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Why Do People Attend Conferences?

why do people go to conferences

People come to meetings and conferences for lots and lots of reasons.  Here is my list of 20 reasons people come to conferences – in no particular order:

  1. Learn best practices
  2. Learn new skills – How to’s
  3. Learn about new trends
  4. See a vision of the future
  5. Listen to a “Star” speaker
  6. Earn continuing education credits
  7. Get new ideas
  8. Try new concepts
  9. Listen to industry experts
  10. Gain inspiration – from networking with peers in the industry
  11. Meet new people
  12. Re-connect with old friends
  13. Share war stories (stories of difficult challenges overcome)
  14. Share your experiences
  15. Meet with like-minded people
  16. Become re-energized as you become part of the larger whole
  17. Discuss common problems
  18. Realize that you are not alone with your thoughts and opinions
  19. Meet with several suppliers or customers in one place
  20. Had to go – the meeting was mandatory

Why do I think this list is important?

I like to look for “hidden” insights that might help me change my perspective and challenge me to think differently. If I can learn something new that changes my perspective – then I might be able to come up with better recommendations, new solutions, etc.

For example, once this list was assembled, the following words jumped out at me: Try, Share, Meet and Discuss. To me, these are action words used by people that like to engage in dialogue at conferences. They are not the words of people that want to sit and be entertained for 8 hours.

Equally important, I feel like the networking objectives were really specific, actionable and measurable: connect with old friends, meet new people, meet like minded people and share your experiences. It might just be me, but I can see value in developing networking activities (technology-based and non-tech based) that help participants achieve some combination of these objectives.

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.

41 Ways to Measure the Business Value of Meetings

41 metrics to measure the value of your meetings

In a recent study, 60% of trade show booth organizers said that “Closed Sales” is their #1 measure of success at their event.  Yet, there are many, many more ways that meetings add value beyond revenue generated. How are you measuring the business value that your meetings and events create for your organization?

In MPI’s Business Value of Meetings research, they identified 41 different metrics that can be used to help you measure and track the business value of your meetings. Take a look at the list below – you might be able to find a few new metrics for measuring your success:

So you see, there are many more ways to measure the business value of a meeting beyond sales (which was still the first item on the list!).  Most likely, some of these are measurement metrics you had not previously considered — yet are metrics you now find viable.  Perhaps now you can demonstrate even greater value from your meetings than you thought!

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.

Advice and Advantages for 7 Kinds of Popular Interactive Trade Show Games

There are many kinds of popular interactive games and contests you can do in your trade show booth.  Almost all will create more activity and booth traffic, and help you gather more data about your booth visitors.

Yet, there are differences that are worth considering, so you can best meet your own trade show goals. After hundreds of events, here is what are the strongest advantages of 7 kinds of game and contests, plus some strategic advice on creating more successful activations.

1. TRIVIA GAMES: Attendees self-educate, self-qualify

digital trivia games for trade shows and events
My favorite thing about trivia games is that you get to teach people about your products and services: End of story! That’s the best thing about trivia games. Your booth visitors are self-educating themselves. Trivia games allow you to connect people to your products and services. So, you can talk to them about trends, you can talk to them about new features, new benefits, challenges you solve, your company history whatever you want and you are giving the person the opportunity to learn more about you while they play this game.

A client last month was telling me that their favorite thing about trivia games is that they design their questions so that people actually qualify or disqualify themselves by playing the game. So, depending on how visitors answer certain questions, the client will then decide if this is someone they should follow up with or not. So, by not even doing a survey or lead capture and focusing on that, they instead focus on how they answer those questions. That can be really valuable and sophisticated.

2. GAME SHOW: Create a buzz in your booth

game show trivia game interactive activity for trade show boothsAnother game we have is the Game Show.  About 4 or 5 people come into the booth and they play the trivia game, but this time, against each other.  You have a game host who pushes the same question to everyone, who competes by answering the fastest and with the right answers. One of the strengths of the Game Show is that if you want to create a little buzz in your booth, the Game Show will draw an audience to watch. You need to have the space to do this well.  You can usually get more people through your booth when they play Trivia by themselves, but you lose out on the buzz of the audience that way.  It’s a cool option and we see that done in a lot of trade shows. So, it is up to you to decide what’s the right fit for your booth and your activation.

