Can Face-to-Face Meetings Morph to be On-Demand?
Mar 22, 2013 by DeDe Mulligan

on demand

It used to be that the term "On-Demand" applied only to movie and TV shows. It is a great concept — individuals viewing the shows they want, when and where they want to. All they need is a computer or TV and credit card. But now, on-demand is transferring to other elements of our lives including meetings and events. 

Due to technological advances, we are becoming a "no wait" society. According to the New York Times, Google engineers have discovered that, if we have to wait for longer than a blink of an eye for a page to open, it is considered too long. 

Jackie Mulligan, Director of Enterprise and Principal Lecturer from the International Centre at Leeds University, shared in a recent MPI publication, that society's "on-demand" mentality is catching many event organizers flat-footed and they need to manage or exceed the expectations of their attendees. 

So how can planners prepare to deliver "on-demand" at their meetings? Mulligan suggests the following: 

  1. Make sure your Wi-Fi is lightning fast. 

    The truth of the matter is many venues are not prepared to handle the Wi-Fi load hundreds, if not thousands, of attendees bring to bear.  And when more devices are on the bandwidth than expected, it can slow down or even crash the Internet. Check out the Wi-Fi access in advance and make the proper preparations. One option may be a Wi-Fi network array rental. There is no question that slow Wi-Fi will affect the perceived value of your event. 
     

  2. Provide charging stations. 

    Having charging stations at your meeting and trade show allow attendees to stay connected to your meeting and the outside world all day long. They no longer need to worry about the battery life impact of their mobile device if they download videos or intensive apps. 
     

  3. Remember: Attendees may have up to three devices at your event.

    Even if you rent iPads for your attendees, they may still bring their laptop and smartphone AND try to gain access of the Wi-Fi on all three devices at the same time. Try to survey your attendees beforehand to understand what they may be bringing to the conference and what type of apps they will be running. Millennials are more likely to have multiple devices and use on-demand functionality — more than any other demographic segment. 

According to Mulligan, on-demand means providing multiple formats, platforms and experiences of the same meeting at one time. It could mean attendees viewing the keynote speaker from their hotel room via their mobile device, taking a call outside the meeting room and viewing the session on a video wall rental unit or watching the session at 2 am from the comfort of their home. 

Mulligan also cites that attendees will have meetings when they have the urge to do so. Whether it be in the hotel bar or an alcove within the conference center, attendees will generate on-demand meetings and call together who they need to be there at that moment, whether it be F2F or remotely. 

AV Event Solutions, now part of the SmartSource Rental family, is your Total Technology Solutions provider! With 21 locations across the country, they can provide you with Wi-Fi network arrays, charging stations, iPads and much more! 

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