A funny idea occurred to me the other day. In much of the world, anyone who doesn’t own a cell phone is considered an oddity. 56% of people on earth own their own Smartphone, while a staggering 91% have a mobile device of some kind at their disposal. The landline phone is a relic! This data is based on the average user, but you can bet money even more people in the enterprise sector will be making use of smart mobile technology.
The growth of the mobile industry is moving at a breakneck pace, and it shows no signs of slowing. Before much longer, more people will be accessing the web on their phones than on their desktops, laptops or even notebooks. What this means is that, regardless of your industry, you can’t ignore mobile technology.
This certainly holds true in event management, where mobile apps are dominating new innovation. Think about it – if 56% of people own either tablet or Smartphone, that means at very least half your attendees are going to be equipped with some sort of mobile device. What’s more, those attendees are going to be expecting access to a secure, fast WiFi connection. That connection will have to be strong enough to potentially support thousands of devices, all of which could be doing anything from simple browsing the Internet to streaming video.
Remember: your attendees will be on mobile regardless, so engage with your audience via mobile, not just concerning logistics, but include event activities.
Mobile technology can completely change how people experience your events. You might, for example, set up an app that allows Smartphone-equipped attendees to participate in an event in an entirely new way, such as an interactive event map, an on-line rating system for participating vendors, or a real-time comments section (full disclosure: of course we think a Tweetwall may fit the bill.)
It’s not just on the show floor that the influence of mobile is being felt, either. As I’ve mentioned in the past, single-page event websites are becoming a trend, owing to their ease of access via Smartphone or tablet. Failing to craft your content and how it’s accessed with the mobile user in mind can easily hurt attendance. Something as mundane – yet vital to your success – as a signup process may be skipped because the effort of switching devices is required.
Remember: scores of mobile applications exist specifically designed for event management professionals.
Do not ignore the sheer power mobile technology affords you as an event manager. Apps of all kinds leverage mobile technology and the cloud helping you address logistics, co-ordinate volunteers and vendors and plan and share your event schedules. All of this can be done from anywhere and at any time.
While it’s certainly possible to do your job well without these valuable tools, there’s little reason to avoid using them. The amount of stress and time you’ll save is more than worth the cost of a new phone, after all. More than anything, this is the reason mobile technology is of vital importance to the event planning profession: it equips event management professionals with the tools to take their job to entirely new heights.
Mobile technology is well on its way to overtaking traditional computing as the primary tool of consumers, and anyone who ignores that fact risks being left behind (and being considered a bit odd!) The mobile technology trend is here to stay.