have a program with a dozen small shows like this, they have no way to determine which shows are worth keeping, and which to drop, so they can then experiment with other potentially viable shows.

So, to recap – are you in this same situation:

  • You have a big program with booths ranging from small to large spaces
  • You have many small shows where:
    • There may not be a show-supplied lead retrieval app or machine
    • Your company does not have a trade show manager or marketer on-site
    • The field sales people are reluctant to provide leads back to the home office
    • You have no way to record any leads or prove a viable ROI for these shows

Exhibitors in this situation are looking for a super easy lead capture app, one that their field sales people or channel partners will use with minimal training.  Unfortunately, these kind of booth staffers tend to be the most tech-adverse, and simply don’t use any solution provided.

We have a solution that solves this problem from a different angle. Rather than try to force your reluctant booth staffers to use a lead capture app, and be totally lost if they don’t, start with an easy interactive game that can also do all or most of the lead capture.

Our interactive trade show games record much of the contact and qualifying lead info, because the attendees enter their own data in order to play our games.  Then our games save your lead data to the cloud so it always comes back to you. Plus, our games also generate more leads by attracting more people into your booth.  So, you get (formerly lost) lead capture and even more leads!

GET EVEN MORE LEAD DATA: Once your booth visitors give their email address to play our fun digital games, our Lead Manager app synchs with the cloud to get their photo, their social media profiles, and their company contact and profile information.  Your booth staffers don’t have to do anything for that great info.

And, when you do have good booth staffers in the booth, our games also come with a free, ad-on Lead Manager app that lets them record even more info about the lead, such as rating them 1 to 5 stars, take pictures of their business card, complete custom lead forms, and even send a fulfillment email from the booth, with links to requested digital documents.

We have also added our simplest game yet, called the Digital Fishbowl, that makes it even easier on your field sales to set up and run a digital game on site.

So, if you have field reps unwilling to use a traditional lead capture app, they can set up our games and have fun, active booths with more attendees and engagement.  And you get the leads automatically sent to you via the cloud.

If you’d like to see more about how you can drive more booth traffic and get more qualified leads with our interactive trade show games like the Digital Fishbowl, feel free to contact us with questions or to discuss your event with one of SocialPoint’s Digital Strategists. We’ll help you generate excitement, crowds, and leads.

What Is Audience and Attendee Engagement? That Depends On Who’s Asking

Attendee engagement at events and business meetings

Audience and attendee engagement have become the gateway to success for events.

If your meeting or event has a prayer of justifying its costs, you can’t settle for passive audience participation – your attendees must be fully engaged so they emotionally bond with your company, group, or message, and retain that memorable positive experience after they leave.

But as I work to increase audience engagement with our clients, I’ve found that there are three distinct groups of stakeholders, who have different viewpoints on what is audience and attendee engagement.  And that matters because these three groups are joined at the hip, and thus need to better understand their different viewpoints, to enable better collaboration.

The three different groups are event producers, presenters, and exhibitors.

Event Producers’ View of Audience and Attendee Engagement

Attendee engagement at meetings and events

An event producer gathers attendees for a meeting, event, or conference, with an audience of anywhere from a few dozen to over 100,000 people. To differentiate from still-growing digital media, event producers want their attendees to feel welcome, part of the group, understood, and involved in the event activities.  They don’t want them bored and checked out.

However, with attendee’s attention spans now shorter than ever (due to higher work load and increased expectations for stimulation from their smartphones), event producers have to up their game.  They look at multiple ways to improve their attendees’ experience, be it the facility, food, keynotes, presentations, entertainment, show hall (if their event has one), gifts, technology, and more.  The hope is with each improvement, their event audience will be more engaged, and will go home as happy advocates.

Presenters’ View of Audience and Attendee Engagement

Audience engagement for an event presenter or speaker

Presenters are one of the most important parts of many events, because the majority of time attendees spend at events is sitting in presentations. Presentations are traditionally keynote events by one person or a panel, presented by celebrities or industry senior executive, and breakout presentations about important or emerging topics by subject matter experts (mostly doers or vendors).

Event producers have been experimenting with new presentation formats to increase attendee engagement, with more planned interactivity, new layouts, and new technology.

These new formats require presenters to shift and adapt their lecture-style presentations to more of a dialog that often integrates with new audience engagement technology. They may have to throw their slide deck out the window and start over. They need more communication and training from their event producers, especially if the event producer has chosen an event technology they expect all their presenters to use.

(Read – How to Prepare Speakers to use Audience Response Apps for Greater Attendee Engagement)

Exhibitors’ View of Audience and Attendee Engagement

trade show attendee engagement ideas

Trade show exhibitors used to be able to set up their displays and stand by the aisle with a smile in order to succeed.  But the same tech evolution that has forced event producers to up their game has also driven exhibitors to do more in order to get attendees to cross from the aisle carpet into their booth.

Exhibitors have to create a more compelling experience in their booth to capture and retain attendees’ attention, as attendees now have greater control of the buying process (thanks to the power of Google searches to find potential vendors).

Insightful exhibitors know that their booth visitors will likely visit 20 or more other exhibitors, so they have to do more to engage them, be it with an experience, their senses, or technology, so that attendees remember them after the show, above all other exhibitors they talked to.

If exhibitors do a better job at audience engagement, the event producer benefits from happier attendees.  Thus, it’s in the interest of show organizers to provide training and tools to help exhibitors increase attendee engagement.

Increasing Audience and Attendee Engagement

While event producers have many, many ways to increase audience engagement, two of the most substantial methods rely on increasing attendee engagement via their presenters and exhibitors.  For presenters, they can either try to increase audience engagement on their own, or partner with the event producer to use tools provided for all presenters. And exhibitors motivated to generate leads, sales, and positive ROI from trade shows are increasingly focusing on attendee engagement as a stepping stone to meeting their marketing and business goals.

If you’d like to see more about how you increase audience and attendee engagement in your events and trade show booths with our interactive games and event apps, feel free to contact us with questions or to discuss your event with one of SocialPoint’s Digital Strategists. We’ll help you generate more fun, excitement, and results.