8 Great Examples Experiential Marketing NextME Waitlist App

8 Great Examples of Experiential Marketing

How Top Brands Use Experiential Marketing

It seems that everywhere we go today, we’re bombarded by advertising. For many, this means traditional means of marketing a product are less effective. They fade into the background as just so much white noise. So how can a company get their message noticed in this increasingly competitive space?

Enter experiential marketing.

What is Experiential Marketing?

8 Great Examples Experiential Marketing NextME Waitlist App

Photo Courtesy of Parker Design Consultants

While you may only be encountering this term recently, it’s likely that you’ve seen experiential marketing many times. Marketing booths at fairgrounds and conferences, car shows, and sample booths are all common examples that have been around for decades.

Experiential marketing is marketing in the real world, in ways that grab the attention more than your typical ad ever could. The methods and specifics are as varied as the products and companies using this technique, but they all have one thing in common. It means interacting directly with your target market and creating memorable experiences, no matter how small or how large.

Why is Experiential Marketing Important?

In today’s increasingly crowded marketplace, smart brands are stepping up their game. Those who pay attention are learning that the best way to capture attention is to stand out from the commonplace. It’s not enough to just hand out a sample or a sales pitch. Instead, marketers must create experiences that people will both remember and talk about.

The best examples of this are those events and experiences that go viral. In addition to reaching people in real time, you also get your message in front of their social networks when they share their experience. In effect, each person reached directly becomes a brand ambassador, spreading your message for you. It’s the kind of reach many brands couldn’t afford to buy, but with a little creativity, it can be created.

How Your Brand Can Use Experiential Marketing

So how do you incorporate this into your brand strategy? The most important thing to remember is that the experience should be unique, and should be intimately tied with your product or message. Here are a few memorable examples to help get your creative juices flowing.

BMW’s Ultimate Driving Experience

BMWs Ultimate Driving Experience - 8 Great Examples Experiential Marketing NextME Waitlist App

Photo Courtesy of BMW

What’s the best way to market cars? The test drive. It’s a tried and true method that dealerships have been using for as long as we can remember. But many times, people don’t go test drive a car until they’re pretty sure they want to purchase it. So how does a manufacturer use test driving to get new customers who are not already considering their vehicles? BMW has found a way.

The Ultimate Driving Experience is open to the public at race tracks across the country. But this is not your typical test drive. Rather than cruising comfortably through city streets or suburban neighborhoods, this experience lets you drive in ways you never have before. Spend two hours with professional driving instructors and get behind the wheel of a BMW 3 Series in their Autocross. M Car Control gets you access to a full day with driving coaches, slalom courses, and high-speed skids. The xDrive Experience is a cross between a driving course and a roller coaster, as you take the X5 and X7 through a specially designed course. And for those looking for a tamer experience, there are street drives and even a teen driving school program.

Doc McStuffin Check-up Campaign

When Disney Jr. was looking for a way to market the Doc McStuffin program to their young audience, they knew they wanted an out-of-the-box idea. The show is about a six-year-old girl who has created a health clinic for broken and ailing toys. What better way to promote this than by allowing kids to take on the role of toy doctor themselves?

At retail stores across the UK, a Doc McStuffin’s check up clinic allowed for just that. Big Ted, a larger than life teddy bear, was sick. And little ones could help diagnose and treat him. First, in the waiting room, kids got to watch clips from the show, and get creative with coloring pages and puzzles. Then came doctor training, where kids learned how to give a teddy bear check-up. Once they passed their exams, they got to take home a certificate and a “Doc Is In The House” door hanger to help them set up their own backyard clinics!

Inc. Founders House at SXSW

Inc. is a magazine and website catering to entrepreneurs and small business owners. When they wanted to spread brand awareness at SXSW, they came up with a useful and fun idea. The Inc Founders House is a “one-of-a-kind founders-only space for the extraordinary people starting, running, and growing businesses.”

Inc Founders House SXSW - 8 Great Examples Experiential Marketing NextME Waitlist App

Photo Courtesy of Inc. Media

During the festival, the Founders House hosts invite-only happy hours and speakers who can help the next wave of entrepreneurs get their projects off the ground. They’ve chosen some of the most influential founders to bring their own personal brands of inspiration to those who can benefit from them most. And the movement continues throughout the year with the Founders Project, which pairs top-notch founder mentors with up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

Harry’s Bartershop

Online subscription clubs are huge right now. They’re a great way for brands to cut out the middle man and send their products directly to consumers. And the subscription concept virtually assures repeat business. What’s not to love? For Harry’s, a shaving subscription service, the difficult thing can be to get consumers to give up their tried and tested brand and make the switch.

Their solution? Harry’s Bartershop. (Yes, you read that right.) This pop-up shop in NYC allowed consumers to barter one overpriced brand name blade for two (or more) of Harry’s. The pop-up store was designed to look like a typical home bathroom, complete with bathtub, toilet, and vanity. But inside that vanity mirror awaits the staff, ready to help consumers trade in their old razors for new ones, and experience the quality and comfort of Harry’s products.

Did You Mean MailChimp?

Sometimes it can be hard for people to find your brand once they’ve seen your marketing. No matter how many times you repeat your business name, there will still be some folks who mishear it. And still others will be thwarted by typos and autocorrect fails. MailChimp has decided to take this problem and turn it into fun marketing for their brand.

They’ve created several brand sites: FailChips, MaleCrimp, NailChamp, WhaleSynth, VeilHymn, and SnailPrimp. Then there were the attention-grabbing short films, like MailShrimp, KaleLimp, and JailBlimp. It’s all part of their “Did You Mean” campaign. And it’s an incredibly memorable way to get their real name in front of new eyes. So whether you want to go behind the scenes on a music video shoot or vote for the best new trends in nail art, you’ll be directed back to the MailChimp site to learn more about their marketing platform.

Nivea Bubble Billboards

A fresh sheet of bubble wrap is hard to resist. The feeling of popping those little plastic pillows is unlike almost any other. Likewise, blowing soap bubbles is the sort of innocent fun that most people associate with happy childhood memories. What brand wouldn’t want their name associated with these sorts of activities?

Nivea found a way to make this association a reality with a new billboard campaign that has plenty of people talking. First is the giant “Reduce the bumps” billboard that’s covered with bubble wrap. It invites passers-by to pop to their heart’s content. Next they created a billboard with the tagline “Oxygen is a wonderful thing” that actually blows bubbles from a giant Nivea bottle.

Nutanix’s .NEXT Conference Tech Lab

Want the ultimate experiential marketing option? Instead of presenting your product at some industry conference, why not create your own? One tech brand has opted to do just that.

Nutanix Next Conference - 8 Great Examples Experiential Marketing NextME Waitlist App

Photo Courtesy of Nutanix Inc.

The .NEXT Conference is an annual event sponsored by tech company Nutanix. More than just a brand spotlight, this full-fledged event is designed to help global IT leaders learn about the latest and greatest developments in data center and cloud tech. A key feature of the conference is the ability for attendees to get a first-hand look at the latest Nutanix products. There are also plenty of speakers, training and certifications, and hands-on labs too.

SYFY Karaoke Bus at Comic-Con

Comic-Con is probably the biggest pop-culture and geek gathering in the country. Every year fans and creators alike descend on San Diego for four days of fun and revelry. And if you’re in the comics, video game, fantasy, or sci-fi entertainment business, you definitely want to be there to reach your target audience.

