Event planners know that effectively communicating timely information to attendees, speakers, volunteers or vendors is key to running a smooth event.
Email tends to be at the heart of most event communication strategies, but many attendees only check email intermittently. According to a recent email benchmarking study, event and entertainment industry emails have an open rate of 21% and a click-through rate of only 2%. So, it’s probably safe to assume critical event updates often get missed.
Apps are a popular alternative to email but they present their own set of challenges including limited user adoption and expensive development costs.
So how can you effectively reach event-attendees at the right time with the right message? Text messaging.
Studies show that about 98% of texts are read within three minutes of being received. And you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone at your event that isn’t actively checking their texts throughout the day.
Here are some reasons why you need to add texting as a communication channel for all of your events.
6 Reasons to use Texting for Event Communications
Start engaging attendees right after they register
One easy way to make an impactful first impression after an attendee registers is to send an automated, personalized confirmation text. Something like, “Thank you for registering Susie. We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas!” The text can include a link to the agenda, hotel info, details about the destination city, or any other helpful info and links.
Get people excited before the event
Think about a time you were really looking forward to attending an industry conference or event. There’s always a “buzz” a few days before everyone arrives, and it’s the event planners’ job to create that excitement.
With texting, a great way to kick off an event is to send a friendly, personalized text the day prior. Not only will you set a positive tone, but you can also send key reminders too. Here’s an example. “Hi Taylor, Get ready for a great day tomorrow. 15 amazing speakers, 77 of the best vendors, plus, a networking reception like no other! Registration opens at 8:30 am.”
It was our first time using texting, but our attendees embraced it as much as we did. The more creative we were, the more they engaged. It was our best addition to our event customer service and marketing, and we’ll definitely use it for all of our other shows.Ingrid Thorson, Director of Marketing Communications, National Golf Course Owners Association
Streamline on-site check-in
Waiting in the check-in line can be painful for both attendees and staff. One way to tackle the issue is to implement a Check-in By Text option integrated with your event registration platform. With a few strategically placed signs you can direct attendees to skip the line by texting a Keyword like “CHECKIN”. Those who are already registered get an automated text reply like, “Thanks Rob! You’re checked in!”. Everyone else can be directed to a registration page on your site or the registration desk.
Easily reach targeted groups
During an event, you may need to reach out to specific groups like Track “A” attendees, speakers, staff, or volunteers. Let’s say you need to alert all of your exhibitors about delays with booth deliveries but don’t have the ability to update them all in person. Firing off a text to your “Exhibitors Group” makes the task quick and simple.
Being able to reach attendees in an instant is invaluable! We had more than 1,000 people attend this year’s Summit and I can think of no more efficient and reliable way to communicate with them than with the texts we were able to send.Michelle Swanner, Executive Director, The National Trial Lawyers
Create interactive sessions with live polling and questions
One way to keep attendees engaged during a session that has dense content or a session scheduled at the end of a long day is by interacting with your audience in real time. Conducting a live poll or asking your audience questions through texting is a great way to keep them engaged.
You can shoot out a question and get responses in just seconds –making a great ‘real-time’ presentation. You can even send a test request for questions – allowing your speakers or staff filter out the questions they want to share.
Keep the conversation going
Just because the event is over doesn’t mean you stop engaging your attendees. Texting is a quick and easy way to thank people for attending and send out a link to a survey. Also, now that your attendees are opted-in to the system, you can send notifications promoting upcoming events.
Using texting for event communications is an effective way to provide everyone with the best possible experience – increase attendance, instantly communicate with your attendees and staff, and keep people engaged after your event.
Are you ready to get started? Schedule a demo of GivBee’s EVENTText solution today and see the power of texting for event communications.
EVENTText easily integrates with several event management platforms, giving you the data analytics you need to measure the effectiveness of all event communication channels.