Thursday, March 31, 2016

Conferences, trade shows, conventions and expos present significant organizational challenges even when things go exactly according to plan. When unforseen circumstances arise - and they will - the organizers have to notify large numbers of attendees and co-ordinators at short notice, and in a way that guarantees everyone got the memo.

When you consider the possibilities, you soon realize how ill-suited most are for the purpose. Pamplets and flyers are obviously too time consuming and unwieldy to disseminate. Emails go unchecked or spam filtered. Website announcements can be made quickly - but there’s no guarantee that everyone in attendance will check the conference site.

No, the most foolproof method of quickly reaching large numbers of people is the humble text message. More than 90% of all text messages are opened and read within minutes. Such a high read rate means that even those people who don’t see the SMS itself will hear about the scheduling change from those around them. Using group text services is easily the most reliable way of staying engaged with everyone involved in your conference. 

Text services can help conference organizers:


  • Issue reminders of upcoming seminars and panels
  • Alert exhibitors and attendees of schedule changes
  • Send sponsored messages to specific subscribers or groups of subscribers
  • Build excitement ahead of an event
  • Gather data during an event via polls and surveys
  • Distribute emergency announcements


Large events, then, get multiple benefits from using text services. Such a service acts simultaneously as an internal communication platform and a text message marketing tool. Even as you’re co-ordinating attendees, you’re gathering vital text marketing data that will help you perform better in future.


Making it Work

To make text services for events and conferences work, conference organizers must have the phone numbers of every person involved in the event. If, say, your star speaker has been taken ill on the day of the event, a group texting service can be used to reach out to all your contacts for a replacement. Failing that, you can let the attendees know that the talk has been cancelled.

It’s not just about contingency planning and schedule announcements. Text message marketing techniques can be used to enhance the actual event experience by enabling you to send links to conference material, webinars, or recordings of panels.

The more positive the experience you provide using text services is for attendees, the more likely they are to continue engaging with your brand. Attendees who aren’t already on your group text list may opt in once they see how effective it has been for their colleagues and fellow guests.