The SYFY channel has found a fun and fantastic way to be a part of the festivities. They’ve created karaoke bus tours featuring the actors from their show “The Magicians”. On this slow-rolling double-decker bus, you can sing along with your favorite tunes and serenade onlookers. As if that wasn’t enough fun for one convention, they also employed a NOLA style marching band. And finally, they created a geek wedding chapel where couples were united in legally binding bliss by none other than Orlando Jones. It was all designed to celebrate the network’s 25th anniversary in true Comic-Con style.

Why Proper Waitlist Management is Crucial to Experiential Marketing

8 Great Examples Experiential Marketing NextME Waitlist App

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how amazing your concept is if it’s not well executed and well managed. And a good experiential marketing concept is bound to draw crowds, so you’ll need to be prepared for them. Long lines and unclear wait times are likely to chase potential customers away before they have the chance to interact with your brand. Instead, utilize a waitlist management solution, like NextME, to keep things moving efficiently and keep visitors happy and engaged as they wait.

NextME has played a big part in the success of several of the examples above. When BMW needed to manage the crowds at 16 different events in 16 cities across the country, NextME stepped up with a standardized tool to ensure quicker turnarounds at each location. When the .Next conference needed to manage the lines waiting to engage with their Hands-On Lab, NextME’s mobile guest engagement platform helped them increase brand awareness. And when the Karaoke busses at Comic-Con wanted a quick and easy way for attendees to digitally reserve their spot on the singalong tour, NextME allowed them to do just that.

As you’re planning your experiential marketing strategies, don’t forget that you’ll need a way to keep waiting guests happy. Contact NextME to discuss how this fully customizable solution can work for your brand strategy.


Do Restaurants Win or Lose when Review Sites Manage their Waitlists?

Diner Review Sites and Waitlist Management - The Inherent Conflict of Interest

Diner Review Sites Waitlist Management NextME Yelp

Photo Courtesy of Twilio

With the introduction of ‘Jump Into Line’ and other features, Yelp is making waves in the restaurant waitlist market. Since it’s a big name that most everyone knows, many diners are jumping on board but restaurant operators have been feeling wary of implementing Yelp’s new features. Yelp’s acquisition of NoWait in March of 2017 brought them a large number of restaurant clients who may not necessarily approve of Yelp’s service or practices. Although using one platform for everything - from waitlist management and operations to diner reviews - seems like a good idea, we began to wonder… Who really wins and loses when a diner review site starts managing a restaurant’s waitlist?

Having easy access to a review platform and the ability to book a reservation is a win for consumers - we aren’t here to debate this fact. But what about the conflict of interest this creates for businesses? Based on our research and the opinions of some industry experts, it’s clear that there must be a compromise solution that provides a great experience for customers without being detrimental to restaurant operations and brand perception. It seems a number of restaurants aren’t happy with the platform and are looking for alternatives. Here’s why...

Sending diners to a review site while waiting in line can increase negative reviews

We all know that there are certain times we can expect a crowd at our favorite restaurants. But that doesn’t mean we don’t hate waiting. If you’re using a review app to manage your restaurant’s waitlist, you’re sending people to a review site at the exact moment they’re most likely to be annoyed by having to wait.  

According to The Street, two of the top restaurant complaints are an unexplained wait and slow service. Review sites like Yelp are trying to sell restaurateurs on a system that would recommend customers post a review while they’re waiting for a seat. Common sense says this is a bad idea. And yet, many restaurants are turning to this review site to manage their wait lists.

Wouldn’t you rather have a simple and effective waitlist solution that allows you to control the content your waiting customers are given? NextME allows you to do just that. With this easy-to-use app, you can send your guests to a page that gives them information and entertainment, rather than asking them for reviews. Your guests can explore the menu, learn about current specials, and interact with social media. So their wait time will seem shorter and they’ll be ready to order by the time they’re seated. The best part about NextME is that diners DO NOT have to download a mobile app.

Review sites build features that benefit diners, not necessarily restaurants

At first, Yelp’s ‘Jump Into Line’ feature may seem like a good idea. Customers can get their names on your list remotely, so they’ll have less wait time when they arrive. Great, right?

What about when large parties jump in? And how can your host or hostess quote accurate times when they don’t know who may be jumping in? There are a number of reasons this feature may not be a good fit for every restaurant.

But review sites like Yelp has now made it mandatory for restaurants to use their 'Jump Into Line Remotely' feature. Don’t like it? Tough. You’re stuck with it.

NextME, by contrast, allows you to opt-in for only the features you actually want. Our system has launched a similar feature to allow guests to put their names on the list remotely, but you won’t be stuck with it if it doesn’t work for you. Instead, you’ll get to try it out, see if you like it, and if not, simply turn this optional feature off. With NextME, you maintain control over what features are offered to guests, to help you create the most efficient and useful system for your needs.

Review sites are overpriced compared to apps that specialize only in waitlist management

We all know margins in the restaurant industry are notoriously thin. Managing the money to keep your head above water can be a challenge during slow periods. So why would you want to pay big money for a system that doesn’t even work well for you?

Review apps like Yelp, are highly overpriced compared to other apps that specialize only in waitlist management. Yelp just increased its price from $100 per month to $300 per month. That’s $300 out of your budget each and every month. Wouldn’t you rather spend that money elsewhere?

By contrast, NextME's paid plans start at $29.99 per month, and we even have a free option for those who are just starting out or who don’t need our more in-depth features.

So you can spend your money on a big name, hoping you can make your restaurant fit into their system. Or you can spend way less for a top-notch system that is customizable to fit your needs. The choice is yours.

All review sites require diners to download a separate app to check their places in line

Some guests are more than happy to download and store dozens of apps on their phone, no matter how frequently they may use them in the future. But more often, convincing a guest to use precious space on their phone is a challenge. And for others, they just don’t want to be forced into downloading something that they’re not sure will be of benefit.

All review sites require diners to download a separate app to use the waitlist feature. So your restaurant winds up having to sell diners on someone else’s business. And if they don’t buy in you’re forced to manage their wait on your own, separate from others who have the app installed. This is inefficient and inhospitable to new guests.

One of the major benefits of NextME is that our system doesn't require, or even request, a download. Instead, we’ll simply text a link to waiting diners, and they can then view content on a web page you’ve designed. Your host stand will have the app, guests will have a seamless experience directed through the web browser of their choice. What could be simpler?

The bottom line...

You want to entertain and inform, not beg for reviews from annoyed guests. You want to maintain control over your business and use only the features that actually work for you. You want to keep costs low and features high. And you want a solution that doesn’t require guests to download yet another app they don’t actually want.

NextME offers all this and more. Why not schedule a demo today to see how our waitlist solution can work for you?


How to Plan Great Gaming Events by NextME Waitlist App

How to Plan Great Gaming Events

How to Plan Great Gaming Events by NextME Waitlist App

Tips for Planning Amazing Gaming Events and Conferences

PAX. Playthrough. London Games Festival. E3. Gamescom. Tokyo Game Show. BlizzCon. MineCon. HaloFest.

What do all of these gaming events have in common? Crowds. More specifically, a need to manage the masses of people seamlessly.

