Appreciating different users of event technology

If you are reading this article, you might probably have deployed a event application, polling, chat app, meetings app or engagement hardware at your event.
You would also have heard all about the analytics wonder that these solutions can do for you. But deep down, you know what matters is adoption. If a minority of your intended audience uses the event technology, the “analytics wonder” is moot anyway.

So adoption of any event technology is truly the source of the relevant data “river” in your event.

So where does adoption really starts and how do we understand and ‘engineer’ a better process to boost adoption?

It’s really simple actually.

You need to start appreciating different users and different adoption channels if you haven’t already.

This is an obvious fact which I feel, many organisers do not appreciate this. Events are a gathering of different people with different aims of attending, just like a marketplace. As such, it is only possible if there are different streamlined channels to fulfill different needs at an event.

What I meant here is not about cramming your single event app with different features to suit different needs. The latter actually have an opposite effect as it makes features less accessible hence the adoption process is not streamlined. Furthermore, attendees will most likely need to access 10–20% of all the features anyway.

What can we learn from that? It means that we need to pinpoint the event time frame of which an event technology is required, and the purpose it serves before deploying it using the best channel. For example, why have a Q&A/polling feature on the native app (which people have to download it) to enable them to rate and post up questions of sessions during the sessions itself? It is adding unnecessary bulk to the native event app. There are existing technologies that are already out there which will fulfill the in-session Q&A and polling needs better, using webapp technology, without needing your attendees to download an app to utilise Q&A and polling.

In the field of user experience (UX) study, one of the recommended way to understanding users is through the use of user personas (here’s an in-depth write up on personas). This is not only applicable to the event technology that you use, it is actually relevant to your event growth (as well as reasons of decline) if you are able to studying the key personas in your event and deeply gauge what you provide fits their needs.

However, there’s one key point to note really, when you are emphasising on personas to influence your event processes as cited from the previous article:

Any tool can be used for good or evil, and personas are no different. If used improperly, as when personas are not based on research (with the exception of provisional personas, which are based on anecdotal, secondhand information or which are used as a precursor or supplement to firsthand research), or if made up of fluffy information that is not pertinent to the design problem at hand, or if based solely on market research (as opposed to ethnographic research), then personas will impart an inaccurate understanding of users and provide a false sense of security in the user-centered design process.

Probably a wrong use of personas in event is when organising team receive a feedback from a particular user and assumes the all the users within the persona will have the same feedback. This ends up influencing the design of the process that received the feedback. Such confirmation bias can be a dangerous move, as it leads you deeper into wrongly designing the process.

In conclusion, I hope this article will spur you on to further appreciate your event audience, their needs and their attending experience. There are many ways to study your users, one of them is through personas. Lets speak if you are interested to discuss further on this topic.
Do you know that Jublia currently provides a native event app that is tightly integrated in our leading Business Matching platform? Speak to us to know more!