3. DIGITAL FISHBOWL: Visitors data enter for you

digital fishbowl trade show booth interactive You already might have a real, glass fishbowl people put their business card in it, but that still leaves you with a stack of business cards you have to enter. In this case, with a Digital Fishbowl, you get people to enter all their lead information themselves. And, it can be more than just contact data — they may also be requesting some product documents from you, or fill out a survey. You are therefore offloading the lead data entry process to your booth visitors, but they will do it if they think it’s a valuable enough or interesting prize. Then you don’t have to deal with all that data. That’s what I like about the Digital Fishbowl. And this is another choice; it allows you to give away a big prize at the end of the show. So, while in my opinion this isn’t any fun, we do see attendees highly motivated to complete these forms, so it works. That’s why we are introducing a new product called Giveaway Manager (LINK) that makes the visual experience of the Digital Fishbowl more pleasing, so that it becomes an even better experience.

4. CAPTION THIS: Simple, fun activation

Caption This interactive game for trade show exhibitorsOne of the things that I really like about Caption This is it allows you to create a simple activation or you can make complex.  It could be done on mobile, it could be done on tablet, it could be done on a touch screen. If you have a photo, like the bears here, people can caption it. You can make it simple just like that, and then you pick a winner for best caption and give them a prize.  I have also seen it where people will take all the best captions and allow booth visitors to vote on them. And the caption that gets the most votes wins. And you can show all of the captions on a screen. So there are different ways you can execute this game. But here’s why exhibitors choose it: they are looking for a simple activation that doesn’t take a lot of time, it’s fun. And you still get the booth visitor data that you need, because they enter in their contact info and answer some survey questions to play the game. And by giving away a prize to the winner it becomes a contest.

5. SOCIAL MEDIA TOUCHSCREEN: Drive traffic, identify booth visitor needs

social media touchscreen and Twitter voting contest in your trade show displaysHere’s another activation that, if it’s the right fit for your booth, can be really slick. Some of our exhibiting clients want to engage folks with social media and therefore have social media games in their booth. To start, you create a hashtag campaign and get people at the show to tweet the hashtag. So, your brand messages end up virtually surrounding the event. In your booth, you have a touch screen and you put the best tweets on this touch screen and people have to visit you in your booth to vote for their favorites. And then the favorite tweet wins the prize.

And here’s where you can get sophisticated.  So, in this case once you have people tweeting, you could have your social media person tweet back at them say, “Hey Mathew, hey Diana, hey Katie, your Tweet has been featured on our touch screen. Come to our booth and vote for because the most votes wins the prize.” You could have your social media person respond back to each of those people trying to drive booth traffic. You probably are going to also expand your reach beyond the event. You might get some ideas from people beyond the event as well which could be useful to you.

Now in your booth you going to have people that tweeted but you are also going to have people that aren’t on Twitter. There are a lot of people that are not on Twitter. So, they might be just interested in, “Oh, I just want to vote for the idea.” So, their level of participation is to vote.  But, depending on how you organize it, you can also get these people engaged in a conversation. Like these folks at Career Builder did.  They asked people to tweet their “HR headaches” Then, their booth staffer used that as a conservation piece with booth visitors. They start a conversation with the Twitter voting, but then said, “Oh, are those headaches you really have?” “Oh, yes they are.” “Well, let us help you solve those.” And then that drove to why they should investigate Career Builder’s product and services.

So, that’s valuable two ways. You can use Twitter voting to drive people into the booth with social media, and then, once they are there, use the touch screen to kind of learn something about the person before you launch into your sales pitch or any kind of dialog or conversation.

6. SOCIAL MEDIA LEADERBOARDS: Easy contest from social media volume

social media leaderboard contest for trade show displaysWe’ve seen people do Social Media Leaderboards, because there is lots of interest in social media.  We see these executed a lot more in conferences than trade show booths; we see more social media walls in trade show booths.  Exhibitors using a Social Media Leaderboards are really just make a simple contest. The winners are determined by volume of social media activity, measured in several different ways.  As shown in the photo, you could honor the Retweet Rockers, and celebrate the people who do the most retweeting.  And then you give the person that retweeted the most at the show a prize.  Or, you can rank people by the most photos shared about the event on social media, or maybe it’s for the most tweets overall, or the most mentions, or the most video posts. There are lots of choices. Those are different ways that you can create a simple contest with social media, that draws people into your booth and connects you with top social media users in your industry online.

