Is Your Meeting Ready for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)?
Jun 12, 2013 by DeDe Mulligan

In a recent study by Cisco's Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), they polled 2,415 users from six countries and found many employees were very interested in BYOD and even willing to pay for them. Here is a highlight of the study: 

  • With a strong BYOD policy, organizations can save $1,300 per year per mobile device. 
  • Workers are willing to pay $965 out-of-pocket for their own devices and $734 annually for data plans.
  • BYOD workers are happier and more productive, saving over 70 hours a year in productivity gains. 
  • 81% of the BYOD devices were smartphonesBYOD
  • 56% were tablets 
  • 37% were laptops

According to Cisco, the key takeaway from this study is employers need to have a strong and strategic BYOD policy that enables employees to access corporate tools and data while they continue to be vigilant about security. 

So, how can the the meeting industry adapt to this and be prepared, especially as the demand to be green, paperless and mobile continues into the future? Here are three things to help you prepare for the inevitable: 

  • Determine well in advance of your meeting, the applications you are planning on using and supporting. 
    Not all apps will run on every mobile device. Because smartphones, tablets and laptops are of different dimensions, most developers will only support a few device types. Choose the app that works best for your meeting, not necessarily the one that is supported on a variety of mobile platforms. 
     
  • Have a strong and strategic BYOD policy for all your meetings and communicate it regularly to attendees. 
    Once you decide on the meeting apps, you need to be clear about what devices you will and will not support. Then, you need to have a plan to allow attendees, speakers and exhibitors to be included in the meeting, even if you do not support their devices. For example, if you decide on the iPad platform, you may need to rent iPads for those meeting participants that do own one. 
     
  • Make certain you have enough bandwidth to support all devices.
    According to Cisco, the average BYOD user owns 1.7 devices. If they bring a tablet and a smartphone and use both of them on the Wi-Fi network, it will tug at network performance. Understanding what devices attendees are bringing and how they will be using those devices at your meeting, will allow you to engage in an intelligent conversation about Wi-Fi with the venue. In many cases, what the venue offers will not be enough. Renting a Wi-Fi network array to meet your meeting needs may be a real possibility. 

AV Event Solutions, now part of the SmartSource Rentals family, can provide you with a plethora of total technology options including iPads, laptops and Wi-Fi network array systems. Give them a call at 888.249.4903 to get the process started! 

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