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5 event texting lessons from the Franchise Brokers Association’s 400+ attendee conference

Check out event planner Brianna LaCaruba's top five lessons for a successful attendee text strategy.

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As the event planner for the Franchise Brokers Association (FBA), Brianna LaCaruba leads the communication strategy for their annual conference.  

With dozens of networking meetings, educational seminars, and other conference events, Brianna said keeping everyone in the loop can feel hectic. 

“Try wrangling 400 stray cats,” Brianna said. “It’s hard, but once you have a solid communication system, everybody is on the same page.” 

For past conferences, the FBA’s biggest challenge was getting people to open and respond to emails. So this year, Brianna started texting attendees as well. 

“Everyone always has their phone on them,” she said. “Young or old, they have their phone on them. And if it dings, they’re going to check it.” 

By adding text messaging to her communication strategy, Brianna and her team: 

1. Reduced confusion and frustration for all 400 of this year’s attendees. 

2. Increased post-event feedback by 20%. 

3. Collected 1,000+ event photos from attendees. 

Now, Brianna said she can’t imagine running a conference without texting.  

Want results like these? Let’s dive into Brianna’s five tips for using texting at your next event. 

1. Promote your text-enabled number everywhere. 

Although attendees provided their numbers at sign up, Brianna invited people to text the FBA’s number throughout the conference. She did this for two reasons: 

  1. Texting isn’t a standard communication channel at every business event, so some attendees may not know that the FBA’s number is text-enabled.  
  1. Some people purchased tickets with their work numbers but only kept their personal phones on them during the conference. 
“People were pulling me aside, saying, ‘This is amazing. We haven’t been to another event where somebody’s texted us and let us know a session starts in 10 minutes, what room to go to, and what we’re going to go over.” 
Brianna LaCaruba

Brianna LaCaruba

Event planner, Franchise Brokers Association

Here are four places to promote your text-enabled number: 

  • Pre-event emails 
  • Signs and table tents 
  • Printed materials, like breakout session info sheets and agendas 
  • PowerPoint slides 

🔖  Bookmark this for later: 20 free Canva templates to advertise your text marketing list 

You can even remind people that they’ll get answers from a real person in your welcome message. 

FBA: Heads up, Members. This is a two-way messaging system. Feel free to text us your questions, feedback, and photos!

Reply STOP to opt-out 

Just be sure to get your contacts’ express written consent that they want to receive texts about the event, and follow all SMS compliance regulations for building your text list

2. Draft text messages ahead of the event. 

During the event, you’ll be pulled in a thousand directions. Your future self will thank you for writing out the texts you need to send ahead of time.  

“[Before] the event, we drafted all of our messages. So, we had a system starting from day one when they arrive to when they leave on Wednesday.” 
Brianna LaCaruba

Brianna LaCaruba

Event planner, Franchise Brokers Association

Brianna drafted text reminders in a spreadsheet for breakout sessions, cocktail hours, meals, and more. Then she simply uploaded those messages into SimpleTexting and scheduled them in advance

Pro tip: If your event has a hashtag, add it to your texts to boost interactions on social media. 

3. Add multiple teammates to your texting platform. 

Naturally, as the event planner, Brianna had her hands full during the four-day conference. If she could change one thing about her texting strategy, she’d add another staff member or two to respond to incoming texts. 

Be realistic about how much time you’ll have to answer attendee questions, on top of managing the event. You can also save text templates for responses to frequently asked questions.  

🔖 Bookmark this for later: How to onboard team members to your SMS platform 

4. Send a post-event survey reminder. 

Brianna knows that while attendees are traveling back home, they’re more likely to use their phones than any other device. 

After this year’s conference, she sent a follow-up text thanking everyone for attending and letting them know that they’d receive a feedback survey via email.  

FBA: We want to extend the biggest thank you. Be on the lookout for our feedback survey. We can’t wait to see you next year!

Even though the text itself didn’t contain a link to the survey, response rates increased by an impressive 20%.  

5. Ask attendees to send photos of the event. 

The FBA hires a professional photographer every year for the conference, but the photographer can only be in so many people at once. 

So this year, Brianna sent a text asking people to send in their photos from the event. 

“It was great getting it from their point of view, seeing who they got to meet, and everything like that,” Brianna said. “I downloaded over a thousand pictures.”  

In previous years, Brianna received fewer photos when she requested them via email. Not everyone has their work email on their personal phones, so they’d have to send the photos to their laptop before emailing them. 

With texting, attendees could simply attach the photos to their message. 

FBA: Feeling rested post FBCE? Please send us your photos! Thanks in advance 😊 

Bonus lesson: Test your event texting platform in house 

Brianna’s biggest tip for finding the right SMS platform is to trial it with your colleagues. 

“I can’t stress this enough for anybody who’s going to try an app,” she advised. “You have to test it out in house before.” 

Before landing on SimpleTexting’s event texting service, Brianna did her research.  

“I did trial and error with a couple of other texting companies, and what drew me back to SimpleTexting was the simplicity of it all.” 

“As an event planner, you have 12 million other things that you’re managing. You don’t want an app that you’re relying on to be one of those issues or one of those other complications. So Simple Texting was just the perfect answer for us. It’s easy to use and comes with a great support team.” 
Brianna LaCaruba

Brianna LaCaruba

Event planner, Franchise Brokers Association

💡 Sign up for SimpleTexting’s free 14-day trial to test drive the features and apps mentioned in this guide. 

Dani Henion
Dani Henion

Dani Henion is the content team lead at SimpleTexting and is continuously looking for ways to make text messaging strategies and tips more accessible to SMBs. When she's not writing or planning new SMS content, you'll find her decorating elaborate sugar cookies or thrifting in Atlanta.

More Posts from Dani Henion
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