Event Planners’ Dos And Donts Of Mobile Technology

Last Updated on April 3, 2024

Mobile technology is the future. I don’t think you’ll find a single person in our gadget-crazed society who’ll argue otherwise. In a world where Android is king and we’ve more Internet-connected gadgets than we have people, it’s quite clear which way the wind is blowing, isn’t it?

The fact is, nearly everyone – from nearly every profession – is engaging with mobile technology in some way, shape, or form. That includes event management professionals. The potential mobile technology holds to streamline the process of planning an event is effectively unmatched. Our primary tools are smartphones and tablets. There’s a whole array of powerful mobile applications out there designed to make your job (and your life) easier.

The key is to know how and when to use the mobile applications best suited to enhance your event planning and experience.

If you don’t know how to best wield a mobile device to your advantage, you’ll potentially do more harm than good and waste valuable time and effort. Here, then, are a few Do’s and Don’ts where smartphones and tablets are concerned.

Do: Make Use Of Apps To Plan Your Event

As I’m sure you already know, there exists a very wide range of different event management applications, all designed to make your job considerably easier. Everything – from floor plans to catering menus to attendee lists to staffing schedules – can be automated and streamlined by using your smartphone. You can start by test-driving several apps that address a time consuming manual task. Given how events tend to be complicated, you want to take every opportunity to make things easier on yourself.

Don’t: Forget To Have A Backup

This should go without saying. In spite of how useful your smartphone is you can’t rely exclusively on it. Make sure you back up your information on a secondary medium. If you’re particularly paranoid, you can carry the physical plans with you as well – but this isn’t strictly necessary. That said, a hard copy could save the day if things go wrong.  Consider how you will trouble shoot dead batteries, a lost signal or a stolen phone!

Do: Keep In Touch With Staff And Organizers

One of the greatest strengths of mobile technology is the large degree of connectivity it offers. Through the use of both management applications and old-school phone calls/SMS, you can co-ordinate with your fellow organizers with greater ease than ever before. Combined with scheduling applications and planning services, this allows a formidable level of organization. The old-school meeting of today is face-time and Google chat! Communication is easier than ever before, take advantage!

Don’t: Expect Everyone To Instantly Be On Board

Before you commit to using a mobile application to manage and co-ordinate your planning efforts, make sure your staff is entirely prepared to commit. There may be a few among them who don’t have the proper device, or the comfort level and natural instinct to forgo non-mobile methods. Some staff may still not even have a smartphone. Make sure everyone’s equipped with the proper technology before you opt to use it exclusively.

Do: Account For Mobile On The Event Floor

The simple fact is, people are going to use mobile devices at your events, and if you don’t account for that, they’re likely to leave dissatisfied. Make sure you’ve got wireless access points, charging docks, and QR Codes/ticket scanning gear…you get the idea. Just make sure you know what sort of technology your attendees are going to have (most of them will, at the very least, have smartphones) and account for it.

Don’t: Try For Device-Specific Features

Although there are a few exceptions to this rule, unless you know for a fact that the majority of attendees are going to be using a particular mobile model or operating system, don’t make any device-specific features or functions vital components of your event. Users should still be able to have an enriching experience regardless of what device they’re using. When in doubt, you should at the very least try to ensure compatibility with Android.

Do: Optimize Your Site For Mobile

This one should go without saying. Everybody uses mobile devices these days, to the point that mobile users almost outnumber desktop users on the ‘net. If your event’s website isn’t optimized for mobile, it’s going to leave a lot of attendees frustrated before they even show up.

Don’t: Ignore Desktop Users Altogether

Although the mobile market is definitely overtaking things, that doesn’t mean you should ignore PC users altogether. Ideally, you should have two versions of your event webpage – one optimized for mobile devices and one optimized for the PC. Otherwise, you risk alienating a great many customers.

Do: Use Mobile To Promote Your Event

Because of the market penetration of mobile devices, they make an ideal platform through which you can advertise events and get the word out about your brand. The right application can go miles towards event promotion, as can an ad campaign that incorporates people’s smartphones, particularly if that carries over into the event itself. Use your imagination and get creative – people will respond if you do things right.

Don’t: Spam

This one’s self-explanatory. Avoid excessive mobile notifications, ‘salesy’ SMS ads, cold calls, and applications that are basically one extended ad. This won’t do your event – or your brand – any favors. As on social networks, you’re going to need to talk to people, not at them.

Mobile technology is the future. Weave it through every stage of your event from planning, to execution and engagement and in your wrap-up analysis. Good luck testing the waters!