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If you’ve already purchased your iPhone 6, you may have already used Apple Pay to pay for your lunch. If you’re still waiting for your newest iPhone model to arrive, it won’t be long before you can swipe your phone rather than open your wallet at Duane Reade, Walgreens, Macy’s and more than 200,000 retail locations.
So what does checking out with a mobile device have to do with the meetings industry? Well, everything.
Let’s back up to think about your attendees. When they aren’t on-site, they’re just like other regular consumers who crave convenience. As the public begins to recognize that mobile payments can remove one cumbersome step from the checkout process, more members of your audience will embrace Apple Pay, Google Wallet and whatever the next technology is that lets them leave their cards in their wallets. They’ll use them to buy coffees, sandwiches, books, shoes and more. In fact, forecasts show that consumers will spend $90 billion via mobile payments by 2017.
Now, think about what those attendees might be able to buy once they arrive at your meeting. A ticket to that evening fundraising reception? A green fee for the chapter golf outing the next morning? How about the full OnDemand educational package — with a discount incentive to purchase on-site? Every meeting has a wide range of additional revenue opportunities, and mobile payments make turning those revenue opportunities into a reality easy. Forward-thinking meeting professionals will be able to capture a slice of that $90 billion.
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Are Your Attendees Actually Going To Use Mobile Payments?
Will mobile payments really catch on, though? Financial experts have scratched their heads on the subject for years. However, Apple’s entrance into the payments landscape will accelerate adoption rates. There are signs that your audience is already on-board. A recent survey of 6,000+ travelers conducted by air transport technology firm SITA and Air Transport World revealed that nearly half of air passengers would definitely use their smartphones for payments while traveling.
Does Your Meeting Match Up With The Outside World?
As your attendees continue to use new technologies at home, at work and during shopping trips, it’s crucial that the meetings industry works to apply those same tools to the every element of the on-site experience. If an attendee can buy a cocktail on the plane with an iPhone, he or she will expect that same level of ease at the registration desk, in an education session and during the networking happy hour.
SEE ALSO: What Meeting Planners Can Learn From The New iPhone
Apple Pay won’t be entirely mainstream by tomorrow. People aren’t going to ditch their physical credit cards and debit cards immediately. However, it will catch on, and the meetings industry must be ready for it.
Have you approached any of your partners to discuss the ability to accept Apple Pay at your meeting? Go to Catalyst to share your thoughts on what mobile payments could mean for increasing revenue at meetings.