Planning a conference is challenging. These days, a better “product” has to be produced for the same or less money. Many event organizers look to technology to make the job easier without incurring more of a burden on human and financial resources. Mobile technology is one way to achieve that objective.
Because mobile devices are so flexible and ubiquitous, they are the perfect hardware platforms on which to deploy the time-saving, efficiency-producing applications that make the job of executing an event that much easier. Here are ten conference-planning challenges that mobile technology addresses best:
- Enhancing the attendee experience—while some attendees still insist on using a printed guide to consume and navigate a conference, there is nothing like the speed and utility of a mobile device for yielding important information. When attendees feel efficient and productive, it enhances their overall experience at the conference.
- Social media—creating network opportunities between attendees at conferences has become very important for many conference organizers. Mobile devices with built-in access to social media platforms can not only create excitement and a buzz about the conference but also provide a gateway to the outside world. Mobile devices are the de facto common denominators at conferences because almost everyone has one.
- Real-time actionable metrics—mobile devices are data magnets. The applications can be built to measure just about anything that is measurable: speaker and overall conference evaluations, downloads, votes, clickthroughs, meetings, messages, complaints, likes, dislikes, responses, etc. The information can be used to improve and change the conference.
- Communicating programming changes with attendees—gone are the days when room changes had to be posted outside the meeting room or the names of new exhibitors had to be printed on a loose sheet of paper inside the exhibitor directory. Today, updates can be pushed, posted and even texted to attendees.
- Saving money—putting aside many organizations’ desire to be environmentally conscious, mobile applications also save money in reducing the number of printed directories.
- Obtaining a new revenue stream—most mobile platforms offer opportunities for sponsorship revenue and some providers even assist with the sponsorship sales.
- Creating efficiencies—assembling and updating conference directories, exhibitor lists, speaker profiles and session descriptions digitally using the administrative functionality is far more efficient than handling the job manually.
The adoption of mobile devices in the general population has afforded organizers with an unusual opportunity—to capitalize on the preferences and behaviors that are already present among conference attendees while addressing the challenges of producing events.