If you've ever been to a gaming event, you probably understand the frustration. You don't want to lose your place in line, but you don't want to have to stand around all day waiting either. There are a million things to do and see, and you have to divide your time well if you plan to get to all the essential ones.

If you're running one of these mega cons, or even a smaller, local gaming event, it's a big problem. You want the whole experience to run smoothly, and you want to keep your gamers happy. Fortunately, we have a few tips to help you manage your next gaming event seamlessly.

Build a Community Before the Event Starts

How to Plan Great Gaming Events by NextME Waitlist App

It’s easy to think that a gaming event is all about the game. But here’s an inside secret: it’s all about the community.

Gamers can play their favorite games in the comfort of their own homes. They don’t even have to put on pants to do so. So what’s the point of getting dressed, going out, and attending a live gaming event?

The biggest draw is the opportunity to bump elbows with fellow gamers.

So how do you build a community during your event? You can’t. The community has to start before you ever open the doors to your event.

In the days, weeks, and months leading up to your event, it’s time to step up your social game. Use social media, gaming sites, twitch.tv, and other online options to engage with the players who will be attending. But more importantly, give them the opportunity to engage with one another.

Rivalries, alliances, and networking can only happen if you lay the groundwork. And they’re essential for a noteworthy gaming event.

Allow Attendees to Plan Their Time

How to Plan Great Gaming Events by NextME Waitlist App

The devil’s in the details, right? Well, better get busy nailing him down.

Sure, you could wait until the last minute to plan out the schedule, map out your space, and get on top of those nagging details. But you’d be missing a huge opportunity.

Want to build buzz? Release as many concrete details as you can. Let your gaming community plan out their time at your event weeks in advance. Let them know what your tournament schedule is going to look like. Give them details on everything that’s going to be happening on the day. Tell them about sponsors, vendors, giveaways, even what foods are available onsite and nearby.

In short, give them lots to think about and lots to talk about. They’ll thank you for it by sharing their excitement with friends and fellow players.

Manage Waitlists and Times Without the Tether

At any decently-sized event, there’s going to be waiting time. It’s pretty much inevitable. There will be lines for check-in, lines for panels, lines for booths. The last thing your attendees want to do is stand in line.

Fortunately, there’s a better option. Using a service like NextME allows your gamers the freedom to wander around while they wait. They can go browse vendor booths, grab a snack, or cheer on their friends who are playing elsewhere.

Once they check in for a tournament or booth, they’ll receive a quick text message with a link. There’s no app for visitors to download. They’ll click through to a browser-based page where they can watch their place in line from anywhere inside or outside your venue. When it’s almost their turn, they’ll get another text alerting them to come back. And they can accept or decline if they’ve changed their mind.

And since you get to control what waiting gamers see when they click, you can use the space however you want. Send them to your social media pages to help spread the word about how amazing your event is. Advertise the after-hours party going on down the street tonight. Direct them to visit your site or to engage with your sponsors.

But one thing you won’t have to do? Make them stand in physical lines.

Follow-up to Build an Audience for Your Next Event

How to Plan Great Gaming Events by NextME Waitlist App

Once your event is wrapping up and you’re getting ready to close the doors, it would be easy to think you deserve a break. But if you plan to host future events, you can’t afford to lose the buzz and energy you’ve spent all this time building!

Before the end of this event, start hyping the next one. Ideally, you should already have the dates, times, and venue nailed down. Offer a pre-registration or at least let attendees sign up to receive updates as the details become available.

Then, follow up. Ask for feedback, and then actually listen. Keep your community strong with online events or giveaways. Don’t let a month go by without communicating with your audience.

It’s a whole lot easier to maintain the connections that you’ve worked so hard to make than it is to create new ones. Keep expectations high and send out buzz-worthy messages. You can expect your fans will share their experience and their enthusiasm with others too!


Best Brunch Las Vegas

NextME's Guide: Top 10 Brunch Spots in Las Vegas

We all know that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. But honestly, Vegas brunches are too good not to share! If you’re looking for some of the best brunch spots on and off the Las Vegas strip, NextME's got the goods right here.

Energetic Brunch at Eureka!

Photo Courtesy of OC Foodies
Photo Courtesy of OC Foodies

With a cozy patio, quirky decor, and handpicked house music spun by a live DJ, Eureka! Is a fun, upbeat option for brunch downtown. You’ll find them on East Fremont Street, just blocks from the Fremont Street Experience. The brunch menu features standards like steak ‘n’ eggs and chilaquiles. But be sure to try some of their delicious fried chicken topped with a jalapeño-infused maple glaze and served with a side of crispy bacon. Or order the avocado toast for a unique twist on this brunch staple (hint: chimichurri sauce). No matter what you order, be sure to try some of their handcrafted drinks, and enjoy some people watching as you munch!

Island Brunch at Kapuna Cafe

Brunch Las Vegas
Photo Courtesy of Kapuna Cafe

Sometimes you just want to get away from it all and enjoy some island vibes. If you can’t manage a trip to the tropics, go for the next best thing with brunch at Kapuna Cafe on North Decatur Blvd. From Kalbi (grilled short ribs) to Mochi Pancakes, and plenty of spam if that’s your thing, they’ve got the island flavors you’re sure to adore. Everything is cooked fresh and served up hot by amazingly friendly staff. Stop by and see why Vegas is called the ninth island!

Diner Brunch at Norm’s Diner

Photo Courtesy of Eater Vegas
Photo Courtesy of Eater Vegas

If you’re looking for an old-school diner style brunch, look no further than Norm’s Diner on S. Durango Drive. They’re proud to serve up some of the best benedicts in town, along with all sorts of breakfast and lunch staples. It’s the sort of place that attracts regulars because the food is just that good. And it ought to be. After all, Norm used to be a chef for the Las Vegas Hilton, back when Elvis played there.

Chinese and Brunch at the Northside Cafe & Chinese Kitchen

Photo Courtesy of SLS Las Vegas
Photo Courtesy of SLS Las Vegas

If you’ve ever craved a side of fried rice with your brunch entrees, we’ve got the perfect brunch spot for you! Northside Cafe & Chinese Kitchen in the SLS Las Vegas Hotel and Casino offers the best of breakfast, alongside over 40 authentic Chinese dishes. The breakfast menu is available all day and night, but the dim sum starts after 11am, so come in the late morning or early afternoon for the best selection. They’ve got dishes ranging from Caramelized Banana Pancakes to spicy Salt & Pepper Squid, with several American, Mexican, and even Italian offerings as well.

Home Cookin’ Brunch at Peg’s Glorified Ham n Eggs

Photo Courtesy of Eater Vegas
Photo Courtesy of Eater Vegas

Peg’s Glorified Ham n Eggs serves up delicious home cooked food in Henderson and Las Vegas. It may be the most extensive brunch menu you’ve ever encountered, so be sure to bring your appetite. From standard egg plates and skillets to their delicious Tex-Mex, Hawaiian, and New York Deli specials, you’re sure to find something perfect for everyone in your party. And while each person is likely to find a unique flavor to dine on, one thing will be the same for all: the food is amazing, perfectly cooked, and served by friendly staff.

