It’s no surprise that smartphones have made their way into the meetings and convention industry. With planners constantly on the go, sometimes their smartphones are their only connection to the outside world. Here is our review of a few recent articles that have caught our attention in the world of apps, smartphones and their every advancing technology.
A recent article in PCMA Convene covered the near field communication (NFC) crazy that’s sweeping the smartphone industry. This technology allows contact information to be passed wirelessly through a chip and device when the pieces are within a few inches of each other. The chip is embedded in the attendees smartphone or tradeshow badge and the device is positioned in the tradeshow booth. This technology allows the tradeshow attendee to communicate with vendors on their own terms – not everyone is looking to buy today, but they might be looking in a few months. The attendees control what information is passed to the vendors, and the vendors can act accordingly. No paper or hard sales tactics needed! Plus all smart phones produced in 2012 and beyond will come equipped with an NFC card, aside from Apple.
Another great user of mobile apps are convention and visitors bureaus. Midwest Meetings covered the Overland Park CVB in Kansas and their commitment to staying on top of the technology game. Meeting or conference specific pages are built at the CVB and pushed out through their mobile app. Attendees can use the free app to learn more about the conference, as well as the Overland Park area. At the end of the conference, the CVB can tell the planners what pages were popular, and what missed the mark. Armed with this feedback, planners can make the choice of investing in a conference specific app.
1. Start early – Give at least a three month lead time for development, testing and marketing.
2. Know your primary goal – Apps will look different depending on their purpose. Are you trying to provide world class service to existing customers or receiving more leads? These apps will look and function drastically differently.
3. Don’t duplicate your website – Websites are mainly utilized before the attendee arrives at the conference. Now that they are onsite – utilize all of the great functions a mobile phone has! Cameras, GPS, QR code readers, etc. to make a one-of-a-kind experience.
4. Let the app pay for itself – but not by charging the users – Find a sponsor to fund the whole app, or sell ads. This is an excellent way for vendors to have a constant presence in front of attendees.
For the rest of the list of tips and tricks – read Ezra’s complete article on MeetingsNet.com.
Have questions on how to integrate smartphone technology into your next conference? GEP Destination Management would love to brainstorm ideas to help your meeting become tech savvy. Contact us today at email@example.com today!
Stay tuned in our next Destinations Download for our follow up article on best apps for the meeting planner.