There are many areas of marketing technology that are considered “hot” right now. And then there is event technology.
For some reason, event management is not seen as one of the sexier topics in marketing. And yet MarketsandMarkets forecasts that the global event management software market alone is expected to grow from $5.10 billion in 2014 to $7.78 billion by 2019.
But there’s a problem with events.
Despite all the event creation, promotion, attendee check-in, and management solutions available — both at the low end and within the enterprise — many companies still run their respective seminars and conferences exactly as they used to decades ago.
In B2B circles, the days of stapling business cards to manually completed “lead sheets” are still with us. Even now, with smartphones and tablets as prevalent as they are, double-entry of attendees is rife, and sales reps have no clue when an “important person” walks into the conference hall.
Today, Attend wants to change that for good with the release of a new mobile app that augments its existing event management platform. Attend CEO Matt Engel weighs in on the reason events seem to be stuck in the past.
“To date, event solutions have focused on improving operational efficiency,” Engel said. “While there is value in that, the real need is for solutions that maximize business performance, conversion, and customer experience.”
The growth of the rest of the marketing technology world, especially marketing automation, CRM, and marketing clouds means that organizations are collecting more data on their prospects and customers than ever before. But purely digital marketing can’t replace every channel, according to Engel.
“There is a resurgence in organizations understanding that in-person experiences are dramatically more effective than other channels in creating and building upon lasting customer relationships,” Engel said.
The new mobile app puts Attend’s event data into the hands of marketing, sales, and customer success teams. Available today on iOS, it allows Attend’s customers to gain access to real-time relevant data about their attendees, including that all-important aspect — when an existing VIP (such as a customer, high-value partner, or investor) visits the event space.
I saw a demonstration of how the Attend platform works. As you’d expect from any event management solution, Attend allows you to create a page for your forthcoming conference, seminar, or trade show. Attendees can secure a ticket for that event — either free or paid — and the system will handle all communications with those ticket holders. So far, so good. You’d expect all of this from any of the available event management systems.
Attend handles registration pages, pre-event emails, ticket production, badge printing, attendee check-ins, payment collection, online surveys, and provides all the reports you’ll need, both in real-time and after the event. But the real ace in the hole is how Attend links to CRM solutions such as Salesforce to put all of that information where the marketing and sales teams need it.
This is where the new mobile app comes into its own. When a VIP checks in, an alert is sent to the event staff. As well as handling mobile check-ins, the app allows the sales team to review important information about that attendee so that they can greet, meet, and handle them accordingly.
“The app enables our customers to optimize event interactions and helps bridge the connection between event managers and their sales teams,” Engel said. “With Attend’s latest event platform, users can dramatically improve their guests’ experiences and accelerate pipeline activities.”
The app enables monitoring of attendee registration, VIP alerts, attendee profiles (including Salesforce intelligence), and a note-taking capability to remove the need for separate lead sheets (digital or otherwise). It also allows users to create lists of their favorite attendees, helping them to monitor and prioritize interactions with those prospects and customers.
Attend’s new app is available today for all Attend subscribers using iOS. Will it come to Android?
“As we formalize plans to enter other markets, where Android is a dominant technology, we will be extending our mobile solutions to support Android,” Eric Bisceglia, VP of product at Attend said.