Granola Brunch at Rooster Boy Cafe

Photo Courtesy of Las Vegas Weekly
Photo Courtesy of Las Vegas Weekly

The Rooster Boy Cafe on Regatta Drive in beautiful Desert Shores is the sort of friendly, neighborhood cafe where everyone feels instantly at home. They’ve got some really delightful options for all-day breakfast, including several dishes for those with dietary restrictions. But the real star of this show is their delicious breakfast bowls made with Rooster Boy’s own special blends of granola. We’re pretty sure you’re going to fall in love with the decadent tastes, but don’t worry! You can even get bags of granola to go so you can re-create your favorite bowls at home.

NYC Jewish Deli Brunch at Sadelle’s

Photo Courtesy of Food & Wine

If the York Deli scene is your passion, Sadelle’s in the Bellagio Conservatory is the place to go. They serve all day breakfast including all the usual favorites, from fried chicken to omelets to sticky buns. But their fresh, hot bagels are the real standout here. Be sure to try out the Sadelle’s Tower, with perfectly smoked salmon and luxe caviar. Looking for sweet rather than savory? Keep an eye peeled for the pastry cart with its fresh and delicious baked goods.

Craveable Healthy Brunch at SkinnyFATS

Photo Courtesy of SKINNY FATS
Photo Courtesy of SKINNY FATS

The tag line at SkinnyFATS is “Live Healthy, Live Happy” and one taste of their mouth-watering food will show you just how well they adhere to it. From chia puddings to smothered breakfast burritos, these dishes will delight just about any taste preference. This eatery features a split menu: half healthy, half decadent, and all incredibly yummy. And with four Vegas locations and an additional two in Henderson, you’re sure to have one nearby, wherever you are.

Ultimate Brunch Buffet at the Wicked Spoon

Photo Courtesy of Cosmopolitan

In a city famous for its buffet options, Bacchanal Buffet is our pick for the best brunch buffet in Vegas. Located in Caesar’s Palace, this huge food hall has everything you could possibly want in a brunch spot. The New York Post has called this one the best buffet in the country, and Thrillist says it’s “the standard against which all Las Vegas buffets are judged,” so you know this one is worth a visit. With seating for 600 in an over 25,000 square foot space, this is an enormous eatery with nine show kitchens and plenty of made-to-order dishes to choose from.

Hidden Gem Brunch at Zenaida’s Cafe

Photo Courtesy of Las Vegas Weekly

Located just off E Tropicana Ave downtown, Zenaida’s Cafe is the kind of welcoming, fun brunch spot you’d expect to draw a huge crowd. Yet it’s far enough from the action of the strip that you’ll find mostly locals here. They have all the usual brunch eats, made to perfection and delivered to your table by their friendly and helpful staff. Check out favorites like the shrimp and grits, tofu scramble, or avocado toast. And since it’s far from the glitz of the casinos, you can also get some amazing food for reasonable prices here!


NextME Notches Top Honors on Clutch.co!

Clutch Ranks NextME #3 Mobile Marketer in Chicago

The future of digitization, information technology, and better business lies with us. At NextME, we specialize in leveraging data and technology to predict peak wait times for businesses. We’ve also developed a unique online storefront for each business to help them create unforgettable guest experiences during dreaded wait times, which brings about improved customer satisfaction and overall customer retention. Through our exceptional consulting, optimization, and digital skills, our team has garnered recognition as one of the IT world’s top app marketing companies, all thanks to the analyses of Clutch and its sister companies.

B2B
research and reviews agency Clutch ranked NextME the no. 3 mobile
marketer in all of Chicago, an achievement that we’re proud to have
accomplished. Since Clutch thoroughly evaluates firms for their market
presence, client satisfaction, and industry experience, among a host of other
data, taking home such a distinction reflects strongly upon the quality of
strategy and service that NextME customers can expect to find with our team.

NextME
has a great tech team.
They’re responsive and fix any glitches or issues as they come up immediately,” detailed a client in
one of several five-star reviews of collaborating with us. “Their
app is very easy for everyone to understand
—our guests and
employees respond well to it. It's also
reliable and doesn't crash.

“The NextME app really allows us to do things
that we weren’t able to do before. It’s
just an awesome partnership,
” effused a second happy client. “The app has
really taken off and it’s been so impressive to watch. The success and the journey we’ve taken with them has been really cool.
They’ve grown a lot in their business, which is helping us grow … They really want to make sure our
experience is positive
.”

The Manifest and Visual Objects Feature NextME As Top App Marketing Agency

Beyond such recognition, we’ve also racked up praise from the sister companies of Clutch. News website The Manifest applauded our talent by featuring NextME in its collection of leading app marketing agencies, while portfolio curation platform Visual Objects now showcases our creative, digital, and industry experience by displaying examples of our best work.

The support of Clutch, The Manifest, Visual
Objects, and our loyal clients means a lot to NextME and speaks volumes about
the caliber of excellence that we provide through our digital waitlist and mobile
marketing services. As businesses only continue to grow and improve, we’re
excited to play a role in their development, and we invite you to reach out to
us here
to better understand how we can launch results for you. Success is short,
sweet, and simple, waiting just around the corner for you, so let’s see what we
can do together!


5 Engaging Interactive Event Ideas Your Guests Won't Forget

Event marketing is a big way to engage with your target market in today’s world. The most impressive and memorable events involve interactive elements to really capture the attention and imagination of potential customers and clients. But how do you create an unforgettable experience that will resonate with attendees? Here are a few of our favorite interactive event ideas. 

Expert Consultations

Photo courtesy of Everystock Photo

You may be familiar with the Genius Bar at Apple Stores. It’s the brand’s version of tech support but carried out as a one-on-one consultation. The popular feature offers customers repairs, advice, and answers from knowledgeable experts.

This is an excellent technique to replicate at your industry events. Set up an area for attendees to have one-on-one time with your qualified experts. This type of interaction is extremely valuable to consumers and clients because it allows them access to professional advice. It also allows your experts to form a personal bond with attendees, and build an ongoing business relationship.

Brand Activations

The Netflix Altered Carbon booth at CES. Payless’s Palessi luxury shoe store marketing prank.  Carlsberg’s beer poster. The Oscar Meyer Weinermobile. What do all of these have in common? They’re all excellent examples of brand activations. But what does that even mean?

Photo courtesy of Oscar Meyer Wiener

Simply put, a brand activation is any experiential campaign designed to increase awareness of and engagement with your brand. They can be as simple as offering samples directly to your target market. Or they can be as complex as the Bates Motel at SXSW. But the most important things are that you get attention to your brand.

But the most important thing to remember is that a prank, stunt, or booth can’t stand alone. To make the most of your newly generated buzz, you should incorporate a social media campaign and engage the press with a PR strategy.

Photo Booths

Speaking of social media, one of the most common ways to get your visitors to share your brand online is the brand photo booth. These allow your attendees to share selfies on Instagram, Snapchat, and other apps with ease. And since you can include brand elements in the picture, it means your brand will be splashed across each of these platforms.

Photo courtesy of Etsy

So you create a really fabulous photo backdrop or hire and brand a digital photo booth. How to best leverage these photo ops for your event? First, be sure to create and widely publish a hashtag. Then, be sure to include a social media display in your booth. This way all the photos shared with your hashtag will show during the event. It’s a great way to prompt attendees to take part!

Not Just Swag, Custom Swag

If you’ve attended any sort of convention or networking event, you probably saw people handing out all sorts of goods from pens and coffee mugs to t-shirts and thumb drives. But in reality, a good bit of that event swag ends up in the trash. How do you create swag that people want to keep?

