webmasterNovember 4, 2014November 4, 2014Last month, American Express Meetings & Events released a report titled “Great Expectations: The Evolving Landscape of Technology in Meetings” where they surveyed 363 planners and 161 attendees. Their research focused on the different types of meetings and mobile app use in these events. Below is a synopsis of their research findings. Face-to-Face Versus Virtual Meetings 85% of planners and 74% of attendees said that in-person meetings offer greater value because they enable more opportunities for social interaction. 68% of planners stated attendees are too easily distracted when attending virtual meetings while only 45% of attendees agreed with that statement. 63% of attendees said they would participate in more virtual events if that option were given to them while 48% of planners did not think attendees would. 55% of attendees and 35% of planners thought hybrid meetings should be offered at all events. 49% of planners and 47% of attendees stated it is difficult to participate in the conference when attending it remotely. Key Takeaways from Research Findings It appears that both planners and attendees agree that face-to-face meetings are the most effective. Event planners should work toward making the live experience engaging, educational and entertaining with great content and networking options. Tablet rentals can maximize the attendee experience with second screen technology, social media and mobile apps. In addition, they can allow virtual and live attendees to feel more connected by using apps that bring in questions and feedback from the virtual attendee. Due to busy schedules, attendees want the content but cannot always make it to your event. In 2015, work toward solutions that record your content and either provide it to your potential attendees at a cost or as a member benefit if you are part of an association. Rise in Mobile Meeting App The AMEX report identified the following items as very or extremely important to attendees and planners to be placed on a mobile platform during their event: 88% of planners and 79% of attendees want meeting or event schedules 82% of planners and 75% of attendees desire access to meeting or session descriptions 82% of planners and 69% of attendees want updates from the meeting organizers 73% of planners and 64% of attendees desire the ability to create a personalized agenda 69% of planners and 63% of attendees want to network and share other information with attendees 77% of planners and 63% of attendees desire access to meeting room and exhibit hall maps What to Look for With Mobile Meeting Apps One of the reasons planners get sidetracked with app selection is because there are so options out there. Focus on the items listed above and remember – attendees want information that is personalized to them and available on a real-time basis. Creating networking events, such as Tweet-Ups, can help attendees connect and share information. In addition, using Near Field Communication (NFC) and Geofencing apps can expedite the contact information exchange. When looking at mobile technology, consider Apple rentals (which include everything from iPhones to Mac Airs) and tablet rentals to keep your attendees informed and engaged in the conference. About Hartford Technology Rental Not sure which equipment is right for your next event? Contact Hartford Technology Rental online or give us a call at 888-520-5667. We have state-of-the-art technology offerings and will work with your mobile app provider to make your next meeting shine!