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,, 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!

Waitlist and Queue Management App for Event Planning

The Launch of NextME’s Waitlist and Queue Management App in the Event Production Space

Over the past few years, the restaurant industry has discovered the time and cost saving benefits of using NextME to manage waiting lists. Restaurant owners, staff, and diners alike have enjoyed the rewards of this incredibly easy to use tech solution for an age-old problem. But what if NextME could help other businesses and industries just as effectively?

With this idea in mind, we began working toward integration into a new and exciting industry: event production. This industry is becoming more and more important in the business world, and delivering a positive customer experience has never been more crucial.

Experiential Marketing

Trade shows, conferences, expos, and other industry events are making huge waves in the business to business sales world. In fact, Forrester Research estimates that events are almost a quarter of the B2B marketing budget. It’s been proven as a leading way to communicate with potential clients directly and clearly.

Events and experiences are an amazing way to create connections with consumers too. Big names from Amazon to Oculus VR are harnessing experiential marketing to create positive associations with their brand. As consumers zip through the commercials on their TiVo, or stream their favorite shows on platforms that skip the ads entirely, live events and product demonstrations are quickly becoming an important way to reach out to the public directly.

For those new to the event marketing space, the biggest fear is usually that nobody will show up. Experienced teams know how to generate buzz and overcome this hurdle. So what happens if your event goes well? You’re likely to have lines of people waiting to engage with your brand during busy trade shows, conferences, or events. Long lines can kill your marketing before consumers and clients even get near them.

Picture this: You spend months designing and promoting a top-notch interactive booth for an upcoming trade show. Maybe it’s a high-tech experience. Maybe it’s one-on-one time with your best experts. Whatever the draw, you’ve got potential customers salivating over the chance to engage with your brand.

A potential customer hears the amazing buzz you’ve created and puts it on a to-do list for the day of the show. After arriving on the show floor, they seek you out, only to be turned off by a crowd of people who are already impatiently waiting their turn.

Don’t let a long line turn potential clients away. NextME’s technology is tailor made to handle this sticky situation.

A Better Waitlist & Queue Manager

Here’s how the above scenario could have gone. Instead of seeing a crowd when they first approach your booth, they’re greeted by a friendly smile of your host, armed with a tablet. The host plugs in the customer’s name and phone number and immediately the customer receives a text confirming their place in line. They’re now free to wander the show as they please, and can check in at any time to see their place in line in real time.

Better yet, the text the customer received included a link. This link takes them to a page you’ve designed, introducing your company, product, experience, or anything else you like. You can even use this space to collect attendee data and generate sales leads with interactive promos, letting attendees enter drawings, or newsletter sign-ups. It also lets them visit your social media pages or suggests a hashtag for posting their trade show experience. So you get to introduce them to your brand while they wait!

When the customer’s turn is almost ready, she’ll receive a second text alerting her to return to your booth. She’ll have the option to confirm or cancel her place in line, so you’ll receive fewer no shows than standard appointment setting methods. When she returns to the booth, instead of being bored by a long waiting period, she’ll be just as excited and ready to go as the moment she first approached the booth.

A Proven Queue System

And of course, this isn’t all theoretical. We partnered with digital marketing and event planning agencies, like Deckel & MoneyPenny, to manage wait times for large conferences. They used NextME for big name corporate clients like General Electric Appliances and other large corporations, so it’s already been proven to scale well.

The result? Increased efficiency. Happier attendees. A standardized process for queue management. Better communication. And the ability to meet tight deadlines with little training required for implementation. And after the doors close? Plenty of analytics and reports to pore over so you can see exactly what worked well and what might need tweaking for next time. To read more about NextME’s case studies, check it out here.

So what are you waiting for? If you manage events of any size, NextME is the solution that will allow you to up your game in real time while engaging attendees and providing essential real-time communication tools. Feel free to request a demo or give us a ring at (877) 639-8631.