How to Add Mobile Apps Into Events
Using Meeting Design Principles
Integrating mobile into your overall meeting design is still a new frontier for many, but it is one with so many possibilities that we should all be excited about.
Mobile technology is a fundamental catalyst that is changing the way meetings are planned and managed, and is dramatically improving audience engagement at events of all sizes and types around the world. Mobile event apps deliver consistent, branded, real-time information, put networking in the palm of your hand, generate revenue, integrate with social networks and business platforms, and so much more.
Event owners are constantly looking for ways to improve their events’ return on investment while boosting value and improved experience for attendees. An active and engaged audience translates into higher quality meetings, better feedback and a stronger connection with the brand.
This is why a great mobile app platform should also come with rich analytics that can paint a very thorough picture of what kind of engagement went on during your event and what kind of return it delivered to your bottom line.
When incorporating mobile into your event or meeting, it’s important to take a thoughtful and strategic approach. You want the mobile app to enhance as many of your event elements as possible. For example, if your goal is to generate revenue, then your app should have banner ads, a splash page and/or tiered placement in the Sponsor feature that can be offered as part of your sponsorship packages. Maybe you want to get high survey results from your conference. Offer the survey through your app, which just so happens to live on the mobile devices that are never an arm’s length away from your attendees.
Tahira Endean, CMP, Manager of Event Marketing at QuickMobile, Event Solutions Advisory Board member and 20+ year veteran event planner, has an easy to follow approach for designing a meeting with mobile in mind. It’s based on the Meeting Design Institute’s circular process of IDEA:
Identify objectives. Once you know clearly what you want to achieve and have set “SMART” goals around these, you can move into your digital strategy and integration touch points. Confirm a mobile event app is going to help you achieve your core KPIs (key performance indicators), which are often targeted to learning, retention, connections made and stakeholder ROI.
Design the meeting based on the top objectives. This may include programming, flow, recognition, networking and more. Ideally the mobile app is built concurrently with the planning process so the components you choose fit the strategy. Here you can look more deeply than the agenda into personalizing the experience, adding polls and surveys for immediate information and encouraging interaction even before the meeting begins between live and virtual participants.
Execute the design. The mobile app is extends your brand reach. Tools including polls and surveys are included to deliver stronger learning and retention and may even shift the direction of the learning. Social tracking and online/in-app interaction weaves your story from the participant’s viewpoints and allows for a richer fabric that becomes your basis for developing stronger programming. You can manage CEU hours, follow what food and entertainment is creating positive reactions and even crowdsource hot topics for repeat sessions to take place.
Assess the learning, networking and expected application. Full analytics tools allow you to “see” what is happening at your meetings in ways we have not been able to in the past. There is a lot of talk in associations and organizations about “data” and now that your participants are always carrying a device with them that allows them to comment and respond, and see where location data is inherent and where both extroverts and introverts can easily share information and opinions, as planners we have a wealth of information available immediately. As an added bonus it means you don’t have to collate any paper at the end to get your results!
Will you be incorporating mobile into your events this year? If so, how? Tweet us your response – we’d love to know!
eNews February 2015
Karra Barron is QuickMobile’s Content and Social Media Strategist. QuickMobile transforms meetings and events around the world with mobile event apps that engage audiences throughout the life of your event and beyond. Visit QuickMobile.com to learn more.