Push notifications are a simple and highly effective way of communicating with event attendees—at live events, that is. Are push notifications useful at virtual events? Even though attendees are accessing the event via a computer or device, virtual event push notifications can still be a useful addition.
What Are Push Notifications?
Push notifications are an effective way to keep in touch with attendees at any stage of an event. They’re even better than email because recipients don’t have to actually open anything to read the note. They receive it on their phone just like they would a text—no messaging app required. Used correctly, push notifications:
- Provide information
- Help attendees get the most out of your event
- Keep attendees engaged
The catch is, push notifications, like tweets, have character limits: 178 for iOS and 240 for Android devices. That gives you about four or five lines of text to get your message across. Because of the character limit, learning how to write effective push notes is probably the most difficult aspect of using them.
The upside is that it’s possible to get very high opt-in rates for push notifications—up to 95% on Android devices and up to 73% on iOS devices—if you go about asking in the right way. And yes, sometimes it is as simple as just asking! For events in particular, opt-in rates are generally high because most people want to receive reminders and information about the event they’re attending.
4 Keys to Writing Effective Push Notifications
Good push notifications can enhance your event marketing strategy and enhance how your attendees interact with the event. There are four main areas to focus on if you want push notifications people read and actually act on:
- Get attention. The main goal in sending push notifications is to give people useful information or have them perform a specific action. Start with a brief headline that summarizes what the note is about.
- Be brief. You don’t have much space to get your message across, and the shorter your message, the better.
- Be clear. The recipients of your messages shouldn’t be scratching their heads wondering what those messages are for. That’s a sure way to get people to opt out altogether. Every message you send should have a clear purpose or call to action.
- Be relevant. Don’t send push notifications just because you can. Every note you send should be relevant to the event.
Are Push Notifications Useful at Virtual Events?
Push notifications are a great way to help people stay organized and on-schedule at busy live events. When there are lots of exhibits to see or sessions to attend, people appreciate having reminders of what’s happening, when, and where.
But do they need those reminders at a virtual event? If they’re attending in the digital space, do they need digital reminders as well?
The short answer is, yes. Even at a virtual event, push notifications are still a useful way of sending information. But it’s even more important to make sure you stick with best-practice tactics and ensure your notes are brief, clear, and relevant.
Another factor to bear in mind is that virtual events offer multiple ways to use push notifications. You can send them via phone, of course, but that’s not your only option. Depending on your virtual event setup, you may have other ways to reach attendees.
For instance, some browser-based virtual events platforms have a feature that lets you send popup messages to attendees via their web browsers. Some even send push notes to attendees when they’re not logged into the event.
And what about events that take place in a 3D virtual environment? Push notifications are useful for these events too. In fact, XtendLive’s 3D virtual events platform includes a push notifications feature, along with a meeting scheduler and other organizational tools.
The key to making it work is to provide choices. If possible, let attendees decide how they want to receive messages, whether it’s by phone, via the event platform, or within the 3D environment. All three are useful ways to send that information. And phones still have their place because they provide a means of sending messages that’s independent of the event environment.
What Kinds of Virtual Event Push Notifications Are Useful to Attendees?
Some types of push notifications are universally useful at any kind of event. Of course, some notes that live event attendees may find helpful would be pointless at virtual events. Virtual event-goers don’t need to be reminded of where restrooms or food vendors are located! But schedule reminders and other organizational messages are always helpful, for any kind of event.
- Welcome messages. When the event kicks off, a welcome message can let people know when the first sessions start and where to access them.
- Scheduling reminders. People who use the event calendar can opt-in to reminders of when their sessions are about to start.
- Attendee activity. These notes let attendees know when there’s something that needs their attention—for instance, if they’ve received a direct message from another attendee or a networking match-up.
- Program delays or changes. If a session runs long or there’s a delay in your schedule, push notes are the best way to let everyone know.
- Exclusive activities or special offers. For instance, if you’re offering a ticket discount on your next event or there’s a limited-availability session such as a Q&A or meet-and-greet.
- Sponsored messages. Offer a small number of message slots to premium sponsors. This lets you keep sponsored messages to a minimum while ensuring your most important sponsors are happy.
Can You Ever Send Too Many Notifications?
Yes! For any kind of event, it’s important to avoid sending out unnecessary notifications. If you spam attendees with note after note, they’re likely to start ignoring them. They may even opt-out altogether. It’s hard to know what the right number of virtual event push notifications is, but it’s usually better to send too few rather than too many.
It’s also important to be mindful about when you send these messages. Session reminders are useful, but try to avoid sending lots of messages during session times. Nobody wants to be interrupted by popups when they’re trying to watch a speaker.
Overall, if you make sure all push notifications are genuinely useful—and don’t overdo the sponsored messages—it’s hard to go wrong.
Virtual Event Push Notifications Make Communication Easy
Push notifications are a useful tool to have in your event toolkit. They make it easy and fast to get vital information out to attendees and are a must-have for virtual events, as well as live and hybrid events.