20 Ways to Improve your Nonprofit Event with Technology

A nonprofit event can leave a lasting impression about your organization. Your invitees will come away with a distinct impression about your organization’s level of sophistication, commitment, flexibility and friendliness.

Remember: the attendees’ experience is not limited to the scheduled event times.

Their impression will be formed from every part of the experience – from the moment they receive the invitation through to reviewing the post-event photographs and participating in the follow-up survey.

Making Great Events

The good news is there are wonderful technology tools that can help to make events better.

Technology can turn good events into great events.

Whether you are a non-profit or corporate event planner, you should be leveraging all the latest technology to ensure your guests have a memorable experience.

Consider these 20 ways to use technology to make your events great.

Using Technology for Great Events

1. Email invitations – It’s certainly the most direct way to make sure invitees learn about your event – get it in the inbox of their smartphone or computer. Use the same approach for sending automatic reminders.

2. Online Event Registration – Strike another item from your to-do list – no more answering RSVP calls and making a list. An online registration tool does it all for you.

3. Event website – How do your attendees know to get excited for the event? Build an intriguing website with all the details and some teasers to demonstrate what they can expect. Include a three-click registration process so they can sign up immediately.

4. Email marketing tool – Sending your marketing materials electronically not only works better, it’s also measurable. You can get instant feedback about the response rate, email opening rates, and bounce rates.

5. Segment the invitations for targeted audiences – Your event will have different audiences – VIPs, sponsors, staff, special guests – and your invitations will not be one-size fits all. You can electronically segment your guest list by categories.

6. Pre-event survey – Use your event website to ask people what they want to see, eat and do at the event. Survey Monkey is useful, but now there are survey tools available that integrate with your system.

7. Payment automation with a smooth refund process – Make the payment process easy by using an electronic payment scheme and put it directly on your event website.

8. Easy event reporting and lists – No more need to jot-down RSVP lists and cross-reference against other people’s lists – the electronic system maintains them automatically and produces them when you need.

9. Automate the guest check-in – No more check-in table with event staff marking people’s names off clipboard lists. Choose an application or tool that allows you to use your tablet –automatically recording check-ins against the master list and notifying your company executives when VIPs have arrived.

10. Create an App: – Your employees, customers and partners are using mobile devices. Take advantage of that by building an app that promotes your event.

11. Offer presentations or videos through smartphones – Mobile technology is useful not just for promoting the event, but delivering it too. Make the presentations or lectures available on people’s mobile devices.

12. Interactive video walls – People are mesmerized by videos. Create a video wall to mesmerize people with how great your event is.

13. All the data in one place – Getting rid of multiple papers – all your lists, vendor contacts and arrival times are recorded in one place.

14. Post-event survey – Find out what people thought and make an even better event next time.

15. Data analysis – How can you create an overall picture of what your event meant for your company? It’s easy – run the data. You can measure all aspects from attendance to revenue.

16. Add social media to your strategy – Social media is effective for driving attendance, creating excitement and generating results. Social media is useful throughout – before, during and after your event.

17. Use Facebook – Use videos, photos and discussion board to connect with your audience.

18. Use Twitter – Twitter is useful, but don’t do it on the fly. Have the tweets scheduled before the event and stack the audience with preselected ‘Twitterers’ who can share photographs and offer real-time updates during your event.

19. Eventstagram – People love seeing photos of the event, and it’s even better when it’s in real-time. Event planners can use Eventstagram to share real-time slideshows of event photos and share them through Instagram.

20. WiFi microphones – No more tripping over cords or fumbling with handhelds. Today many wireless microphones use WiFi to connect with a base station, and if there is a frequency problem, the base station automatically assigns a new frequency.

Your Turn

Have you successfully used technology to create great events? What were the long-term benefits to your company? Requests to be added to invitations lists? Greater customer relationships?

Share your thoughts and questions in the comment section below, and don’t forget to forward this post to your networks if you found it helpful.

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