November 08, 2022
By Cvent

Maintaining a mobile presence for your event has become a necessity for today's event managers. 91% of event organizers have turned to dedicated apps with interactive features to ensure a smooth attendee experience and enhanced business outcomes. 

Whether an app powers smaller focused meetings or high-profile conferences and tradeshows with thousands of attendees there is one primary goal that remains still the same: engagement.  

How do you encourage attendees to actively engage with your event app pre, during and post-event? 

The answer may be simple: Push Notifications.

According to a Localytics study, almost 52% of smartphone users have enabled push notifications on their devices, however, if not adequately optimized, your message is continually at a risk of being ignored or forgotten. Let's go over the different types of in-app push notifications that you can send to your attendees:

1. Pre-event

Push notifications can be an excellent way to share pre-event information with your attendees. Share updates regarding the venue, event schedule, performers/artists, weather forecast or entry badge/registration ahead of time. 

For example, you may announce a new addition to the speaker line-up by sending the following message: "We are lucky to have [insert speaker name] who is [insert accomplishment or notoriety]! Come see them at the [insert session name] in [location name]."

Remember, brevity is your friend. Keep your text short yet persuasive. Since push notifications with less than 24 characters usually have higher conversion rates make sure you get your message across in as fewer words as possible.


2. Promote Sponsored Content

Have sponsors that are running promoted posts or sponsored content through the app? Sending push notifications can help bring more attention to that sponsored content and create better outcomes for your exhibitors and sponsors or your own offerings.

Your premium sponsors will appreciate your spreading the word and driving foot traffic to their booth. For example send out a push notification to promote real-time happenings at sponsors' booths: "Happening now! Visit the [sponsor booth] booth to see [type of attraction]!"

A Delvv study found that 78% of recipients found most push notifications irrelevant. Therefore, you should avoid sending too many push notifications of this type, as many may feel put-off by over communication about things they aren't interested in. 

Keep the preferences and interests of your attendees in mind at all times. Setting a frequency cap on your messages is a good start if you don't want to overwhelm your attendees, but personalizing messages by interest is an even better plan. This is the perfect segue into using push notifications to promote surveys and maximize response rates. That will enable you to personalize content and future notifications!

3. Promote Surveys and Polls

Surveys and polls can help you to personalize the event experience and content you share with segments of your attendees in real-time. Use push notifications to urge attendees towards responding to questions that get to the root of their intentions at your event, such as: what are you here to do? what topics are you interested in? which sessions are you finding most interesting? how many years have you been attending?

Ask close-ended questions such as multiple choices or a rating-scales to make responses quicker to answer on-the-go, and easier for you to segment based on the answers provided. 

For example, use push notifications to promote a poll or survey that gauges topic interest: "Quick, we need you to weigh in! What topics are most interesting this year? View live poll now!"

Based on the topic interest specified you have the insight needed to only push notifications to that person about sessions, booths, or happenings that apply to their specific interests or goals. Personalization is key to push notification success.

4.   Share Exclusive Event Activities or Offers

On a macro level, you can use push notifications to share special deals and offers that benefit all attendees. This might include limited time meet and greet opportunities with keynotes, premium membership or subscription discounts or early access to future events.

On a more micro level, if you've been collecting feedback and segmenting your audience throughout the event you are able to highly personalize offers and push notifications. If your prior poll asked how many years attendees have attended the event. You can then target first-time attendees with an exclusive "first-year" happy hour push notification, or networking opportunities.  

Use Push Notification Best Practices for Success

Make sure push notifications are time-sensitive, convey a sense of urgency and include appropriate 'call-to-action' buttons.
The mobile landscape is uber-competitive. The average U.S. based smartphone owner uses over 35 apps every month!

Push notifications can be instrumental in boosting app engagement, sessions, and retention for your events. Taking attendee interests and in-app behavior into account, push notifications can change the game for event engagement and personalized experiences.

While we hope the above pointers help you to optimize your push notifications, you can always experiment with more content types to see what resonates the best with your audience.

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Cvent is a leading meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider with more than 4,500 employees and nearly 21,000 customers worldwide.

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