Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

December 01 2015

Why Meeting Professionals Should Pay Attention To Black Friday Shopping Statistics

David McMillin

If you’re like me, you did not wait in line to take advantage of Black Friday blowout deals. We’re not alone, either. Over the past few years, the crowds of people camping out in line to rush the store as soon as the doors open have steadily dwindled. However, these people are not all keeping their wallets closed. This year’s Black Friday statistics show that more Americans are shifting their attention from the Thanksgiving dinner table toward their mobile shopping carts. In fact, early numbers from Adobe show that Americans spent a record $1.5 billion on mobile devices during the first two days of the official holiday sales season.

So what does cashing in promo codes have to do with meetings and conventions? Directly, most likely nothing. Your organization’s bottom line didn’t benefit from the number of TVs sold last weekend or the 40-percent-off deals on shoes. Indirectly, though, the surge in smartphone and tablet shopping reveals that meeting professionals can capitalize on a growing wave of instant gratification-seeking shoppers. However, getting a share of those dollars requires an effective mobile strategy.

The strategy involves more than offering a mobile app, too. Sure, the ability to browse educational sessions and connect with attendees on-site is helpful, but the mobile landscape offers powerful opportunities to earn additional revenue from today’s always-connected attendees. Whether they’re on-site at a meeting or on their morning train commute, they can pay to register for an upcoming webinar, download a new resource or renew their membership dues without ever cracking open their laptops. They’ll only click the ‘buy’ button if the user experience is good and the site is secure, though. For many organizations, this means that a top priority in 2016 should be reevaluating their mobile web experiences and their mobile apps. Take your organization’s mobile site or app for a test drive today, and ask yourself if you think checking out is as easy as your last Amazon purchase. If the answer is no, it’s time to make some changes.

SEE ALSO: Why This Hotelier Isn’t Bothering With A Mobile App

Looking Ahead

Black Friday is only a preview of what’s in store for the future of consumer purchasing behavior. As retailers continue to simplify the browsing and buying experience with intuitive mobile websites and simple in-person mobile payments, consumers will expect every business to embrace the era of convenience, including organizations who host large meetings, conventions and trade shows. While that means investing in a better web experience and more sophisticated on-site payment technology now, it will pay big dividends in the future.

Looking for advice on how to make your mobile app a money-driver at your meeting? Check out this free webinar. An app might not even be the answer, though. Click here to check out why one hotelier isn’t jumping on the mobile app bandwagon.

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