7. VIRTUAL PRIZE WHEEL: Draw in lots of excited people to win prizes and capture lead data

Virtual Prize Wheel can be big or small in your trade show exhibitWhen you put a Virtual Prize Wheel on a big flat screen monitor, it will draw people in.  The wheel can spin, which will draw people in, plus you can put the names of your prizes on it.  Sometimes people like a big, real-life button that attendees hit to spin the wheel.  I talked to someone recently that said the button is the most powerful thing in the prize wheel, that’s what draws people into the booth, to hit this button and have an action.  Then your booth staffers engage with them to give them their prizes, and get a conversation going.

However, let’s pretend that you didn’t want to use the prize wheel on a big screen. So, what’s cool is that you can also do prize wheels on one or more iPads, too, and use it for lead capture.  Because not everyone want to fill out all their contact information on the big touch screen. So, you could do this set up like Delta, that used signage to drive people into the booth: “Hey, we have a prize wheel, you could win a big prize.” Then they have 5 iPads, that allow them to process 5 people at a time, that fill out the form, give all their information and then have a chance to win prize. Now, instead of winning a big prize, everyone got something. You got a fan or a frisbee or a beach ball or something of that nature.

Depending on what you want to do, you could have basic prizes and you could have a grand prize. And you can decide, is that going to be given away on the wheel? Or will that be something you do a drawing about afterword?  So, there’s a lot of ways you can execute your activity using a Virtual Prize Wheel.

 

I hope that this article gave you a better idea of the specific strengths of these 7 popular interactive trade show games and contests.  Plus, gave you insights on how to ensure your own activation of these interactives are more successful and help you meet your most important marketing goals.

To see more about how you can drive more booth traffic and capture more lead data 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 create a more fun booth that increases your attendee engagement and boosts your trade show results.

Beyond Polling: 10 Ways To Create Attendee Engagement in Your Meetings with Event Technology

interactive event technology creates greater audience engagement and makes people happy

Event technology, event apps and audience response apps are offering several new and improved ways to create conversations with your audience.

Here are some of the things you can do: poll, play, create, capture, share, vote, survey, comment and smile. Yes, smile, because you can share photos too.

With all of these capabilities at your disposal, here are 10 ways you can use event technology to create attendee engagement experiences

1. Energize Sessions & Create a Conversation

Caffeinate your audience by adding polling, interactive Q&A and online discussion to your conference session.

2. Evaluate Pitches

Let audience members evaluate back-to-pack pitches and proposals from colleagues from their mobile device in real time.

3. Put Panelists in the Hot Seat

Turn up the heat on panelists by getting them to address more questions from the audience. You can answer 10X questions via text than by passing the microphone around.

4. Scale Up Brainstorming

It’s easy to generate ideas and pick the best option with 10 people. Using SocialPoint, you can do it with hundreds of people. Capture ideas, evaluate them and pick a set of options to evaluate after your workshop.

5. Collaborate in Groups

Break large problems into smaller problems and let small groups tackle them and share their feedback. You will get more specific ideas and be able to easily download and share them.

6. Simple, Fun Ice Breakers

Let your attendees write silly captions on photos that can be moderated and shown on the big screen.

7. Live WordClouds

Everyone loves word clouds. Let attendees submit key words that can appear on a word cloud…live and in real time. OR, give attendees a set of 30 – 50 words and let them vote for 2-3 favorites. Then turn those results into a world cloud.

8. Collage of Us

Let your attendees take selfies and share those photos on a photo wall. You can moderate the content for appropriateness.

Event images digital walls

9. Team Trivia

Create team based trivia game that allows your audience to work together to answer questions.

10. Pick A Winner

Put your attendees’ names on a virtual prize wheel then spin to see who won the prize. We can setup the prize wheel so a person can only win one time.

The SocialPoint Advantage

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.

