Canada East Chapter

January 16 2013

The Payoff of Paperless Meetings

By David McMillin

paperless meetingImagine if they were all gone: conference programs, exhibitor product manuals and session handouts.

Well, not completely gone - - just out of your hands and on to your smartphone. In the Learning Lounge at Convening Leaders in Orlando, Silke Fleischer, CEO and co-founder, EventPilot Conference App, ATIV Software, gave attendees a look at the real revenue opportunities and cost savings associated with a mobile app.

We’ve covered the importance of apps for meeting planners and trade show organizers before, but Fleischer’s presentation included a handy tool that offers a clear outline of the real financial impact: an event app revenue calculator. The calculator even goes beyond costs to estimate how much an app can reduce a meeting’s carbon footprint.

Is Someone Really Going to Pay for It?

Yes.

In an earlier session, Felicia Kaban, manager, conventions & exhibits, LifeScan, Inc. & Animas Corporation, offered her own perspective on the value of a mobile app for exhibiting companies.

“I don’t want to pay to print literature that I’m just going to have to throw away later,” Kaban says. “If you can get rid of my printing costs, I’ll happily take that money to pay for more sponsorship.”

Is Your Audience Going to Use It?

Not necessarily.

While a paperless meeting or trade show has clear cost benefits, it’s important to consider your attendee base before making such a big decision.

“You have to consider the demographics of your target audience,” Carolyn Clark, vice president, marketing and communications, PCMA, says. “Some of those in your crowd may be using apps for everything, but others may prefer an on-site paper program.”

Rather than replacing every piece of paper you distribute before and during the experience, you may want to consider smaller initial changes such as condensing your program or moving to a paperless handout model.

For more on taking your meeting mobile, click here.

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