Photo courtesy of Lorem

Skip the standard giveaways and look for options that are unique to each attendee. Try hiring a caricature artist to create portraits of attendees. Or create a personalized thumb drive containing information, songs, or other data chosen by the user.

Or choose options that are unique to your brand. Instead of ordering out of the same catalog that a dozen of your competitors are using, create something unique. Make sure it ties in to your brand for an impression that lasts longer than your logo stitched onto a ballcap.

VR and AR

Create a digital experience with your brand that customers won’t soon forget. The use of virtual reality (VR) means attendees can interact with your brand beyond the physical limitations of your booth. Create a virtual reality demo of your product and its uses. Let them take a VR tour of your company headquarters or production facility.

Photo courtesy of SXSW at Dell House 

Augmented reality, on the other hand, brings digital elements into the physical space of your booth. The Snapchat lenses that allow users to add puppy ears or goofy effects to their faces are an excellent example. Pfizer Faucets used this technology to great effect at a show in 2017.

No matter which of these ideas you decide to implement, be sure to make it memorable to your product or service. They coolest photo ops or VR games won’t help if they have little connection to your brand. You want to create a memorable experience that attendees will associate with your brand in a positive way.


NextME's Guide: Top 10 Brunch Spots in Atlanta

Top 10 Brunch Spots in Atlanta

The city of Atlanta takes brunch seriously. So seriously, in fact, they’ve even rewritten local laws around this delightful weekend gastro feast. It’s no wonder then that there are so many amazing options for fun and fantastic brunching throughout the metro Atlanta area! But what if you’re looking for something beyond the usual eggs and pancakes menu? We’ve got the scoop of some of the most interesting and unusual brunch spots from all across the Gate City.

Vietnamese Brunch from at Bonton

Photo Courtesy of Atlanta Magazine

Looking for a bit of funky Asian flavor with your brunch favorites? One of our favorite international brunch spots in Atlanta metro is Bonton on Myrtle Street. Known for their blend of Vietnamese street foods and Cajun seafood boils, this unassuming pink brick building has a delightfully quirky brunch menu. You can get brunch classics with a twist, like the Lafayette Breakfast Sandwich, the Vietnamese Omelet Bahn Mi, or Pancake Banh Xeo. Or pick any of the fabulous dishes from the dinner menu and add an egg for just $2. And don’t forget the mimosas, bloodys, and other boozy breakfast drinks!

Jewish Deli Brunch at The General Muir

Photo Courtesy of Eater Atlanta

The General Muir is a classic New York-style Jewish deli located in Emory Point. Their brunch offerings include several open-faced bagel selections along with plates like their pastrami and egg sandwich or the delightful smoked hash with crisped pastrami and caramelized onions. All of their bread and baked goods come from their own bakery, TGM Bread, located next door. And they have some of the most delish classic Jewish delights like matzo ball soup and latkes served with applesauce and sour cream.

Country Diner Brunch at HomeGrown

Photo Courtesy of Thrillist

If you’re in the mood for an incredibly unpretentious brunch, Home Grown Georgia is your go-to brunch spot. Inexpensive, locally grown comfort foods abound at this super low-key eatery. They grow some of their produce on-site, and source the rest as locally as possible. In fact, they invite you to take a wander through the garden, as long as you stay on the paths. You absolutely must try their signature Comfy Chicken Biscuit, and their enormous pancakes are enough to fill any appetite.

Outdoorsy Brunch at Ladybird

Photo Courtesy of Ladybird

When you’re in the mood for some delish brunch alfresco, Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall in Atlanta's historic Old Fourth Ward is your perfect brunch spot. Their menu is an imaginative offering of what they call “elevated campfire cuisine.” Standards like their biscuits with sausage gravy and shrimp-n-grits are plied alongside more unique options like grilled romaine with poached egg, or their Base Camp boards designed to share. Wash it all down with a Redneck Mimosa or Ladybird Bloody Mary, and afterward take a stroll along the beltline, it’s certainly close enough!

French Market Brunch at Le Petit Marché

Photo Courtesy of Le Petit Marché

Le Petit Marché literally translates to “the little market” and it’s absolutely the perfect name for this brunch spot in Kirkwood. Their french toast sandwich is legendary among the regulars, and the cheese grits or chicken sausage are also favorites. Best of all, everything is market fresh and they’re known for their friendly service and homey vibe. They even pass a guest book around the restaurant so you can leave your comments and read the stories of those who’ve dined before you. If the weather is good, opt for a seat on the patio, and now and then brunch is accompanied by live music.

Gourmet Brunch at One Eared Stag

Photo Courtesy of One Eared Stag

No listing of the top brunch spots in Atlanta would be complete without a mention of the fabulous offerings at the One Eared Stag. They have all of the usual delights, with a gourmet twist. They have options like chicken salad with truffles, milk-fed veal with chimichurri, and quail eggs sunny side up. Feeling a bit adventurous? Order the Chef’s Breakfast. It’s not on the menu because it’s literally whatever the chef feels like making for you. But don’t worry, it includes half a dozen options on one tray, so if you don’t like one dish, you’re sure to enjoy the others!

Dog-Friendly Brunch at Publico

Photo Courtesy of Publico

Looking for a brunch where your favorite furry companion can be welcomed? Publico is your dog-friendly Atlanta brunch spot. Their Sunday Funday Brunch features a live DJ and mimosa and cocktail specials plus a delightful array of food options for you and your pooch. Dine on the patio with your pup where they even have a full puppy menu, with all of its proceeds going to support the Howell Mill Humane Society. And the human brunch menu offers food you’re going to fall in love with. Everything is made-from-scratch and made-to-order, and as locally sourced as possible, for a fresh, unique taste you won’t find anywhere else.

Family Friendly Brunch at Ration + Dram

Photo Courtesy of Ration + Dram

It’s not often that a bar offers a kid’s menu, booster seats, and crayons, but on weekend mornings Ration + Dram is a great option for a family meal. Dubbed the “Best family-friendly brunch in metro Atlanta” by the AJC, this local bar with a fun kids’ Brunch menu is perfect for the littles as well as the adults. They even offer kid-friendly mocktails like juice blends and rootbeer floats. For the grown-up set they serve up chicken biscuits, eggs benedict, and their own creations like the Sweet Lady or The Gringo. And of course, you can pair your brunch faves with boozy faves like bloody marys or one of their communal cocktail punches.

Tex-Mex Brunch at Superica

Photo Courtesy of Superica

Looking for a little spice in your Sunday morning fare? Superica is the brunch spot that brings you a border-town feel without having to leave town. With two locations, Krog Street and Buckhead, this eatery’s fare is so popular it’s got its own cookbook. For brunch, they offer south-of-the-border options like their migas plate, tamales with eggs, or chilaquiles with avocado. Or go for the BBQ brisket sandwich served on Texas toast with guac, jalapeño pickles, and two sunny side up eggs. It’s a taste of Texas you won’t soon forget!

Weekday Brunch at Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours

Photo Courtesy of Twisted Soul

The weekends were pretty much made for brunch, but if your days off don’t fall on Saturday and Sunday, your options become more limited. Don’t worry! Twisted Soul in Westside has you covered. They offer an amazing brunch variety seven days a week. Try imaginative sandwiches like the Harissa Hot Chicken Muffuletta, or salads like the Seasonal Soul Salad with Moscato poached pairs and duck prosciutto. Entrees include crispy catfish with pimento cheese grits or the southern tofu scramble full of soul food faves like black-eyed peas and collard greens. Whatever you do, save some room for Ivy’s Heavenly Peach Cobbler. You won’t be sorry!