Commonly Lost Trade Show Lead Data You Can Capture With Interactive Games

Capture trade show lead data with interactive trade show gamesTrade show games are not all just, well, fun and games.  They also help solve serious business problems, such as capturing data about your trade show leads that was getting lost before.

Here are 6 familiar challenges with getting all the data from trade show leads that we repeatedly hear about from our clients.  After that, we’ll talk about how interactive trade show games can help you capture that data.

Challenges With Trade Show Leads Today

1. Stacks of business cards slow down lead follow up

do you like to data enter stacks of business cards after your trade showI don’t know anyone that wants to go back to office after the show and enter stacks of business cards, right?  Yuck! Nobody wants to do that task.  And if you are that someone, you’re a saint.  Because it’s a slow, boring job. You want to follow up with hot trade show leads as fast as possible, but stacks of business card slow you down from starting your sales and marketing follow up process.  That allows your digitally-savvy competitors to reach your common prospects first.

2. Leads get lost

Another issue that I hear about it a lot, especially with organizations that use sales reps in the field as booth staffers, is that their trade show leads get lost. Their leads don’t make it back to marketing, so they don’t have the leads to track to sales and thus determine what is their return on investment for that show.  They also don’t know if they need to put those “lost” contacts from the show into a nurture situation or if they should be receiving their newsletter.  We hear story after story about folks that are having leads that are lost and they don’t know what to do about it.  They need a solution for that.

3. Scanner data is missing

We also hear lots of stories about scanner data that’s missing key information because the attendee did not provide it, or other times there is information that exhibitors value that was not asked by the show so it can never show up in the data provided by the scanner. So, when exhibitors rely on the scanner data they can miss key data they need.

4. Scanner data is inaccurate

Similarly, the scanner data might be inaccurate because either the trade show or the attendee made a mistake in entering the data. How many times have you had an attendee tell you, “Yes, scan my badge, but my phone number is wrong,” or “my email is wrong.”  And for every person who actually tells you that, there are 10 more who have bad data but they don’t tell you to give you a chance to correct it.

5. Missing link between conversation and trade show lead

You had a conversation with a nice fellow named Mike, but when you got the scanner it said Hailey on it and it was the wrong person, because maybe Mike traded badges with Hailey but it didn’t get updated in the scanner. So, there’s a missing link between the conversation and the lead — we see this a lot where you got the data from the scanner or from wherever it is.

6. How do you capture leads when your staff are busy having meaningful conversations?

And finally, this is the question that we deal with sometimes: Leads are getting lost when your staff are busy having meaningful conversations with potential sales and other people come by your booth. Wouldn’t it have been great if they played your game. You would have been able to gain an additional lead even though they might not be talking to anyone in your booth.

Data You Can Get From Games

Now that we’ve seen the many ways lead data can get lost at trade show, let’s talk about what games and contests can do to capture or prevent the loss of your trade show lead data. There are four key pieces of information you can collect from games and contests:

1. Contact information

Get attendees to provide contact info themselves when they play the Virtual Prize Wheel

First, games can gather basic lead contact information from each game player in your booth.  You may want to keep it simple and just ask for first name, last name, email. Or, you may be little bit more complex and ask for zip code or address or company or title, or whatever else that you value.

2. Lead qualification

Here is where I think it starts to get interesting as we see a lot of exhibitors asking lead qualification questions. Most digital games and contests will allow you to do that. So, if you want to ask, let’s pretend, maybe I need new tires, I’m going to buy new tires (and this is not B2B, maybe a B2C situation) and I’m going to buy new tires for my car in the future, and I’m playing a game, how long have you had your car?  When was the last time you bought tires, how many miles, those are a few questions you could ask that could tell you that you should call me or send me a discount or do some kind of follow up on Monday when you get back from the show because I could be a candidate to buy.

3. Identify marketing next steps

Digital games allow exhibitors to ask their booth visitors questions that help to identify where a prospect is in the sales funnel or if they are marketing qualified leads that should be sent on to sales or put into a nurture campaign, or someplace else. Or exhibitors might have the game ask the player more directly, “Where should we put you? Do you want to be on our newsletter? Do you want our white paper? Do you want a rep to call you?” We have seen that a lot. And by and large people playing the game will give you response to those questions. And that’s really cool because then on Monday morning you have an action that you can take.

