MICE, Conference, Summit, Tradeshow Organisers — Please Use Me!

QR Code is functional.

I stood in the lobby of a luxury hotel last Friday morning waiting to meet two people and watching delegates receive their credentials. Over and over again. Barcode scan, confirmation, printing, plastic sleeve and lanyard handed over, slipped over the head. Very likely every single one of you reading this has ‘been there, done that’.

As a communications and change management consultant I have been thinking about the process and the end results, what was missing, how could this process be more efficient in our social media platform driven communications age to specifically foster both engagement and drive revenue.

For the folks handling registration of delegates before the actual event allow me to share a few thoughts increase your attendance and improve your online buzz.

  1. Add a tick box to your registration form in which the person about to give you their credit card details to pay to attend commits to immediately generating a QR Code which captures all of their contact details with their social media accounts. Ask them to send the code back to you to add to their credentials when it is printed out at your event (scan and connect, over and over again).
  2. With your confirmation email, ask them to connect with your event or business social media accounts and provide those (as hyperlinks) to make it easy to do so.
  3. In this same email ask them to identify the social media accounts of the 10 people they want to meet at your event. You will provide a boilerplate post for the social media platforms most relevant to your industry vertical (fish where the fishes are). If these are Twitter and Instagram the post will include their QR Code, a selfie and the boilerplate text (which obviously includes your account name and strategically identified hashtags) and have them tag those 10 accounts to their posts as ‘who is in this photo’. Those 10 identified people will know instantly that this person would like to connect with them in real time at your event. Hopefully, there is mutual benefit identified and if they haven’t yet booked this will prompt them to do so.
  4. You will get a notification that you have been mentioned. It will be repetitive and boring but SOMEONE MUST immediately engage by liking the post and responding.
  5. As they have already agreed as part of the ‘terms of attending’ followed you on social media the next element in this cycle, and part of your reputation management efforts, is to follow back each of these social media accounts when their posts are issued.
  6. Each attendee, each keynote speaker, each member of your panel discussions, your hack-a-thons and funding pitch sessions, every single person involved in your event will issue these posts. Their details on the QR Code allows for the second round of posts to be generated when they check in and receive their credentials, an automatic #InTheHouse post which lets all the people s/he wants to meet know that they have arrived.
  7. All this social media buzz drives the desire to ‘belong’. It’s a soft sell. It’s a single element of your total pre-event content marketing efforts. Each of your registered individuals and their companies will be repeating this process. Regardless of whether you have 200 or 125,000 people attending this will allow you to dominate these platforms for the keywords attached to your event for weeks ahead of time and ensure your posts from your event find their constituent audiences — easily.
  8. Finally, you have effectively made brand ambassadors of each and every one of your delegates because this process uses social platforms to connect them in real time to the individuals they are coming to your event to meet and with whom they hope to do business.