Mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and e-readers are outselling standard cell phones and computing devices nearly 2 to 1 according to Forbes magazine. If you are on the fence about integrating mobile devices into your next meeting or event, here are 5 reasons why you should use mobile devices at your next event:
Mobile Devices are mini computers.
With several Gigabyte (GB) available at an attractive price point, attendees can do almost everything they want on a smartphone or tablet as compared to a laptop. These devices are much smaller, sleeker and have longer battery life than a laptop. Due to technological advances, they will continue to get faster and hold more data.
Mobile Devices have thousands of apps.
There are somewhere around 500,000 apps available on either a smartphone, tablet or both. That number will continue to explode in 2013 and apps will become easier to download and more intuitive to use. If they are web-based apps, the attendee will be able to download the app themselves and the event meeting services company can easily keep those apps updated on a real-time basis.
Mobile Devices are a communication tool.
They are not just dedicated to email and phone calls. They are used for social media and blogging to CRM and note taking. Mobile technology is used for listening to music, taking photographs and recording video. Lastly, mobile devices enable the sharing of all this data with other attendees and event staff the instant it happens.
Mobile Devices are for people on the go.
Individuals can use their phone or tablet while they are sitting, standing or walking. Attendees can check their emails, social networks or voicemails from almost anywhere at all times.
Mobile Devices can help you and your sponsors with event branding.
If you rent iPads, you can put your logo and/or sponsorship information on the splash page. You can integrate company video, photos and a tutorial for a product launching event. Sponsorship information can be worked into a gamification app. Every time an app is opened up, there can be 10 second video about your organization. The possibilities are endless and can be worked into the program in a very clever way.
Now that you are sold on the use of mobile devices, it is important that you answer the following 3 questions in order to proceed:
What apps are you going to use for your meeting? Are they off the shelf, written just for your meeting or somewhere in between? Are they web- or native-based?
Obviously, off the shelf apps are going to be the least expensive and many of them are free. However, most of the free apps are web based, therefore potentially causing a strain on the Wi-Fi system at your venue. These decisions will require some thought and budgeting on your part to see what serves the best needs of the attendee.
What mobile platform are you going to use?
Most apps are written for 2 or 3 devices. It requires a lot of code to convert an app that runs on an iPad to an Android tablet. It is highly unlikely that your attendees will have the same smartphone or tablet technology. Rent iPads because they have the most applications and every attendee will be able to access the same applications at the same time.
Based on answers to questions 1 and 2, is the Wi-Fi system at the venue enough?
Chances are the venue's Wi-Fi system does not have enough bandwidth to keep up with your attendees' needs. Having an outside company do a thorough examination of your bandwidth needs is important to keep your network fast, robust and secure.