4. Game performance data

trade show lead data and analytics

But the last piece of data that you can get from games is performance. Performance comes in couple of different ways like the dashboard that we are showing in this post. You can see some summary metrics and some analytics.  Typically, we see people comparing metrics and analytics across time and across shows. Now you can collect data that maybe you only had a hunch about before. Data to help you figure out the results that you got from your trade shows.  Data you could use to drive future investment decisions.  You can also go back and look at statistics about some of the marketing next steps and the levels of qualification. If you can track that through Salesforce or whatever CRM system you are using, all the way through the sales lifecycle, that will be even more valuable to you.

If you’ve been frustrated with how you’ve lost some of your key trade show lead data, consider using interactive games – not just because they are fun and will bring more people into your booth, but because they will also help capture that key lead data that has been evading you.  You’ll be better able to follow up on leads and measure the true value of your trade show program.

To see more about how you can drive more booth traffic and capture more lead data 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 create a more fun booth that increases your attendee engagement and boosts your trade show results.

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How SocialPoint Just Had A Great Trade Show – Using Our Own Interactive Trade Show Games

Interactive trade show games boosting booth traffic at ExhibitorLive 2017 for SocialPoint

SocialPoint just experienced ourselves what our clients experience in their own booths: The traffic-building, awareness-boosting, conversation-starting power of SocialPoint’s interactive trade show games and contests.

SocialPoint Exhibited at ExhibitorLive 2017

SocialPoint just finished exhibiting at our very first ExhibitorLive Show, March 13 to 15, 2017, at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.  It was a huge success, because the audience of major trade show exhibitors quickly grasped and wanted the power of our interactive games to build booth traffic and foster attendee engagement.

We witnessed how our games trigger all kinds of emotions, as our booth attendees got excited, happy, curious, proud, anxious, and greedy while playing.

10 minutes into the first day, we had 4 people walk into the booth, and we never looked back for almost 3 ½ hours.  We had 3 games people could play in our booth – and with those choices, nearly everyone had a game they wanted to play.  Once we had attendees in our booth playing our games and talking with us, other show attendees were curious to see what the fuss was about.  A crowd truly draws a crowd, and the games got the crowd started.

Our Interactive Trade Show Games Got Attendees Interacting!

People gladly filled out few qualifying questions we asked on the forms to spin the Virtual Prize Wheel and win a prize, be it small, medium, or large in value.  And almost everyone checked off the boxes asking to be on our newsletter and to get more info on our products.

Many people who played the Challenge Bar Trivia Game stayed for a long time, all the while learning about our products as they answered questions about them.  When they got to a question they did not know the answer to, then they would ask a SocialPoint booth staffer for guidance, and another relationship was started.

Trade show audience engagement on display in SocialPoint booth at ExhibitorLive 2017

We had a 60-inch flat screen monitor with the word “Leaderboard” in big letters and the list of current trivia game leaders as an attention-getter.  Show attendees stopped because they were curious who was on the Leaderboard, and how they themselves could get on it.

We saw people play Challenge Bar Trivia because they were motivated 4 ways to get on the Leaderboard:

  1. They wanted to be #1, because they wanted recognition as the best player
  2. They wanted to be #1, because they wanted to win the prize (a free Bose Mini Speaker)
  3. They wanted to get higher ranked on the Leaderboard than their friend or friends who were already on it
  4. They just wanted to get a high enough score to show up on the leaderboard, not so much to win, but to demonstrate to themselves and others they were above average

Interactive trade show game of trivia keeps players motivated to compete with their freinds and peers

“I’ve got to beat Hunter!”

We witnessed several attendees taking pictures of their name on the leaderboard, and attendees come back for multiple visits to see if they still were on the Leaderboard.  Our eventual Challenge Bar Trivia winner actually came back three times.

Our Success Attracted Attention

Our neighboring exhibitors said to us, “Wow, your booth was always full!”  And on the final day of the show, a fellow exhibitor came into our booth and said, “At this show, I had just a static backwall and not enough traffic.  Your booth was always busy.  I want to get your Virtual Prize Wheel for the show I have in 9 days.”  We worked out the deal right then.