Innovative Ways to Engage Event Attendees

Top Ways to Increase Engagement at your Events

Photo Courtesy of CES 2019

Any organizer who has been in the business for long knows that event engagement is an excellent way of measuring the effectiveness of your events. Simply put, engagement is how fully your attendees are participating and how much of their attention your event has captured. If attendees are tuning out or working on other things, you’ve lost them. So it’s important to captivate your audience, from the moment they arrive until the event doors are closed. But how?

Encourage Real-Time Feedback

Asking event attendees what they thought of the event after it’s over is a useful way to improve your outreach. But when guests have a great experience or need someone to complain to, they want to be heard right now. The good news is, since every one of your attendees is likely carrying a phone, you can make that happen easily.

Create a virtual suggestion box and publish it before the event even begins, allowing them to have input through the registration process and leading up to the big day (or days). Include polls and survey questions in presentations or on event literature. Encourage them to text your brand or engage with social media via targeted hashtags, then be sure to monitor and respond to those feeds in real time. Create an event app that allows them to interact with and give feedback on every part of your event, in real time. The options are endless and often easily implemented with the help of current event management technology.

Skip the Lines with a Digital Waitlist App like NextME

Nothing will lose a captive audience quicker than to make them stand around and wait. If you want to keep your attendees engaged and excited about your event, allow them to skip the lines and spend that time learning, networking, or exploring instead. One simple and effective way to manage this is with the NextME app. It allows attendees to sign in quickly and then go do other things while they wait for a panel to start or an interactive experience to be ready.

Rather than forcing visitors to stand around waiting their turn, NextME allows them to sign in with just a few simple details. The app will then text them a link that includes a countdown to their place in line. You can customize this link to include all sorts of information, links to your social media, prompts to help them engage further with your brand, and even interact with your eCommerce site. They can then wander the event as they please, spend some time networking with other attendees, or go grab a snack or a quick drink. A few minutes before their spot is ready, the app will prompt them to return. They can confirm or cancel their reserved spot with a quick return text. During and after the event, you’ll get insightful and actionable reports on everyone who checked in, allowing for easy follow-up and feedback. And all of this without requiring them to download a thing!

Make Networking Simple and Fun  

One of the biggest reasons for attending in-person events is the ability to network with peers across the industry. Not only that, good networking automatically means increased engagement and a more favorable response to your event. Why not make it easier with fun and interactive networking games?

Create a networking scavenger hunt, where attendees have to interact with one another to fill in a list. Use simple prompts like, “find someone with the same initials as yourself,” or “find someone celebrating a birthday this month.” Once they’ve completed the hunt, they’re in the running for a door prize or other gift. They’ll meet tons of new people, have fun doing it, and possibly walk away with a prize.

Encourage smaller networking groups. Large networking mixers can be intimidating, and it’s often hard to find the right contacts in a room of hundreds of people. Instead, have your attendees fill out questionnaires at registration and then use the data to place them into smaller, targeted groups of 20-25 people. This will help to encourage more meaningful connections and provide increased value for attendees.


NextME's Guide: Top 10 Brunch Spots in Los Angeles

Top 10 Brunch Spots - Los Angeles

Brunch is one of the best ways to spend a lazy weekend morning or afternoon. And with staple foods including eggs, toast, bacon, and all sorts of yummy breakfast baked goods, it’s hard not to love! But if you’re in L.A. and you’re tired of the usual brunch scene serving up the usual brunch fare, where do you go? We have a few delightfully unique options for brunches that break the mold!

Steakhouse Brunch at the Golden Bull

Top 10 Brunch Spots in LA - NextME Waitlist App Guide

(Photo Courtesy of Eater LA)

Bacon and eggs are excellent as breakfast staples go. But if you’re more in the mood for a nice juicy steak, consider the Golden Bull in Santa Monica for your brunch destination. For those who haven’t been there recently, this historic steakhouse was renovated in 2018. The Chophouse Hash is an excellent choice, featuring ribeye steak, potatoes, asparagus, mushrooms, chimichurri, watercress, and sunny-side-up eggs. Or go for a more traditional option with their Steak and Eggs plate, perfectly paired with a sauce poivre vert.  

Very Veggie Brunch at Yarrow

Top 10 Brunch Spots in LA - NextME Waitlist App Guide

Photo Courtesy of Yarrow

If a heavy meat-laden meal isn’t really your cup of tea, you might prefer the brunch options at the Yarrow cafe on Fairfax. It’s a veritable celebration of fresh produce options, as toasts, salads, and yogurts. There are also gluten free and vegan baked goods to be had, and it’s all perfectly complimented by a selection of hot beverages from Endorffeine coffee. Since they serve only the finest and freshest ingredients, you can expect to find a menu built around in-season veggies and fruits every time you visit!

Down Under Brunch at Little Prince

Top 10 Brunch Spots in LA - NextME Waitlist App Guide

Photo Courtesy of Little Prince

Little Prince in Santa Monica was designed as a way to bring the tastes and feel of Aussie culture to Southern California’s food scene. Their brunch menu is a fun twist on traditional breakfast foods: green pea pancakes with market greens and herbs, smoked salmon hash with seaweed hollandaise, and baked eggs with smoked cauliflower to name a few. They also carry a number of fun and funky brunch cocktails like their Kimchi Bloody Mary or Coconut Oatmilk “Horchata” and several coffee, wine, and beer options.

Barky Brunch at Ray’s and Stark Bar

Top 10 Brunch Spots in LA - NextME Waitlist App Guide

Photo Courtesy of BizBash

How about a brunch where you can bring along your favorite furry friend? The Barky Brunch at Ray’s and Stark Bar might be just the thing for you and Fido alike! They offer a few dog friendly treats along with a huge variety of brunch options “for human companions”. In addition to more traditional offerings like pancakes and burgers, they serve up heirloom tomato salad with watermelon and italian pesto, a variety of artisan pizzas, and desserts including ricotta cheesecake or passion fruit mousse.

Pizza Brunch at Love & Salt

Top 10 Brunch Spots in LA - NextME Waitlist App Guide

Photo Courtesy of  Eater LA

Speaking of brunch and pizza, if you haven’t already you’ve simply got to try Love & Salt's pizza brunch in Manhattan Beach. This italian-inspired eatery offers up a selection of unique pizza options including guanciale & jalapeno pesto, duck egg, or roasted mushroom pizzas. There are plenty of plated brunch options from around the world, including their version of shakshuka, croque madame, and chilaquiles.

Sunday Pool Party Brunch at No Jealousy

Top 10 Brunch Spots in LA - NextME Waitlist App Guide

Photo Courtesy of No Jealousy

For those looking to continue the fun of Saturday night, No Jealousy in Liaison Hollywood offers a Sunday Party Brunch you’re going to love. The combination of classic brunch dishes with champagne, huge punch bowls, and baby bottle cocktails is set against the backdrop of top 40/house music and costumed staff. Come in costume, or not, your call. But definitely come prepared to party like it’s still Saturday night!

