• Make Your Event Mobile

    Discover the advantages of using an event app and find out if it’s right for your next event.

     
    POSTED April 13, 2015
     

In the age of smartphones and tablets, we’ve become accustomed to accessing information instantly. What’s the color of a giraffe’s tongue? Just Google it. Technology continues to evolve constantly, and mobile event apps are no exception. Based on a recent survey from Meeting Professionals International (MPI), which teamed up with DoubleDutch, 63 percent of the 1,800 MPI members surveyed use event apps and 60 percent of those who are not currently using one expect to be in the next 6-12 months. Find out what survey participants have to say about event apps, and take the quiz on page XX to see if you should  use one for your next event.



CENTRAL CONTENT HUB 
Thirty-seven percent of the planners surveyed say they use an event app for attendee convenience. Because things rarely go as scheduled, planners have the ability to change event information on the fly and communicate that immediately. On top of having access to event-critical information, attendees have a variety of resources (like schedules and floor maps) in the palm of their hand.

DATA
A combined 28 percent use the data they’re able to collect from event apps to improve on future meetings and events; 12 percent use event apps for their overall strategy, including attendee, exhibitor, and/or speaker experience, ROI measurement and data to improve future events, and 16 percent say they use an event app for attendee convenience and to source data to improve future meetings and events. On top of the number of app downloads, active users and activities per user that planners use to gauge the app’s success, mobile applications with in-app polling and survey features provide a second dimension of data with the ability to prompt attendees to give honest feedback in the moment.

SAVE $ AND GO GREEN 
Twelve percent of survey participants use mobile apps primarily to save on the cost of printing, and 9 percent use to decrease environmental impact. Using an event app reduces printing costs significantly.



SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT
Fifteen percent surveyed say they use an event app to encourage optimal attendee engagement. With event apps, attendees have the ability to communicate with other attendees, exhibitors, speakers and planners through status updates and private messaging. This platform creates a collaborative, participatory environment and a deeper connection between the attendees and the event, which leads to greater brand loyalty and attendee retention. 

MONEY
Thirty-five percent of respondents cited that money was an issue in their reason for not using an event app. However, event apps that can analyze attendee satisfaction help planners justify the cost. Also, making sense of user actions (badge scans, bookmarks, likes, time spent on page, location) enables planners to demonstrate ROI from exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees to leadership teams that have a say in the budget.
 

QUIZ

Answer the following questions, keep track of your answers and use the key below to find out if an event app is right for you. 

What's the size of your largest event (number of attendees)?
A. < 200
B. 201-500
C. 501-2,000
D. 2,000 +

How many exhibitors do you have at your largest event?
A. 0
B. 1-10
C. 11-50
D. 50+

Does your event require a registration system?
A. Yes
B. No

How many events do you do each year?
A. 1
B. 2-5
C. 6-10
D. 10+

What types of events do you host? (Check all that apply).
A. Internal corporate meetings
B. External corporate conferences
C. Trade Shows
D. Annual association/organization meetings
E. Road Shows

ANSWER KEY: 
Question 1: A=1, B=2, C=3, D=4
Question 2: A=1, B=2, C=3, D=4
Question 3: A=4, B=2
Question 4: A=1, B=2, C=3, D=4
Question 5: 1 point for every letter checked

15+ Points: You need a mobile strategy, pronto. 
11-14 Points: You can definitely benefit from a mobile application.
7-10 Points: A mobile app is a good option for your events.
<6 Points: It's hard to tell the impact a mobile application can hae on your events. 

The rise of "foodism," or the enthusiasm for and interest in the preparation and consumption of good food, as chef Dave Barrett defi nes it, has transformed the food and beverage landscape for meetings.

“(Guests) want good food and knowledge,” says Barrett, executive chef at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa. “They want to know more about what they’re eating, where it came from, how it fits with local culture.”

 

A well-executed familiarization (FAM) trip—just like a well-planned event—belies the months of strategizing, behind-the-scenes coordination and, quite frankly, sheer fortitude that goes into its planning. But behind every flawlessly timed afternoon of venue tours or masterfully planned zip-lining adventure is a convention and visitors bureau (CVB) staff whose 24/7 smiles mask the around-the-clock effort it takes to pull it all off.

We asked representatives from two regional CVBs to share their secrets to planning a successful and productive fam trip.

 

Social media has drastically changed since I was in college. Thanks to Instagram, Twitter and FB, the hashtag symbol is becoming a larger topic when it comes to following, reporting and engaging with companies, friends or events. I personally love following the buzz during events that I cannot attend via hashtags. Savvy event planners can use hashtags to help our industry and business grow.