We also experienced high interest from companies that wanted to join our Partner Program, as they experienced themselves how our interactive games and contests can help their clients to get more booth traffic and leads at their trade shows.

Overall, we exceeded our goal for leads by almost 50%, and our goal for qualified leads by over 200%!  It was great to experience for ourselves just how well our own games do exactly what they are intended to do!

If you’d like to see more about how you can drive more booth traffic 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.

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Are You Using Event Technology to Create, Collaborate and Share?

Digitally engaged event session attendee

The great thing about the social, mobile and smart phone revolution is that it is really easy for you to create conversations between your attendees and your brand.

In 2017, there are many ways for you to create, collaborate and share with your attendees. You can do so much more than polling.

Last month, we helped a US Pharmaceutical leadership conference create dialogue and exchange ideas between its top 200 leaders. The meeting was high stakes for the company, and our event technology was there to help them achieve their goals.

Our client used our SocialPoint Audience Engagement platform to create four different types of experiences in the event:

  • Idea generation and sharing
  • Trivia Game with a live leaderboard in an experiential space
  • Live response game with polling
  • Capture questions for the stage

While we can’t tell you the outcome of the event, we can tell you that the client collected 100s of digital ideas, had 1000s of trivia questions answered and received 1,000s of poll responses.

3 words to describe question at an event

There are many more examples like this where audience members were brought into the discussion using our event apps:

  • Department of Transportation, which collected nearly 1,000 ideas from employees during a massive group brainstorm.
  • Leadership Roadshow that captured questions from the audience.
  • National Sales Meeting that needed to keep sales reps from being distracted by social media and cat photos.
  • Internal Company Event that had their audience fill out feedback forms on new project presentations, scoring them and giving out awards. Attendee reaction was 1 piece of live voting.
  • National Sales Meeting installed touch screens and tablet stations in the resource fair so attendees could share ideas, see them visually, evaluate the results and vote for their favorites.

Presenter with audience engagment screens behind him

 The SocialPoint Advantage

Corporations and organizations are choosing SocialPoint over other event app companies, because our technology provides over 20 different digital engagement experiences for meeting designers. Plus, our software is flexible enough so you can design the conversation that you want between your attendees and brand.

If you’d like to see more about how you can spark greater attendee collaboration at your event, 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.

How Human Emotions Make Interactive Trade Show Games Work

digital trade show games are fun and exciting

While we are proud of how strong the technology is behind our interactive trade show games, we fully understand that it isn’t the tech alone that makes them so successful.  What makes our games and contests really gather a crowd, and keep people engaged, is how well our games play on peoples’ very human emotions.

I’ve witnessed how people, individually or in groups, react when they play our games and contests.  I’ve seen players in the thrall of these 6 emotions again and again:

1. Excitement

Attendees get jazzed when they play our games.  It reminds me of a Las Vegas craps table when the dice are hot.  Groups of friends shout, dance around, and cheer as they really get into the games and contests.  This is especially true when they are playing our Virtual Prize Wheel, and they win a big prize.

2. Curiosity

There are certain industries where learning is valued and encouraged.  Members of those industries are more likely to join a book club than go to a night club. And they love to play our Challenge Bar Trivia game, to see what the questions are, and to learn while they play.  You can see the look of concentration on their faces.

Learning with digital trade show games and contests

3. Greed

While some players enjoy the thrill of the hunt, many are focused on the prizes they can win.  They are motivated by the chance to win the iPad, the wireless speaker, the drone, or whatever else the host trade show exhibitor offers up as the major prize.  The smaller, secondary prizes motivate greed, too.

Prize winner of a trade show game

4. Joy

Players don’t need to be in jumping up and down to enjoy themselves.  Playing the games is fun enough.  It’s a pleasant experience to interact with our smooth, beautiful screens, and to test their knowledge and compete for prizes.

Fun digital games for trade shows and events

5. Pride

We really see peoples’ pride emerge when our digital Leaderboard is there.  You can see the pride in the faces of the people who have the highest scores on our trivia games, or who are the most prolific and shared social media mavens whose efforts show up on our Social Media Walls. They are so proud they will return to the booth to show their friends how high they ranked on the Leaderboard.