Turkish Inspired Brunch at Kismet

Top 10 Brunch Spots in LA - NextME Waitlist App Guide

Photo Courtesy of LA Magazine

For a blend of Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean brunch flavors, Kismet in Los Feliz will not disappoint. Spreads and salads, Turkish dishes, flaky breads, and yummy sweet stuff make up this delish menu. Be sure to try the broccoli toast with pumpkin seeds and pomegranate, and if you really want the full experience, order the Turkish-ish breakfast. It’s a little bit of everything, all seasonally sourced and perfectly prepared.

Home Grown Brunch at Manuela

Top 10 Brunch Spots in LA - NextME Waitlist App Guide

Photo Courtesy of Eater LA

For flavors sourced much closer to home, you’re going to want to hit Manuela's brunch at Hauser & Wirth. The ingredients used to create their delicious dishes are sourced locally as often as possible. Even the craft beers are from local breweries. And for the ultimate in local freshness, they even maintain a garden on the grounds with chickens, herbs, peppers, and more. Enjoy dishes like barbecued Morro Bay oysters, Warren pear salad, grilled local yellowtail, and wood grilled sunchokes. There are a variety of fermented foods on offer here, from fresh cucumber pickles to carrots, green tomatoes, and kabocha. It’s all done in house and each with their own unique flavors and textures. But there’s more to this eatery than just the wonderful food coming out of the kitchen. You’ll also want to take in the galleries surrounding it, for the perfect weekend destination downtown.

Seafood Brunch at Herringbone

Top 10 Brunch Spots in LA - NextME Waitlist App Guide

Photo Courtesy of Herringbone

Maybe the delights of the local fish market are more to your liking. If so, you’ll love the weekend brunch at Herringbone in Santa Monica. Enjoy standard brunch fare like sticky buns, the farmer’s market scramble, and mixed greens salad. But the shining star here is the seafood. They have ceviche and poke, oysters on the half shell, stone crab and avocado toast, and delicious lobster rolls. Wash it all down with bottomless mimosas, endless rosé, or one of three bloody mary options.

Brunch Buffet at Inn of the Seventh Ray

Top 10 Brunch Spots in LA - NextME Waitlist App Guide

Photo Courtesy of  Inn of the Seventh Ray

For an upscale buffet brunch you’re going to adore, you have to make the hour-long trek to the  Inn of the Seventh Ray in Topanga. Food choices include a granola bar, bagel bar, waffle bar, seafood bar, and three salad bars. You’ll also find delicious brunch dishes like eggs benedict with duck bacon, chipotle-barbecue free range chicken, and white bean stew featuring roasted kale and swiss chard. But if the food isn’t enough to pique your interest, the setting surely will! Rated by Zagat as one of the best outdoor dining experiences in LA, their patio sits beside a trickling stream and is surrounded by greenery and a natural woodland backdrop.


Event Planning & Management Technology Guide for 2019

Event Planning & Management Technology

Event planning & management technology guide 2019

Live events like conferences and trade shows have been proven to be one of the most effective means of marketing in today’s world. But putting together an event that will not only draw people but also make the sale, is no small task. It requires creativity, marketing know-how, organization, and the right tools to keep everything running smoothly.

What is Event Technology?

Years ago, in a much lower-tech world, everything was handled on paper. Eventually, the paper files containing lists of attendees moved to digital formats like Excel spreadsheets. But these manual processes are tedious and time-consuming, so marketers knew they needed a better option.

Fortunately, today we have streamlined processes and easy-to-navigate tools that make the more tedious parts of event planning a breeze. So you can spend your time developing a great event and marketing it, rather than updating spreadsheets and files.

But with so many options on the market, how do you know which will be best for your event? We’ll examine some of the best tools available to help you choose the ones that fit best, and make your next event a success.

Event Planning Tools

The first category you’ll want to have on hand are event planning tools. These help event planners with all of the prep work before the actual event happens. From choosing a venue to creating a website, to getting the word out, they help with the logistics of creating the actual experience.

We’ve broken these tools down into three categories. First are tools to help you find the perfect venue for your event. Next website building platforms to help you give your attendees all of the details they’ll need. Finally, we have event marketing tools to help you get the word out and generate some buzz.

Venue Sourcing Technologies

EventUP - EventUP has listings for event venues in over 300 cities across the US. Their amazingly detailed filtering tools let you narrow down your choices by price range, budget, number of attendees, area radius, neighborhood, amenities, look and feel, and more. And once you’ve found a place you like, you can request a quote, or ask questions about the space, right from the same page. Want to host a corporate event in a loft downtown with exposed brick and an industrial feel? They can help you find it.

SocialTables - This event planning tool has a large database of venues ready to browse. Filter by number of attendees, size of the largest room you’ll want to use, total meeting space, number of meeting rooms, number of guest rooms, or amenities offered. Once you’ve picked out a venue that interests you, use their suite of tools to design floor plans and layouts so you can see exactly how your event will look and flow. With their easy drag-and-drop floor plan tools, you’ll know exactly how everything will fit before you book the space.

Splacer - Splacer is designed to help you find the perfect creative event space for your needs. More than just meeting rooms, auditoriums, and banquet halls, they can help you find sites for pop-ups, launch events, production spaces, and film shoots too. And they’ve got listings for some of the hottest and most unique spaces available in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, and Chicago.

Website Building Platforms

Bizzabo - Called “The World’s Most Loved Event Software”, Bizzabo features a huge variety of features and options. Their website builder is designed specifically for the event space, and is incredibly simple to use. They have a drag and drop editor for those without coding skills, or you can create your own custom HTML and CSS pages to fine tune everything just the way you want.

EventCreate - Another option designed with the event space in mind, EventCreate offers you the ability to create a beautiful, functional site in just minutes. There’s no coding needed, and you can include forms, sell tickets, and track data all from their handy interface. They have several starting templates to choose from, or if you’re looking for a more custom option they offer design services too!

Wordpress - Wordpress is one of the most common tools for creating websites today. It’s known and loved by professionals in just about every industry because it’s so incredibly versatile. If you’re looking for a blank slate tool to build just about any sort of website you might need, Wordpress is often the way to go.

Event Marketing Tools

Attendease - Aimed at the mid-sized event market, Attendease is an all-in-one event software that allows event planners to dramatically increase productivity. And their options for event marketing are incredibly robust and simple to use at the same time. This one interface allows you to create and send marketing emails, build custom branded websites and pages, and track and analyze all sorts of data from website traffic to ad performance. They even integrate with all sorts of other programs like Salesforce, HubSpot, Google and Adobe Analytics, and more.

Bizzabo - Bizzabo is helpful in getting the word out about your event too. Their marketing tools feature options like Hot Leads to retarget existing customers or Ticket Boost which uses the power of social media to sell tickets to your event. Everything is branded and integrated, from the website you’ve created for your event to email marketing messages and even an in-app networking platform.

CampaignMonitor - While it’s not designed for the event marketing space alone, CampaignMonitor is an incredibly useful and well-rounded marketing tool that many event planners find invaluable. This tool allows you to build the kind of email marketing messages employed by the big boys like SXSW, Rolling Stone, and HuffPost. If you’re using an event planning suite that you love, but you’re not as fond of its email marketing tools, this is the add-on you’ve been searching for.

