Mobile Events or Bust!

The What and Why of Going Mobile at Your Next Event

Communication and information consumption is changing – and fast! Consider these facts:

Mobile Usage Data Attendify

Mobile devices and smart phones have become essential productivity and communication tools, there’s no doubt that mobility is here to stay in both consumer and enterprise segments.  As people become more mobile savvy and increasingly attached to their devices it’s vital that events deliver functional apps and reliable connectivity to improve the event experience.

The good news? There are lots of startups in the event space ready to help. Mobile event apps in particular are garnering a lot of attention.  In addition to providing attendees with functionality that they are starting to expect, mobile event apps help event planners by simplifying communication during the event and by providing a timely platform for community engagement and gathering data.

Event Apps Today:

Event apps are evolving quickly, and we’re just starting to see what’s possible. When choosing an event app to help organize and communicate during your event, you should look for an app that can help you:

  • Get rid of the printed guide and go paperless –  Who’s tired of lugging around a large schedule? Everyone. Make accessing the event schedule and other event documents easy-peasy with mobile.  Bonus: Good apps, like Attendify, should allow you to update the schedule in real-time as well as allow attendees to customize the schedule to their personal preferences.
  • Keep attendees in the loop – Give your event participants details about activities, notices about changes, and alerts with a mobile news feed and a Twitter feed.
  • Feature speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors – Make it easy for attendees to learn more about the event and the VIP guests by including speakers lists with biographies in the app.
  • Ensure attendees are never lost – Event apps should allow you to feature maps relevant to your event.

Event Apps in the Near Future:

Events are about community. Event apps that are going to succeed long-term are going to support the event planner’s ultimate goal which is connecting people and keeping them engaged long after the event is done. While some event apps have started developing social functionality, in the near future events apps will help you to:

  • Provide context for networking – Good apps empower attendees and participants by giving them information, not just about the event and their surroundings, but also about the other people at the event. By using messages, photos, live polls, and other cool features, apps allow attendees to learn about their fellows, more easily break the ice, and create real communication opportunities.
  • Track in real-time event feedback and analytics – Keep a pulse on what participants think, feel, say and want from your event as it is unfolding. This will help you to make instant, informed modifications to ensure greater participant satisfaction, to keep them coming back to the event. Analytics will also give you a detailed understanding of what’s worked, what didn’t, and why to improve the event significantly with each iteration.
  • Make networking a breeze and build closed social networks – One of the main reasons (if not the main reason) people attend events is networking. Apps should help attendees facilitate “connecting” by saving contacts and creating opportunities for continued conversation, long after the event has ended.

The functional demands of mobile users are rapidly increasing. Event planners and application providers must adapt and respond. This article addressed the need for, capabilities of, and future of mobile app functionality for events. Next week, we’ll be focusing on the implementation side of the equation with a goal of understanding how best to meet the mobile connectivity needs of event participants.

What functionality do you want most from your mobile event apps?