Proud leader on the digital game leaderboard at an event

6. Envy

When attendees see that other people have scored better than them on a game, that triggers envy two ways: First, they want to be ranked higher than the other people who currently sit atop the Leaderboard, and second, they want to rank higher so they can win the big prize offered by the exhibitor.  So, they grab a tablet and start playing.  Sometimes, again and again.

People love to play games and enter contests.  While our interactive technology makes games and contests better looking, easier to set up, and better at gathering leads, it’s still human emotions that make them so successful at drawing a crowd and creating a more successful event.

If you’d like to see more about how you can drive more booth traffic 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.

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How to Manage Interactive Q&A With An Audience Response App

Event presentation app for successful question and answer experience

Several years ago, I was in Norway giving a presentation and using interactive Q&A for the first time in a conference. Previously, I had always used the microphone for my presentations. On this day, we had a new event technology that had a Q&A feature.

I discovered very quickly that if everyone had a chance to ask questions they would do it. I received dozens of questions via the interactive Q&A app.

Second, I learned that people were more willing to ask questions via the technology than stand up in front of the room with microphone.

Finally, I quickly discovered that I could easily skip questions that I didn’t want to answer… or the questions that I thought were irrelevant.

It was my first “aha!” moment with interactive Q&A technology. Since then, I have had a chance to work with lots and lots of marketers, leadership teams and event teams to help them structure interactive Q&A sessions in their events.

Here are my best tips for planning and managing Interactive Q&A.

Planning the Interactive Q&A Experience

Interactive Q&A can be as simple as – “hey post some questions via this app and we will answer them.” Or, you can make the process more involved. Here are five major considerations when planning Interactive Q&A.

  1. Will you allow attendees to post questions during the entire presentation or only at the end?

This question gets at your preferences. As an attendee, I like to be able to ask questions when I think of them. I once had a question on slide 21 or a 97 slide deck. I nearly forgot my question by the end of the presentation.  However, some event organizers prefer that attendees only ask questions during the specific Q&A period.

  1. When will the speaker address those attendee’s questions?

So, it’s one thing to allow attendees to submit questions when they think of them – but how will your presenter handle the questions? Will your speakers answer questions as they arrive in the app, or only during the designated Q&A time?

  1. How will you pick the questions that get answered?

Most likely, you are going to get more questions than you can address in the allotted time.  So, you need to have a plan for selecting the questions that will get answered. Will the speaker or the moderator pick the questions? To reduce the burden on the speaker, many people use either a moderator or a subject mater expert to filter through the questions and present questions to the speaker.

  1. Will the questions be anonymous?

It’s an important question. If you are dealing with sensitive subjects like facility closings and layoffs, then anonymous is best.

  1. How visible will the questions be to the audience?

You could present the questions on the screen for all to see or they can be available on a tablet for the moderator or you can put them on a confidence monitor. Each event organizer and speaker have different preferences here.

Planning the Interactive Q&A Technology

  1. Can the technology support the experience that you want to create?

You need to speak with your vendor to make sure that the technology has the flexibility and capabilities to support the experience that you want to create. In our audience response app for example, moderators can push questions to the screen from a tablet or queue a list of questions to answer on a tablet.

  1. How will attendees access the interactive Q&A app or audience response app?

You need to know how the attendees will access the app. Is it a website that they access or will you use an app that they need to download and install? Whatever you do, please try to make it easy for the attendees. Then, be sure to give them proper instructions.

  1. Who will be responsible for coordinating the audience response app onsite?

This technology is really easy to use, so you probably don’t need to fly in staff from the vendor. However, you do need to assign someone from your content team or the production team to support the technology.

  1. Do the attendees need internet or 3G/4G bandwidth to access the app?

The answer is probably yes. So, make sure that attendees will have access to either a mobile signal or Wi-Fi in the event space where you are working. Otherwise it’s all for not.

  1. How much is it?

Prices vary. Sometimes this technology is available with an audience response app or an event app. Other times it is offered as a stand-alone technology.

How to Manage Interactive Q&A Onsite

It’s important to run through everyone’s roles and responsibilities and the communication flow before each session.

Most likely, your speaker will be responsible for the “call to action” to submit questions.  It could be a verbal cue or a slide with instructions that is incorporated into the speaker’s slide deck.

