We’ve talked star power. We’ve talked social media. And in this series of posts we’re running on the secrets of sold-out events, we’ve even suggested flipping the traditional sales funnel on its head to get to the top. But there’s another factor out there that can have a huge impact on an events ability to join the ranks of the all-stars that we’ve yet to cover and today it’s taking center stage!
Shows that find big success have an up close and personal relationship with technology. And we’re not just talking about behind-the-scenes software for things like registration, ticket sales and management but the kind of stuff with cool factor or a degree of usefulness that builds buzz of its own.
The best example of this strategy comes courtesy of South by Southwest. One of the largest and fastest growing events in the world, the organizers of SXSW go out of their way to bring technology into the fold – so much so even, that tech got its own show within the show in 1995 when they split the event in two to form SXSW Multimedia, which is now SXSW Interactive. The world now expects very big tech news to come out of Austin, TX every March -- Twitter, Foursquare and more recently, Meerkat, to name a few – and that’s by design.
Not Just Tech Talk
But beyond just courting hot new startups out of Silicon Valley, SXSW walks the walk on incorporating technology that elevates the experience for their attendees. Through a custom-built app and the supplementary use of location-based technology like ibeacons and RFID wearables, attendees can quickly and easily make purchases, find friends, see what bands are playing near them, which sessions are about to start and even practical information like where the closest restroom or first-aid station is located.
Try It On For Size
Scaling this strategy for your own event can be as simple as making sure you can provide reliable Wi-Fi coverage – which we all know is harder than it sounds. If you’re looking to take it a bit further, consider possibilities like livestreaming or follow the lead of SXSW and set up mobile payment processing with RFID wristbands. Brainstorm things you could do with technology that would make the experience easier or more interesting for your attendees and you can’t lose.
There’s More Where This Came From
Want to cut right to the chase on how else you can move your event up to the A-list? Download our new Ebook, The Top 10 Secrets of Sold-Out Events, to get in on more of the action that will help your show rise to the top.