Anyone who has ever hosted a business event knows how complex that responsibility can be. A common challenge, which has been made easier in the Internet age, is getting a message to an attendee or group of attendees while the event is underway. Let’s look at some of the options.
If you have to contact just one or several people and have access to their cell numbers, then a direct message, such as through SMS, is usually the ideal choice. Phone calls are generally a no-no and ringers will be turned off, but most attendees will have vibrate on and know when they get a text message.
Whether you have to contact one attendee or a hundred, email can also be a good way to do that. Email does have a drawback in that not everyone sets their phones to notify them of emails, and many people may simply ignore emails until later. Be sure to mark the mail urgent in order to up your chances.
In fact, a tweet may be the even better option because Twitter is changing the way we communicate in business, and your attendees may even be using the service to have a conversation among themselves. Twitter does support direct messages as well, but that approach can be unwieldly if you need to message a group.
Perhaps not suitable as your first point of attack, Facebook can serve as a backup plan. If you have a business Facebook page or, better yet, a wall set up for this particular event, you can post there. You may also want to try to post to the wall of the person you’re attempting to contact or even to any of the Facebook groups that you know he or she participates in.
Perhaps best only used when the message is urgent, you can contact IT to place a message banner on the business or event homepage. Someone is likely to see it and can then pass the message on.
If you have an app for the hosting organization or even the event itself, then you can use a push notification to reach the attendee or attendees you need to message. There are even app services that will host your event interface for a fee.
Spotlighting should be a last resort or used only in an emergency since it draws attention away from the event, but it can be highly effective. You can spotlight over a broadcast system or even from a stage. Simply state that you need to speak with so-and-so as soon as possible. That particular person might not be in earshot but someone who knows where they are likely will.