If you have a moderator, they will be responsible for sorting through the questions and picking the best questions for the speaker to answer.  Make sure that your moderator has a tablet or technology that can access the questions submitted by your attendees.

Make sure that the speaker and the moderator coordinate how they will manage questions before hand. The moderator should understand the topics and themes that the speaker wants to avoid. This will save everyone from embarrassment.

To get off to a quick start, it’s helpful to have a few questions seeded in the system. The first questions prime the pump and help stimulate attendees thinking. In the mean time, the seeded questions allow you to start the Q&A while you wait for questions to come in. It usually takes about a few seconds for people to think about their question and type it in.

Final Point

If you can – celebrate the people who are asking questions. Your attendees like to be recognized as thoughtful and smart.

If you’d like to see how you can create more engaging and interactive presentations using our audience response app, 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.

11 Social Media Wall Design Ideas for Events and Trade Shows

The concept of a Social Media Wall in of itself has great potential: Gather up all the relevant social media output around a company or organization at a trade show or special event, and put it on display for interested attendees to see!  Yet, clever design and execution are required to get the full value.

Here are 11 things that SocialPoint has built into the design of our Social Media Wall Event Displays, so that exhibit and event marketers can make a bigger impact:

1. Bring Content to Life

Instead of just showing content with traditional templates, we created templates that transform your attendees thoughts, ideas and photos into fun designs. Most companies are able to find a design template that fits their event theme or brand design.

Floating tweets as part of a social media wall used at events and trade shows

2. Images and More Images

There is only one thing people love to see more than their name in lights…it’s their pictures.  Photos of attendees and interactions are the most common element we see shared on our Social Media Walls.  But how do you present the photos? Big photos, square photos, circle photos, Little photos, scrolling photos, bursting photos, and much more. And most of all, photos that move – see the next point!

Social Media Wall at event with moving images of social share photos

3. Put Content in Motion 

Animation is one of the key elements to our successful Social Media wall, because it causes people to stop and look. Your audience’s messages and pictures float, flip, scroll, and pop, a constantly changing, more visually interesting display.  (To see what we mean – click the play button to watch the movie.)

4. Emphasize Your Brand

Our Social Media Wall becomes yours, with your brand colors, themes, art work and/or event logo, the hashtag you want people to share, and the main message or call to action you want remembered.

Floating quotes on a social media wall for events and trade show booths

5. Incorporate Branded Slide Shows

You can create slide shows out of full-screen graphics featured at specific intervals, to highlight your own products, offers, branding or other announcements. You can highlight speakers, key opinion leaders and much more.  If you show content on multiple screens, you can create and time slide shows to match your marketing objectives.

Featured content within a social media wall digital display

6. Create Games with Leaderboards

The most prolific and popular social sharers get their moment in the sun, and you get an ever-updating, competition-enhancing visual.  Ranks those who share the most messages, photos, retweets, or those who get mentioned and retweeted the most. Can also include prizes offered to entice more social sharing.

Leaderboards show who are the most prolific and influential social sharers

7. Social Videos

Your attendees are posting videos as well as social media photos and comments.  Watch the video above again, and notice there were even video social shares playing, too!

Video social shares inside of a social media wall

8. Cool Shapes

We can frame social shares in different shapes and sizes, from circles to squares to rectangles and quote shapes.  Pick what you like best.

Round social shares within a social media wall display at an event

9. Bright Colors

Make exciting messages and images even more vivid with bright colors, used in backgrounds, shapes, messages, and designs.  Not that you have to use bright colors, if they don’t work with your (#4) branding.

Bright and vivid colors add interest to a social media wall

10. WordClouds

Popular WordClouds let attendees literally see the “buzz” of the show, displaying the most shared words in your target audience’s social messages.  A great visual that reveals the wisdom of crowds.

11. Social Metrics

With social metrics, our Social Media Wall becomes a social media dashboard for both left-brain and right-brain attendees!  It reveals the amount and timing of social activity associated with the event, with cool graphics, colors, and design.

Social metrics on a social media wall display

With color, shape, movement, and more, we can help make your Social Media Wall a success, by employing great design along with your great company, event, and attendee social content.

If you’d like to see more about how you can drive more booth traffic with our social media walls and 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 more booth traffic.