Influitive Channels: Tips and Best Practices for events
Covered in this article:
Use Influitive Channels for your next Event!
Events require a lot of time, effort and coordination. The good news? You have an army of advocates that can help you every step of the way. This article will go through utilizing Channels to add a big boost to your event.
Below we have outlined ways to engage your advocates throughout the entire duration of your event lifecycle. Incorporate these best practices into your event and everyone will be counting down the days until your next one!
During the event planning stage you are working to get all of your ducks in a row. Make sure you start your preparation efforts well ahead of time, and consider these suggestions to make the most of your event:
- Design some advocate-exclusive swag - Branded goodies are a common especially at conferences. Regardless of whether you are offering swag to the general public, consider producing something that's exclusive to your advocates. A special VIP lanyard or tag to add to their conference pass, or a T-Shirt they can wear around the event are good candidates of swag that advocates can use to show off their elite status.
- Make sign-ups on the spot easy - If you are planning a physical event or are participating in a conference and have a booth, make sure there are cards with a QR code or printed join code url to hand out, or alternatively a laptop that customers can use to join your advocacy program.
- Plan for rewards - Contests that run for the duration of an event can be incredibly powerful in boosting engagement. When running a contest like this, ideally have an attractive reward for the winner (it could be one of your products, a limo ride to the airport at the end of the event, or free licenses for your SAAS software for a specific period for example).
In terms of getting your advocates to help in your planning efforts, here are some challenge ideas you can present in the weeks leading up to the event:
- Get feedback - If this is an annual event you have held before, ask advocates for feedback on the previous event. What did they like/dislike? What could have been better? You can also have advocates vote for the reward of your event contest, or suggest what swag they would like to see. Make sure you forward the feedback you get to your events team and implement the suggested changes where possible.
- Identify potential speakers - Ask advocates ‘Are you interested in speaking at event xyz?’
Your advocates are likely to be the target audience of your event. Leverage them as much as possible to help you identify what they are looking for and what value you can provide them.
The big picture is in place and your event is a couple weeks away. You are now in the critical phase of engagement - everyone is excited and looking forward to your event, and it's up to you to offer them interesting activity to participate in and further build the hype. Remember, advocates will probably be pretty busy at the actual event, so a big part of event advocacy should actually happen prior to the event. Here’s what you are going to do….
Identify who is coming
- Create a new group specific to your event, then publish a challenge asking your advocates if they will be attending. Use the ‘Join an Influitive Group’-stage type to direct those who indicated they are coming into this group.
- Facilitate networking amongst your advocates by posting a challenge where attendees can introduce themselves, and share what they are most looking forward to. This will lower the treshold to continue the discussion in person at the event.
Share and get advocates sharing pro-tips
- Allow advocates to share their best advice for making the most of your event.
- Include challenges where you educate your advocates on relevant topics such as networking, prospecting, etc. and engage them in a follow-up question encouraging to contribute with their own tips.
- Use the 'Complete an online action'-stage type to direct advocates to your event registration page. You could promote a special registration discount to your advocates through the hub as well.
- Give advocates the opportunity to schedule 1-on-1's with executives/Customer Success Managers/other contacts or breakout session spots during the event.
Social media promotion
- Get your advocates spreading the word about your event socially. Use stage types like 'Post to Twitter' or 'Share a link'. Make it easy by offering a default tweet they can use: ‘I’m attending event xyz. Join me by registering at [insert link to registration page]!'
- That sounds good doesn’t it? If you have some hot prospects in attendance, who better for them to speak to than one of your top advocates?
- Publish a challenge asking advocates if they would be willing to spend 15-20 minutes speaking to prospects. This could be formally arranged in a meeting room, or something less formal where your advocates hang out at your booth and speak to those who drop by.
Announce a contest
- Boost engagement with an exciting contest that runs for the duration of your event. Include a special prize.
- The contest can start in the weeks leading to the event to get advocates started on the Leaderboard.
- Check this article for ideas on missions and special contests
- Who said events had to be so serious? Incorporate some entertaining challenges into your Channel and you’ll be sure to collect some great testimonials after the event (spoiler alert!)
- Ask advocates what their favorite song is. Use their answers to create a playlist that is to be played between sessions. We kid you not, people will literally get up to boogie while screaming “this is my song!”
- Advocate flashmob! Need we say more? Ask advocates if they would like to participate in a flashmob. You can set a date/time to congregate at the event, come up with your dance and the rest will be history.
- Get advocates sharing their tips of fun things to do outside of the event.
