With so much new technology—mobile apps, matchmaking solutions, RFID, social networking platforms, and lead retrieval, for example—it’s becoming more difficult for trade show and conference organizers to keep attendees up-to-date on how to use the tools. Add in augmented reality and hybrid events and the solutions designed to streamline and enhance the event experience suddenly add an unintended layer of complexity to the equation.
Since the solutions come from different vendors, there is (often) no single source for how-to information for event participants. Some event organizers have developed various ways to offer pre-event and on-site technical help to users:
Genius Bar. An on-site tech support desk with representatives from the various technology suppliers or a tech savvy team that can point visitors to support resources is another way to assist show participants.
Video tutorials. Asking technology suppliers to provide a video tutorial of their applications—which are then prominently displayed on the event Website—as part of their contracts for service is one way for organizers to collect the content without the production costs.
TwitterTech411. Creating a hashtag exclusively for technology questions is a great way for the tech support team to communicate (by sending tweets, links, and telephone numbers) with show participants who have quick questions about technology.
Online Q & A. Developing an extensive list of questions and answers (with a search box) for the show Website or mobile app is a good way to help exhibitors and attendees help themselves.
Roving Tech Support. Some organizers have considered engaging a tech support team (mobile concierges) to roam the trade show or conference floor with iPads, offering assistance and pointing visitors to additional resources.
On-site Signage. From high-tech kiosks to fiberboard signs, sometimes the simplest way to provide instruction about technology tools is with free-standing signage that participants can read, touch, or scan (as in the case of QR codes).
The 800 Number Help Desk. Even with all of the advanced ways to get information to attendees, the low-tech methods are still popular. With nearly everyone carrying a mobile phone, what could be easier than calling one number to get all the answers? Even if the person at the other end of the line doesn’t have all of the answers, they can point or transfer callers to other resources for help.