Picture this. The stunning outdoor event you've been slaving over for months is about to be rained out and moved to your backup location indoors.
The issue? Your event guests are spread all over the city right now and you need to let them know ASAP. Luckily, we live in a modern event planning world with instant communication at our fingertips. It's why Ribyt lets you text or email your guests through the system however and whenever you need to. Although, just because you CAN communicate with your guests at any time doesn't always mean you SHOULD. Read on to learn how and when to text or email guests during an event and when not to.
INSTANT TEXT AND EMAIL BEST PRACTICES
The ever-presence of mobile devices really allows us to make every guest feel connected and cared for leading up to and during an event. When done respectfully and sparingly, instant communication to event guests can reduce anxiety and promote trust.
Changes: Anytime there is a change to guests' itineraries, it helps to get in touch with them as quickly as possible so they aren't left feeling lost. Use this any time you have a venue, time, or speaker change. Additionally, if you're aware of traffic or transportation concerns (like an accident on the highway), a heads up to guests is always appreciated. Be as brief as possible while conveying all of the change information.
Select Reminders: Especially if you have guests traveling to your event, it can be helpful to remind them about presentation or event start times, where they can find catering or meals during a break, or if there are any delays.
A recent firsthand example of this: a client of ours was hosting a party during a sporting event weekend - at said party, our client was broadcasting the game, but attendance was strangely low. They realized their guests didn't know that day's game was being broadcast at the party and that, instead, the guests were at bars or hotels watching it. They used that opportunity to text guests reminding them that the game was being shown at their party and the guests showed up in droves. Big win.
Follow Ups: Few things are more helpful than leaving a great presentation with follow-up materials, resources and links sitting expectantly in your inbox. Creating a seamless guest experience means staying top of mind for guests and meeting needs before they are even realized.
WHEN NOT TO USE TEXT AND EMAIL
Now that you've seen ways immediate, personal communication can be done well, let's look at ways it can damage a relationship so you can actively avoid them at all costs. Guests can spot fake and manipulative communication from a mile away, and it instantly leaves a bad taste in their mouths. Let's not.
Every Little Thing: Sure, you'd love to be there at every turn to welcome your guest to their hotel, presentation room or after party, but doing it via text or email for every little thing is going to get old fast. Instant notifications are meant to be attention-grabbing in order to share important information - once a guest receives them too much, they tune them out and might miss the actual important info.
Third Party Information: This is not the place for third party advertising or sponsor messages. It is self-serving and not useful to your guests, so it is seen as a nuisance. Advertising is best left for event web pages, print and digital materials, and perhaps as part of useful post-event offers.
Polls and Questionnaires: Be wary of sending out polls during your event. Yes, it's nice to get feedback when the content or event is still fresh on guests' minds, but this also falls into the category of unnecessary communication during an event. If the poll is going to inform the schedule of events or itinerary, then it may make more sense. In that case, keep it short, sweet and on topic. Otherwise, plan to send out any surveys at one time after the event has ended to attendees can answer at their convenience.