Three Must-Have Tools for a Great Meeting App

For professional associations, creating a smartphone app for the annual meeting or big conference was once a nice perk for attendees that helped set the meeting apart. Now, it’s the norm.

According to a recent study, 76% of meeting planners said that they intend to provide an app for attendees at an upcoming event. That number is only expected to climb in coming years, meaning apps will soon be as commonplace as lanyards and nametags at large meetings.

These apps offer a particular appeal to millennial attendees, a generation that will represent 70% of new convention and meeting attendees by 2021 and an important audience for the future health of associations.

To help the National Retail and Restaurant Defense Association (NRRDA) meet this demand, Celtic developed a web-based app specifically for conference attendees. Combining new technology with time-tested tactics, Celtic was able to provide a creative solution that delivered for attendees. When designing the app, the team went to the drawing board to come up with these three must have tools:

  1. Hammer it Home—Individualized Schedules: Allow members to get the most out of these meetings by showing them all that it offers. The customized package provides location, complete agenda and personalized schedule for each attendee to keep them on track and efficient with their time.
  2. Beyond Measure—Attendee Connections: A huge draw of these meetings is the opportunity for members to network. By providing the full attendee list, as well as other information and policies, the NRRDA app helps attendees connect at the meeting.
  3. Level up—Educational Materials: Organized and paperless, the app includes a full library of materials, from the syllabus and breakout session abstracts to full Power Point presentations. Providing all show materials through the app offers convenience and an alternative for the more sustainability minded attendees.

Keeping your meeting attendees connected with an app can improve their experience and keep them coming back in the future. To see more of Celtic’s experience with association clients and app development,
visit “Our Work.”

Well-Planned Meetings Lead to Smiling Attendees

So, you are tasked with planning an important meeting. Maybe it’s an annual shareholders meeting, or the industry’s biggest trade show where your company must “wow” them with a creative dinner presentation. Maybe it’s a sun-filled sales incentive reward trip that allows you to further connect with your biggest sellers. Regardless of its type, it has to be perfect and you only get one chance to get it right.

What are some tips for success?

  1. Establish, at the beginning of the planning phase, the meeting’s purpose. What do you need to accomplish? Make sure all your materials, outings and one-on-one breakouts support your intent.
  2. Stick to your agenda; start and end on time. There’s nothing worse for attendees than showing up for an early-morning educational session only to learn the keynote speaker will be 15 minutes late. Their time is valuable and it’s rude to keep them waiting.
  3. Don’t over schedule the agenda, leave room for open discussions. The best meeting sessions are those where attendees can ask follow up questions and truly be a part of the content. Provide enough time for their voices to be heard so you’re not just talking “at” them.
  4. Communicate clear guidelines for each meeting speaker. Let presenters know up front how much time they will have, the tone their presentations should take, and any audience insight they can use to further refine their presentations. Provide them ample practice time, especially when teleprompters or other technology will be used and stay nearby during the presentation in case they run into trouble.
  5. At the meeting’s conclusion, enforce follow up assignments and tasks. Your meeting is not a wrap until the last attendee request has been fulfilled, the last booth display is safely back on the truck and the last guest has their airport transportation instructions. Once back at the office, evaluate what went right and what you need to pay more attention to next time.
  6. Have fun! Take some time to look around and enjoy how your hard work is creating a memorable experience for your guests!

It’s Tradeshow Season…

Did you know the average tradeshow attendee will wait only three minutes before moving on? With more marketing dollars spent on tradeshow exhibitions than on magazine, radio, and outdoor advertising each year, realizing value from your tradeshow investment is important.

Create a booth that integrates your marketing strategy message and offers an environment for interaction. Tradeshows are about face-to-face opportunities and discussion, so don’t line the aisle with tables. Make sure attendees feel comfortable entering the booth, touching exhibits and talking with staff. Use preshow communications to generate excitement for the booth. Giveaways that tie into your marketing message are much more memorable after the show.

Don’t clutter your booth with bodies. Many companies bring an army to the show, only to have so many people in the booth that customers are intimidated to cross onto their carpet. Schedule only a few well trained staff. Determine key messages and define parameters for a qualified customer. A great strategy is to have a cheap giveaway to offer to non-qualified attendees to get them moving along so your team can concentrate on qualified leads. It is better to leave the show with fewer “real” customers than a laundry list of people who were scanned into a database. Make sure to let customers know what you want them to do or what the next step in their experience with your company will be such as a follow-up call or special show sale opportunity. Have a strong post-show plan to capitalize on each opportunity. Don’t just hand the leads over to sales team and wait for the results.