What is the one thing people attending an event are almost guaranteed to have with them? If you answered a mobile device of some kind, then you already understand the power of push notifications. The Pew Research Group estimates about 77 percent of the population in the U.S. carry a smartphone — that number includes individuals with lower incomes and those over the age of 50. It’s an evolution that plays in the favor of anyone looking to grab the attention of their target audience and provide them with real-time information.
Leveraging push notifications is a smart way to provide valid and useful messages that help manage the event. It’s a game changer whether you are setting up the local farmer’s market or the next big industry expo. Consider some ways you can leverage push notifications when planning your next event.
What Are Push Notifications?
Push notifications offer you a chance to speak directly to each app user. It is a system that was first introduced by Apple in 2009, and, today, they serve as one of the most effective communication tools around. For events, they provide planners an actionable way to draw the attention of attendees to displays or special programs during what tends to be a chaotic experience.
- A sponsor is holding a drawing
- A business is giving away something free
- A panel or live show is about to start
These are all easy to miss, leaving event attendees disappointed and wanting. Push notifications provide a better way to get the message out than the old-school loudspeaker announcement, so those interested are in the know.
Using a push notification system during an event allows you to deliver target information to a select group of attendees, as well. Maybe they expressed interest in a special company or a specific panel — a quick push notification reminds them that something important is about to begin and tells them how to get there.
Take Advantage of the Opt-in Feature
The goal is to contact interested people and inspire them to enjoy an exciting moment during the event, but that starts with giving them a choice. By design, push notifications are disruptive. That’s one of the reasons they are such an effective tool. Not everyone appreciates the chatter, though, and that can lead to disgruntled users and poor online reviews. Provide them with an engaging explanation as to why they want to see the push notifications, and set up a few reminders of how to opt-in around the event. This way they have to option to turn on the notifications as they move around.
Keep It Active and Relevant
Pacing is the key to effective push notifications. Don’t abuse the notification system by sending out a message every few minutes with information that will just annoy the average user. Too many too close together means the attendees will opt-out quickly or even uninstall the event app. With strategic timing, though, the notifications work to successfully manage the event, so the people attending can relax and just enjoy themselves.
Save the push notifications for interesting and engaging details that are active and relevant, as well. Attendees want to know where the free food is located or that a show is about to begin. They don’t need passive reminders that amount to nothing but meaningless promotion.
Use push notifications to provide incentives to get attendees to “check-in” at an event on social media. Checking in means free marketing, and the more people that do it, the more the word spreads. You can offer check-in rewards and incentives with one or two insightful notifications.
The Safety of Push Notifications
Safety is always a concern at an event, especially when there are thousands of people gathered in one space. Push notifications can provide valuable information about what to do in an emergency. Through push messages, managers can point attendees toward fire exits, first aid booths and security in the event of a natural disaster, accident, weather emergency or even a terrorist attack. It’s a sure way to ensure a large number of people get critical information just when they need it.
Keep in mind that push notifications, even those sent in an emergency, will only reach users that opt-in to the feature. This is one reason that it is so important to promote the push notification service to event attendees because the more people you can reach if there is a crisis, the better.
Planning an event is a massive undertaking, and it is hard to find potent ways to communicate with the audience. Push notifications mean you stay in touch with each person in a way that is both individualized and engaging. By pushing messages through the event app, planners have a relevant and readily available communication tool at their disposal.