As a meeting planner, you use multiple event technologies throughout the life cycle of an event to engage with your attendees. Although they were designed to meet different needs, it’s pretty common for these different tech to have overlaps in their features. One area where you may have noticed overlap is the attendee schedule builder. Your registration tool, your content management system AND your mobile app may all offer this feature. Which is the best one to use?
Picking the right agenda system for your audience can maximize session attendance and overall satisfaction. To make the right choice, it is important to consider a few key factors.
- Providing the best possible experience to your attendee
- The hidden costs of doing things the “old fashioned way”
- The strengths and limitations of each system
Think About Your Attendee First
To create the best attendee experience, use the system that requires the fewest hoops to jump through. Some of the most critical features to consider:
- Single sign-on—Don’t make your attendees juggle multiple log-ins.
- Single point of contact—Attendees want to enter their information once and have it carried over. If an attendee gave you their information when they registered, they’re going to expect it to be populated in the mobile app. Conversely, if they make a change to their profile in the mobile app, they expect that change to be updated across all your records.
- Accurate and up-to-date information—If there is a change to a session that a participant has flagged as attending, you’ll want the schedule on their mobile app to reflect that change so attendees don’t go to the wrong room or end up disappointed that a session has been cancelled.
Factor in Hidden Costs
When you’re evaluating the price of implementing a specialized system, think beyond the price tag. While it might seem like an additional expense up front, technology can save you significant time—and the embarrassment of outdated or incorrect information going out. Take the examples listed above about attendees updating their profiles or changes to speakers and sessions. If your systems aren’t integrated, you’ll be left trying to juggle an impossible list of change requests that need to be tracked and manually updated across different systems. At best it will require a continuous exporting and re-importing of data between the different tools. This is a giant time suck and is likely to result in mistakes and errors in the content that goes out
Consider Your Tech Holistically
In contrast, having systems that are integrated together will allow a seamless flow of information back and forth. Imagine the time you can save with real-time, automated updates rather than version tracking and continual import / export headaches. This doesn’t require an all-in-one system, but it does mean you need to check that your systems are fully integrated together. Many vendors have integrations already built-out, so there’s no extra work needed on your end.
A content management system can serve as the “system of record”, a definitive source of information about your conference’s speakers, sessions and programs. It can serve as a central hub pulling in data from your registration or AMS and pushing it out to where its needed—including populating attendee’s agendas with the latest information in near real time. This single source will also streamline how you market your content—when your event content is readily available and always up to date, you can focus on connecting with attendees and builder greater engagement.
Your attendees’ experience will be heavily shaped by all of the technology you choose to use, so it’s worth taking a thoughtful approach to the attendee schedule builder tools you offer. While it may not be the most crucial part of the event technology mix, choosing the right agenda builder will help your attendees make the most of their time at your event.