Thousands of meetings industry professionals attended IMEX America this past week at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas. The agenda was to plan meetings in person, do business, and discover the latest trends for meeting planning professionals.
One of the repeated themes that was expressed in every keynote and learning session was the need for meeting planners to increase their adoption of technology in order to further serve the needs of their attendees, and we couldn’t agree more.
The event mobile app contingent was strong at IMEX, signaling that the widespread adoption of this technology is right around the corner. Attendees are already embracing the use of mobile apps to make their daily lives easier, and it won’t be long before these apps are a necessity throughout the duration of every event.
8 reasons to download the Mobile app at your next event:
1. They’re meeting planners, not mind readers.
One reason the increased adoption of technology for event planning is important is because event organizers can use it to enhance the attendee experience. Meeting planners can only go so far in knowing what their attendees want, how they interact, and what their expectations are for an event. After that, it’s up to the attendees to TELL them what they want. This can easily be done through the use of mobile event apps.
Attendees can use the event mobile app to make the most of the event for themselves, while also providing valuable feedback and data to event organizers. Organizers use this information to create a customized experience and improve their event based on what attendees tell them they want.
2. Event Session Schedules are a breeze.
We found ourselves referencing back to the IMEX mobile app several times a day to check the schedule for upcoming sessions and happy hours (Admittedly, we were mostly checking for happy hours, but we went to sessions too…).
Never miss a session with the event schedule on your phone. Many apps let attendees pre-populate their session schedules in the app. You can then receive real-time alerts for upcoming sessions on your mobile device.
In addition to the session customization feature, event mobile apps also have the entire schedule for each day listed so that you can look for sessions on the fly.
3. Maximize Event Networking Opportunities.
It’s no secret that networking at events is one of the main drivers for attendees to interact in person. There is maximum potential for driving ROI when doing business in person. The mobile apps represented at IMEX this year are taking real-time conference, convention, and trade show networking to the next level.
Loopd has developed an event “matchmaking” technology where event attendees and vendors set up a profile beforehand that shares information about themselves with others at the event. Then, when they interact in person, the device exchanges their information and lights up to signal matching interests.
For example, if you are in an exhibition hall and want to network with attendees interested in your product, your Loopd devices will light up when you get close to each other. It helps to identify networking opportunities you may not have known about otherwise. The app will store these interactions and allow you to make notes so that you have them to refer back to after the event.
4. Convenient Information Exchange.
Business cards are quick and easy when exchanging contact information. However, they stack up quickly and are easily lost or misplaced. Poken, one of the tech companies that exhibited at IMEX this year has developed a mobile app technology for events that allows attendees to easily exchange information by touching their “Pokens” together.
Attendees pre-populate the mobile app with their information. As they are networking they can distribute their contact and profile information to others by putting their Pokens together. The information is instantly stored on the user's mobile app, is organized, and is convenient to reference back to.
5. Turn Networking Into Lead Generation.
Event mobile apps have the ability to turn networking into lead generation because of targeted way in which they connect people. LiGo by Limefy had a booth at IMEX this year and represented a technology for event attendees that can accomplish this. Attendees wear it as a wristband, clip, or badge.
Before the event, attendees create a profile in the app that outlines what type of people they are trying to meet, what their interests are, and information that potential contacts should know. This is done with the use of hashtags, which gives everyone using the app a uniform language to describe their interests. The hashtags are then matched and create a list of leads with targeted interests for each user.
Users can then vet each of these matches by reading their profiles and interests to further determine if they are a match. No time is wasted networking to determine a potential lead, as users are already armed with this information before the conversation even begins.
6. Real-time Event Updates Keep You In the Know.
Most events have pre-printed brochures for attendees to reference throughout the event. However, aside from the environmental impact of using all that paper, these can get outdated quickly as updates unfold during the event. Real-time event updates are a useful feature that keeps attendees in the know.
Anything from cancelled sessions, keynotes at maximum capacity, or fresh cookies in the lobby can be communicated to attendees via real-time event updates on the event mobile app. Never miss a warm cookie again with this feature.
7. Location-based Messaging Helps to Find Your Way.
As mentioned above, when attendees use the event mobile app, they are telling the event organizers about their behavior and interests. This allows for organizers to communicate with attendees and work to give them what they want.
For example, if you have entered one of your interests as meeting planning apps, and you have circled the meeting planning apps booth at one end of the exhibit hall 10 times without stopping, you may see a screen that says something like, “Interested in meeting planning apps, try booths 305 and 310 at the South Exhibit Hall.”
If none of the users that entered their interest in meeting planning apps stopped at the meeting planning apps booth, that is a signal to the event organizers that this wasn’t the right type of meeting planning apps booth for the audience that attended the event.
8. Get to Know The Speakers.
If you find yourself needing to do last-minute research on the event speakers, the mobile event app can be a useful tool for accessing this information on the go. The apps have pictures, profiles, and session recaps for each speaker. Attendees can access this information easily to do last-minute prep or as their session agenda changes while at the event.
Mobile apps are one of the most prominent tech advances the meeting planning industry has to maximize the experience of their attendees. As widespread adoption and use of the apps accelerates amongst attendees, the valuable information they communicate to event organizers will continue to increase their ability to provide value at events.
Did you use the mobile app at #IMEX16? Tell us about it in the comments below!
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