Consumer expectations are constantly evolving as they encounter newer and more novel technology services in their day-to-day life. For example, hotel guests now expect there to be free Wi-Fi in their room, rather than it being an added-on service. In particular, mobile devices have become an indispensable part of an individual’s life. From shopping to travel needs to banking, the mobile device touches every aspect of the customer’s life. Be it a tablet or a smartphone, attendees want to feel enabled to become more of a participant at an event, rather than an observer.
While these expectations could be seen as technological headaches to overcome, huge marketing potential and innovation is created. Let’s take a look at several up-and-coming meetings technology trends:
Event-Specific Mobile Apps
From putting an event agenda that’s customized to the attendee’s specific schedule directly onto their mobile screen, to allowing them to give feedback during the event, mobile applications enable real-time participation and increase efficiency. Have a larger event with attractions and workshops in a variety of locations across a wide area? Add a way-finding feature to the mobile app, which guides the attendee to their next scheduled workshop. Was there a workshop location change? Send push notifications to those registrants with the new location and information.
Another benefit is the amount of reportable data that’s generated by attendee app usage. From keynote speaker feedback and voting on which workshop is the best, to what feature attendees are using the most, critical data can be captured to analyze and measure event success, while informing steps for the next one.
While being extremely helpful and functionally relevant to today’s technologically savvy world, customized mobile applications are another way to express your brand, and have your logo in front of viewers before, during and after the event.
The terms iBeacon and Beacon are often used interchangeably, and refer to technology that allows Mobile Apps to understand their position in a specific area, and deliver customized content to users based on that location. The underlying communication technology is called Bluetooth Low Energy.
Meeting planners have begun to use Beacons at events in many capacities. One of the more popular uses is as a way-finding tool that alerts users once they enter into a Beacon’s area what workshops, attractions or events are in the location. Beacons are also used to measure which booths are receiving the most attendance and, therefore, are the most popular. In last year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Beacons were used to create a scavenger hunt.
There are limitless possibilities on how to deploy Beacons to not only engage meeting attendees, but also measure event success and make it more efficient.
In today’s online, hyper-social world, we can Like, Tweet, Post or otherwise comment on anything we see or read online in real-time. This fundamental shift has also carried over to the meetings industry, and has transformed the attendee from simply an observer to an actual participant who demands a higher level of interactivity.
Social media should be embraced as both a measure of audience engagement and a critical gauge of event success. From pre-event recruiting to post-event surveying, social media provides the perfect functionality for connecting and communicating with individual attendees, rather than the masses.
For more information on how you can use technology to enhance your next event, please contact Lynn Kaniper at email@example.com or 609.466.9187 ext. 117.