Impact Publications : MiceBTN_60
MICEBTN - AUGUST 2015 • Page 41 MICEBTN - AUGUST 2015 • Page 41 ABOut DArren eDwArDS Darren Edwards is the founder of invisage Creative services in Australia. With more than 22 years’ of experience in the meetings and events industry, Darren continues to explore and develop creative design and innovative technology products to the benefit of the global event industry. Contact: info@ invisage.net THE USE of mobile devices at events has increased beyond reasons that benefit the or- ganiser (being green, going paperless or creating revenue streams) to include those that also benefit event participants. Today, it’s possible to build a com- plete attendee experience around the benefits afforded by mobile devic- es— delivering advantages no other event-industry technology can offer. Consider: Utility: Event apps enable attendees to check-in, register, navigate and par- ticipate in a meeting or conference. Justification: Digital satchels enable collection of session presentations, posters, papers, handouts via direct download and content-capture appli- cations. Event apps enable attendees to justify attendance to managers and establish a personal return on invest- ment. Connection: Attendees use devices to connect and share with peers via email, private messaging, SMS and social media. Recognition: Game play, complete with leader boards and prizes, address- es attendees’ needs for recognition from their peers. On line networking within the app also allows users to comment and exchange ideas, making their thought leadership more visible. All in all, mobile platforms can enhance the live attendee experience more effectively than other technolo- gies because: 1. Users know how to use their own devices and this means there is less of a learning curve for them when they download a native event application. 2. Mobile devices centralise and aggregate (on a single platform across multiple devices - PCs, kiosks, tablets, How the web, smartphones and tablets are assets that can enhance an event smartphones) the diverse applications required for an attendee at the event. By the same token, their instant-on, intuitive interfaces and large screens make tablets a natural workstation choice for meetings and trade shows. From an organiser’s point of view, other tech tools also add value: Videos: Internet videos can engage viewers, increase retention of content, are accessible via many devices and can be easily shared via social media channels. Videos can improve search engine rankings and video email marketing has fully trackable and higher click-through rates than traditional marketing meth- ods. Videos can be used before, during and after the event to convey messag- es and to improve attendance at future events. Some video facts: Hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute: 60; number of videos viewed on YouTube every day: 4 billion; number of unique visits to YouTube every month: 800 million; total hours of video watched on YouTube each month: 3 billion; total YouTube views in one year: 1 trillion. Email market- ing: To date, no other marketing tool has been as effective as email to boost attendee reg- istrations and to recognise sponsors. Social networks: Twit- ter, Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube, Foursquare, Flickr all can be used to listen to, share with and engage an audience when marketing an event. Native apps: ‘Going native’ allows seamless use of other applications such as email, calendar, camera and alerts. A good native event app enhances the event experience for attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, speak- ers, local venues, restaurants, accom- modation providers and of course the event manager. Audience polling: Audience polling devices are great for finding out what audiences are thinking. Surveys: Mobile event app survey tools are low cost, low in environmen- tal impact, efficient in data collection and capture data while impressions are fresh. Lead retrieval: A few apps in the market already offer lead retrieval for exhibitors, but they do require deploying additional apps at your event. In summary: Technology in events presents many opportunities and we should all learn to change and adapt to ‘new’ technology quickly. Use tech- nology to enhance event campaign marketing and the results will improve. Event technology adds true value to the planning, marketing and participation phases of events.