Survey Says: Mobile Apps are Making Their Way to Meetings

Survey Says: Mobile Apps are Making Their Way to Meetings

In a recent survey of international planners by IMEX Group and QuickMobile, a surprising revelation came to light: As much as meeting planners use smartphones and iPads, they really don’t understand how apps can enhance their meetings.

As you will see by the recap of the data below, event planners want to use meeting apps, but there are two major stumbling blocks: 1) they don’t know how to justify them and 2) many have not budgeted properly for the apps.

Today’s blog will focus on how you can use the data to understand and justify mobile technology – both from a software and hardware level.

JUST THE FACT MA’AM

According to the 2012 CIC Economic Impact Study, there were 1.8 million meetings held in the United States that year, of which many of them have fewer than 100 attendees.

Corbin Ball stated to PCMA, this is where the growth and leverage is for mobile apps because meetings that are in the 250+ attendee range have already adapted this technology.

Attendees want to do the following with mobile technology:

  • Network with other attendees, speakers, sponsors and the organizers
  • Crowdsource content and
  • Participate in polling

Attendees want to do the following with mobile technology:

  • Network with other attendees, speakers, sponsors and the organizers
  • Crowdsource content and
  • Participate in polling

The biggest barriers-to-entry for mobile technology are:

  • Wi-Fi accessibility
  • Lack of budget and
  • Perceived time to produce the app

THE NUMBERS

Of the event planners that have used a mobile app, here are the benefits they received:

  • 95% liked the user friendly content management
  • 88% found the analytics valuable and
  • 80% found the social media integration important.

How many meetings do they plan a year?

  • 92% plan 3 or more events
  • 54% plan 10+ events

78% are concerned about security and data privacy.

60% used an event app at their meetings sometime in the last two years.

Have they included event apps in their budget?

  • 42% never included apps into it
  • 33% included them some of the time
  • 25% included mobile apps most or all the time

READING BETWEEN THE LINES

As a meeting planner myself, I know you are typically risk adverse and like the tried and true methods of planning conferences. Nothing about this data really surprises me about our industry professionals; but it is important to note that both planners and attendees alike are using mobile technology more as a 24/7 communication tool, so implementation of apps and iPhone or iPad rentals should not be foreign to anyone.

Yes, mobile apps may cost more money, but in most cases not as much as you might expect. For example, when you consider staff time, printing, shipping, storage and analysis of paper based products, such as surveys – you might be shocked at how much money and time you will save!

The key to all of this is to know what attendees want, have the proper budget for it, and plan for WiFi solutions that fit.

Robin Jones, the Chief Marketing Officer at QuickMobile sums it up best, “It’s all about content, content, content. The easiest way to get people using and engaged in the mobile event app…is to provide them with relevant and valuable content.”

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