During Your Event
It’s game time! Besides upping the fun factor of your event and spreading important information, this is the perfect opportunity to recognize your advocates. Check out these tips for designing at-event challenges that are engaging, yet short and sweet to make participation easy with everything that's going on.
Pro-tip #1: When building your at-event challenges, keep them at 1-2 stages and make as many responses as possible dropdown or radio button-type. Image uploading challenges are also quick and easy to complete.
Pro-tip #2: Use the Public Leaderboard and Activity Feed features to display real-time results and snapshots of what your advocates are doing at your event on a big screen. This is great for building the competitive spirit, but also for sparking curiosity and getting new advocates to join your program.
Appreciate & recognize your advocates
- Coordinate an advocate breakfast, lunch or dinner. This is an exclusive, invite-only opportunity for your shining stars.
- VIP seating. Reserve front row seats at your keynote or highly attended speaking events for your advocates.
- You know that Nexus line at the airport where everyone blows by you, while you patiently wait to go through security? Ya….your advocates want that Nexus line, so give it to them. A designated advocate only check-in line.
- Give advocates a shout out during opening remarks. Thank them for being in attendance. It will not only make them feel special, but it was also make others inquire as to how they can be “one of them.”
Get advocates excited with contest(s)
- Make sure you are reminding advocates about your big points contest with a special prize, if applicable.
- You can also do mini-missions during the event. Make sure you keep these extremely simple (The first person to complete a small scavenger hunt, or the best selfie featuring an executive wins for example)
- If offering rewards for contests that start and end during the event, make your rewards time-sensitive and redeemable on the spot; e.g. winner gets a front-row seat or priority access to a popular session.
Share important information
- Make sure event schedules and other important information is readily available in the Channel in your hub. To keep e.g. the challenge that contains this key info visible at all times, you can set it up as multiple completion and 0 points to ensure it won't disappear from advocates' home pages as they go back to check it.
- Promote and remind about key sessions you want your advocates attending.
Recruiting at events
- Use a join code to display your hub’s sign-up page on an iPad or laptop.
- To sign-up a new advocate, use Incognito Windows (not Incognito Tabs) on your browser to ensure you don’t have any issues with cookies as you switch from user to user.
- Once an advocate signs up, help them complete their first challenge to show them how the hub works.
- Also encourage them to download the Influitive app on Apple or Android so they can continue completing event challenges on the go.
Common technical issues
If a new advocate can’t get into their new account, investigate the following:
- Did they misspell their email or password when signing up?
- If so, go into their advocate profile on the back end and update their info.
- Are they a member of another hub?
- If so, they will receive an error message that says, “account already taken” as they need to login with the exact same password they used for their other Influitive account. To fix this, email Support to have them reset the advocate’s password.
After the event
Phew! Aren’t you glad that’s over? Great job by the way! Before you wrap things up entirely there are a couple of things you'll want to do: gather feedback and ride the post-event hype to generate continued engagement in your hub.
Get feedback while it's fresh
- Similar to the challenge you published during the event planning stage, ask your advocates what they liked/disliked about the event. What would they like to see next year?
- Testimonials are a great touch for next years event collateral. Ask your advocates for a testimonial describing their experience at your event. What did they get out of it? Why would they recommend others in the industry attend the event?
Announce contest winners
- If you ran a contest for the event, promote the winner in a challenge. As a nice surprise you could pick a second and third place winner as a bonus.
Promote sharing of learnings
- Ask advocates to share their favourite moments, insights, and/or takeaways.
- You can follow up with advocates with a challenge that compiles the top responses from other advocates.
Facilitate post-event networking
- Make it easy for avocates to continue discussions they started with each other at your event. You may want to e.g. share the list of attendees of your exclusive advocate meetup throught a post-even challenge to ensure everyone gets connected.
Maintain engagement post-event
- Remind advocates that the fun doesn't end with the event, and that there is a ton of ongoing exciting activity for them to participate in in your hub.
- Take advantage of the positive post-event spirit by asking for testimonials and referrals
Well that’s a wrap! Congratulations on throwing one awesome event. Not only did you leverage your existing advocates to help with the planning and execution, but you threw such an awesome event that you just earned yourself a whole bunch of new advocates for your company.
Want some help building, strategizing and launching your event experience? Enlist our Influitive Professional Services team! Our team of event experts has helped numerous clients capitalize on their event investment by building interactive, real-time advocate experiences. Working as an extension of your team, we create the perfect mix of fun and value driven activities for your advocates.
Contact your coach or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for pricing and details.