Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

May 20 2014

What 42 Percent Of Meeting Professionals Have Never Done

By David McMillin
Everyone loves their smartphones. They love to send emails from them. They love to swipe the screens when they’re in uncomfortable situations. Most of all, they love to open up their mobile apps. In fact, recent research shows that the average smartphone user downloads 25 apps. However, a new survey conducted by the IMEX Group and QuickMobile shows that meeting professionals are often failing to give attendees the opportunity to add another app to that list. The survey revealed that 42 percent of respondents have never included an app in their budgets.
“It’s clear that while more event planners are using mobile apps and seeing them as 365-day communication tools, they are just beginning to discover their strategic value,” Patrick Payne, CEO, QuickMobile, says. “We definitely have room to grow.”
That growth potential may lie in smaller meetings where organizers haven’t yet harnessed the power of mobile apps.
“There are 1.8 million meetings in the U.S. each year, many of which have fewer than 100 attendees,” Corbin Ball, CSP, CMP, DES, MS and owner of Corbin Ball Associates, says. “It will take some time for event apps to be utilized in smaller corporate meetings, but it is definitely coming.”

An App That Outlives The Meeting

Regardless of the size of the meeting, planners are beginning to focus on extending the life of their meetings beyond just the three or four days when everyone is on-site. The survey shows they’re counting on apps to help fuel a continuing conversation. Seventy-five percent of respondents want to use an app to start conversations before an event, and 78 percent want them to keep the discussion going after it ends.
Maximizing the app’s potential relies on one very important element: content.
“It's all about content, content, content,” Robin Jones, Chief Marketing Officer, QuickMobile, says. “The easiest way to get people using and engaged in the mobile event app and extend the life of the event is to provide them with relevant and valuable content.”
“If you add to that the ability for them to easily network with other attendees, speakers, organizers and sponsors, as well as crowd sourcing via user surveys, polls and other tools that enable attendees to really participate in shaping the event, they will jump at the chance to use the event app,” Jones adds.
Are you looking for help with incorporating an app at your next meeting or event? Click here to watch a free OnDemand webinar that will help you evaluate your options for taking your program mobile.

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