Events are growing in importance to organizational success. Bizzabo’s Event Marketing 2018 research found that 87% of C-Suite executives believe in the power of live events and 86% of event marketers believe that technology can have a powerful impact on the success of their events. Event text messaging is an interactive, intelligent approach to the audience engagement, lead generation, and revenues that event marketers are counting on.
People attend events for a variety of reasons, chief among them to gain knowledge and increase the valuable connections in their networks. Since only about half of attendees will download your event app, it’s time to think about how event text messaging can grow participation, as well as the insights that you need to continue to engage your audience after the event while you grow the relationship.
What would 4,200 SMS Conversations Mean for Your Event’s Success?
Jaipur Dev Fest (JDF) is an annual community-driven event for Salesforce enthusiasts. In 2018, the organizers decided to use event text messaging to drive audience engagement and participation.
Depending on the type of event, the term “engagement” could mean a variety of things. For JDF, text messaging provided the opportunity to match applicants to jobs, answer questions, alert attendees to demos and speakers, as well as to conduct post-event surveys.
JDF event marketers used the SMS-Magic Converse platform to create a combination of automated and 1:1, two-way text conversations before, during, and after the event.
The result? More than 6,000 texts were sent by 800 attendees and there were 4200 two-way conversations. How’s that for audience engagement?
Pre-Event Text Messaging:
The day before the event, JDF announced “Ask Me Anything” via social media and email to attendees, inviting them to opt-in for event text messaging. Attendees submitted questions via SMS and received an answer. As soon as JDF announced that they were answering questions via SMS, they received queries only via text messaging, rather than email or phone.
The JDF organizers were notified when incoming SMS messages were received and routed them to group members for response via the Converse Desk. This allowed them to respond quickly to their attendees’ questions on a 1:1 basis.
Live Event Text Messaging:
During the event, JDF took advantage of a variety of communication options with text messaging:
- Session announcements: Automated SMS reminders were sent to attendees right before sessions to encourage attendance. In comparison to past years, the SMS reminders worked better than handing attendees brochures, reducing session no-shows by 40%.
- Job Dating: JDF also used automated text message workflows to match attendees with job opportunities offered by 10 of the event’s 22 sponsors.
Attendees texted about their interest and automated profiling matched them to the most relevant job opportunity. The volume of requests was high, yet the combination of automation and intelligence in Converse allowed for easy management and matching that produced a significant number of qualified applicants for the sponsors.
- Live Polling: JDF also includes a Demo Jam where products, solutions, and innovations are demonstrated to the audience in a competition format. Every attendee who watched the Demo Jam voted via SMS text message on the presentations. According to JDF, this is the first time they’ve ever had 100% of attendees do anything at the event.
Post-Event Text Messaging:
After the event concluded, JDF sent an SMS survey to all 800 attendees. They learned that attendees appreciated they could message the event organizers directly to ask questions about the event, speakers, logistics, and more.
The JDF organizers have discovered that they had significantly more discussions via SMS then they ever could have achieved via email. They plan on repeating the experience again next year.
Converse Analytics Show the ROI on Event Text Messaging
Proving the ROI from events is getting better but is still an area of difficulty for many event marketers. An intelligent text messaging solution helps to solve this problem by collecting and analyzing both qualitative and quantitative data collected from event attendees. All SMS conversations are recorded in the attendee’s record in Salesforce. Not only can you analyze the input collectively, but you can also drill down into each record to see the individual responses.
Qualitative insights are based on individual responses and include data, such as:
- Survey feedback that identifies the perspectives of different attendees
- Questions asked and the nature of the query
- Keyword replies which help event marketers understand specific interests for each attendee or groups of them
This type of data is useful for 1:1 continued, relevant conversations or for segmenting attendees by interests to continue to nurture them after the event with a text messaging nurture campaign.
Quantitative metrics are measures of the collective activity of attendees during the event and include data, such as:
- # & % of audience who opt-in for messaging
- # & % of audience who participate in conversations
- Total number of responses
- Total number of interactive conversations
- # & % of survey responses
- # & % of live poll responses
- # of meetings arranged
This type of data can demonstrate the overall amount of engagement that event text messaging was able to drive for your event. It’s important to establish goals before the event to make sure your text workflows are motivating the behaviors that will make your event a success.
Then again, you just may learn something new like JDF did when they generated 100% participation from attendees in voting for the Demo Jam presentations along with 6,000 messages from their 800 attendees.
We’ll be using text messaging for event updates at Dreamforce to demonstrate its effectiveness as a must-have solution for event engagement.