Regardless of how many years’ experience you have in the industry or how smoothly past conferences have run, it is only a matter of time before you encounter one or more of the misfortunes listed below. And when you do, it is important to identify a solution that won’t result in large budget overruns, upset sponsors or disgruntled attendees.
Here are five last minute event misfortunes you may have already or are likely to encounter as a corporate or association meeting planner and the technology solution that will work to resolve each situation.
Misfortune #1: Your Company or Association Name Changes
Organizations merge and/or change their names all the time. However, this time, it is happening within a few weeks of your conference and the CEO insists that all the branded marketing collateral be change.
Under a paper-based system, all your signage, surveys, programs and badges need to be thrown out and redone. This requires massive time on the part of your staff, not to mention, the cost of printing everything new again.
A better way is to get rid of all the paper and move to a digital-based system. When anything changes, the edits can be made in seconds or minutes and displayed on a real-time basis.
Misfortune #2: A Large Corporate Sponsor Finally Commits to Your Event
You open the mail one week before your event and in it is a check for $10,000 from one of the sponsors you have been trying to get. No phone call or email from them saying a check is on the way. Even though the deadline has passed and the programs printed, you are not about to turn away this opportunity.
Again, you are faced with a “throw out and recreate” situation for 2,000 attendees. This is a lot of work especially since you were planning on being in the office for only a couple more days and onsite for the remainder of the week.
Digital signage allows for sponsorship commitments several hours before the opening of your program and the ability to make logos larger or smaller depending on their level of financial commitment.
Misfortune #3: You Need to Change the Room and/or Floorplan
You were just informed that the set of rooms you were planning to hold your conference in are not available. Or you have more attendees scheduled to attend a session and the room isn’t large enough. Or you just got word that the speaker wants the room set-up in an unusual way.
A paper drawing just isn’t going to cut it in this situation. A better solution is to use a mobile app that enables you and your suppliers to easily display tables, chairs and event rental equipment to make sure everything fits perfectly without physically moving anything around.
Misfortune #4: You Can’t Find the Preprinted Badges
Most event planners ship the badges in a black box filled with plastic sleeves that either have a clip or go on a lanyard. For whatever reason, the boxes did not arrive with the rest of the shipment or the hotel cannot find them. Each badge had a barcode allowing for entry into the conference, accumulation of education credits and lead generation for booth exhibitors.
This can and does happen. In addition, walk-in attendees need to be registered which can be very time-consuming and put an additional strain on the registration process. The best way to handle this situation is to have self-serve iPad kiosk rentals where walk-in attendees can register themselves and once the process is completed, a badge will print off with the barcode. Additionally, the self-serve kiosk can be used to check in pre-registered attendees.
Misfortune #5: Your Speaker is Very Late or Isn’t Coming at All
Speakers cancel due to sickness, conflicts or missed flights. Or they come in very late, due to things out of their control (i.e. flight cancellation due to storm activity). If you have a paper program, you won’t be able to give attendees ample notification. When they show up to a certain room, attendees are going to be very disappointed.
With a mobile app, you can push out notifications as soon as you have them to the attendee’s phone or tablet. They will know when the speaker will be presenting and in which room. In certain cases, you may have to find a substitute and you can post the new speaker’s bio, topic and time on the digital signage, as well as, within the app.
Hartford Technology Rental Offers Technology Solutions
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