Event Management Tools

Once you’ve planned and marketed your event, the work has only just begun. The day of the event can be incredibly hectic, but with the right management tools you’ll be able to streamline processes and ensure a good experience for all involved.

Event Registration Management Tools

Boomset - Boomset’s registration tools are in high demand from event planners of all sorts. They have all the usual features like a branded guest list app and badge or wristband printing tools. But they also offer features like kiosk check-ins, cashless payment options for attendees, and recyclable wearable RFID technology.

Eventbrite - If you’re in the market for something a little simpler, Eventbrite might just do the trick. They offer simplified ticket sales and event registrations with 24/7 real-time tracking features to help keep you on top of your numbers and demographics. What really shines here is the smart reports and data they generate, along with integrations with big names like Mailchimp, Salesforce, and even facebook.

ExpoPass - This simple and affordable option will help you to streamline your registration process. Then, as your event kicks off, use it to create custom badges and imprint them in real time at check in. If you’re working in the continuing education space, this one will allow you to distribute certificates to attendees who complete specific sessions with a simple mobile device scan. And after the doors close and everyone goes home, you’ll have instant access to all the details you need to turn guests into profitable leads.  

Regpack - Regpack is the online registration software that embeds into your existing site, for a smooth, secure registration process. They offer integrated payment processing, a custom database creator, group registration options, and even billing and payment plans to help keep expensive events affordable for attendees. Plus, they have the data and reporting tools you’re going to need to stay on top of your attendance numbers, and a personal support team to help out should you need them.

Event Agenda Tools

Sched - This is the agenda tool used by big names like ComicCon and techweek. Their full-featured scheduling tools allow you to create a functional and simple branded agenda app. This infinitely customizable tool allows your attendees to pre-register for workshops, book seats for panels, and plan out their day with ease. Meanwhile, on the backend you can monitor interest and registrations, and make changes in the blink of an eye. And it integrates nicely with your website or other event planning programs like Eventbrite.

Shdlr - Looking for a painlessly simple way to create detailed agendas and distribute them to your attendees? Look no further than Shdlr. This one can handle even the most complex schedules, and integrates seamlessly with popular calendar apps. You can embed your schedule on your blog or website, and import data in bulk from csv files if that’s your thing. What really shines here is the ease of creating a schedule. Drag-and-drop features and one click publishing mean you’ll have your agenda ready to go in no time flat!

Zoho Backstage - Once again, drag and drop simplicity wins. Zoho’s Backstage event planning interface allows you to build a detailed event agenda with ease. And their personalized agenda builder allows your attendees to create their own schedule, for the sort of customized experience that people love. But this one’s more than just a scheduler. It also handles website building, social media integration, and so much more.

Event Waitlist Management Tools

NextME - This full-featured waitlist tool is an amazing way to let your attendees check in for your event and then wait wherever they please. Since there’s no app download required for attendees, you’ll find greater buy-in than many other options. And they’ll be able to track their place in line in real time, so they can go grab a drink or browse other booths while waiting their turn and be back just in time. And at the end of the day, you’ll get all the data and analytics you need to make your next event even better.

Waitwhile - While it’s not designed for the event space directly, this easy-to-use waitlist can be integrated into just about any sort of business. You can track customer data and schedule bookings as you like. And guests who choose to wander away while they wait can stay informed with SMS notifications. Waitwhile is only available via your web browser and does not offer a mobile solution like NextME.

Event Attendee Engagement Tools

Event planning & management technology guide 2019NextME - Yes, the waitlist experts are also a great way to keep attendees engaged throughout your event. When guests register for your event’s waitlist, they’ll be sent a simple text message with a link to a marketing page you can custom design. On this page, they’ll be able to monitor their place in line, but more importantly, you can use this space to keep their attention while they wait. Encourage them to engage with social media, show targeted marketing messages, allow them to preview the experience they’re about to participate in, and just about anything else you might dream up. Even better still, because NextMe doesn’t require any sort of download for guests, it can be easily paired with any other app or site you choose. Your marketing page can then be used to direct guests to download conference apps like BoomSet, Expo Pass, Windsight, and others, so they can stay connected with everything happening in your event while they wait. It’s a great way to take your audience from bored to excited in no time at all!

Sli.do - If you’re looking for “Audience Interaction Made Easy,” you’ll find it with this handy tool. The web-based application from sli.do lets you do live Q&A sessions, real-time polling, and all sorts of other audience participation features. You can even allow them to access presenter slides on their own screens, either during the event or later at home. Plus, guests never have to download an app to participate. You’ll get the benefit of crowdsourced data along with moderated filters and the ability to identify and engage with your most influential participants. And at the end of the event, you can download all of those questions and all the data that goes with them to create and share infographics for post-event engagement too.

TweetWally - Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most effective. In today’s ever-connected world, one of the most important ways to keep (or lose) attendee engagement is through social media. If you don’t grab their attention, you can be pretty sure their phones will. So encourage guests to really participate with a real-time tweet wall you can show in the main hall, on your site, or anywhere else you like. Just create your hashtag and you’ll be on your way! Then, use their software to display, in real time, all of the tweets pertaining to your event. Customize your wall’s look and feel, then display it prominently for all of your guests to see. Before long, you’ll find engagement is up and buzz is spreading!

Event Success Measurement Tools

When the event is over, the event planner’s work is still not done. We live in an age of data, and if you’re not gaining valuable insights from the numbers generated by your events, you may be missing the big picture entirely. These tools allow you to track so much more than just attendance numbers. Generate KPI reports, learn about demographics, and get insights into what worked and what didn’t, so your next event can be even better.

Activity Cloud - Activity Cloud is one of the kings of predictive data insight tools. It will pull data from your marketing campaigns, usage history, participant info, social media, and just about anywhere else you can think of. Then it weaves all of these numbers and details into actionable reports to help you understand which areas you excelled at and what you could do better.

NextME - Once again, this event waitlist app shines with actionable data reporting to show you exactly how well your event engaged with waiting participants and what you could do better in the future. The analytics feature within the app offers you the kind of data you need to ensure your events always run smoothly and keep customers engaged and excited about your brand.

Piwik PRO - Remember that website you created? Wouldn’t you be interested to know how visitors to your site engaged with your brand, even if they didn’t register for your event? With Piwik PRO, you can. This analytics tool offers privacy-compliant behavioral insights, even in the most secure areas of your site. So you’ll know what pages attendees visited before they signed up for your event and after, as well as where you lost those who did not attend.

Event Technology Trends & Considerations

While the event marketing tool space is certainly booming, we look forward to seeing new and different uses for technology in the industry going forward. Over the past several years, we’ve seen brands launched, acquired, and integrated in numbers no one could have predicted. This means a more user-friendly event technology environment for planners and marketers across the board. And with the involvement of AI, a powerful trend in all areas of marketing, we can expect big things to come!

Meanwhile, attendees are learning to expect more and more from experiential marketing. That's why technology suites like Bizzabo are so vital to creating an experience that attendees will still be talking about when they return home. And innovations, like NextME, are a huge win. Instead of many attendees skipping some of your best booths because of long wait lines, they can experience it on their own schedule, stress-free.

Whether you’re planning your first ever event, or you’re an old pro at this format, it’s always a good idea to keep abreast of the new technology on offer. If you don’t, you could be missing out on market trends, valuable insights, and customer experiences that could take your brand to a new level!