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The Impact of Mobile on the Future of Live Meetings

Lindsay Hanzlik
Posted byLindsay Hanzlik
on 03/16/17 03:51 PM

Lindsay Hanzlik is a Content Marketer. She has been the head of marketing in several small businesses in Denver. Her experience spans from B2B professional services to B2C retail. Her roles have overseen all facets of marketing including strategy creation and implementation, end-to-end campaign development, budget management, graphic design, website analytics, and copywriting. She has a degree in writing and is a published poet dedicated to communicating complex concepts in a simple and understandable manner. Lindsay spends her free time with her husband, family, and two pet rabbits. She also has an ever-growing library of hobbies including photography, music, sculpting, baking, and (of course) writing.

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By 2020, the app market is forecasted to double in size to exceed $101 billion. Further, at least 87% of  live meeting and event attendees are currently utilizing event apps.

Because of this, it is imperative that all meeting organizations have a strategy for adopting and integrating mobile usage into your meetings to keep up with consumer expectations.

With the saturated mobile event app market and a millennial audience accustomed to accessing information on command, how can you ensure that you are breaking through the clutter of digital distraction and providing an exceptional meeting experience that will capture your audience’s attention?


4 Key Considerations When Adopting Mobile

1. Choose the Right Device for the Right Activity

Today’s hot topics on mobile include responsiveness and user experience. When it comes to planning your next event, all decisions should be approached with the attendee in mind. Different devices come with limitations and specific use cases.

For example, most event apps run well on smart phones. Users access event apps on the fly, looking for information on the event and moving from one session or activity to the next. The user experience is extremely positive. Put a meeting engagement app on that same smart phone and ask people to view slides and dialogue with a presenter and you will get the opposite response. They will get frustrated trying to view slides or take notes on a phone. Most smart phone users give up presenter engagement within a few minutes and never return.

On the other hand, a tablet is the perfect size and format for live meeting engagement. The slide view is large enough to see text and graphics clearly, notes are easily typed or drawn on the tablet screen, questions can be typed and submitted quickly, surveys and polls options are easy to select and there is room for customizable engagement buttons on the screen. You will meet and exceed consumer expectations by avoiding navigation issues and making it easier for them to stay engaged.

2. Avoid Making the BYOD Mistake

Since the majority of your audience has a smartphone, many meeting planners assume this is a perfect opportunity for “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD), but this can quickly backfire. You may be providing an avenue for participants to interact, but you are not eliminating digital distraction. If attendees all use their own devices, what’s going to stop them from surfing the web, checking their email or becoming absorbed in social media?

In addition, the majority of your audience will choose to sign into your meeting with a smart phone versus a laptop or tablet. As mentioned, there is the issue of user experience on a device that is too small.

Beyond that, most BYOD meeting app developers don’t have the funds to ensure proper responsiveness across all mobile devices.  

Finally, many of the hotels and convention centers where meetings are being held do not have adequate connectivity for mobile devices. Most users will stop using your app as soon as they discover that the connectivity is lagging. Wise event planners will ensure attendees are provided tablets on a private network.

3. Leverage Personalization and the Mobile Experience

Personalization is already a part of today’s mobile culture. And, most apps allow for personal customization of some kind. The result is that your audience will already understand personalization on a mobile app before you put a tablet in their hands for your live meetings.

Find a way to personalize meeting apps to engage your attendees and make your event resonate with their mobile usage patterns. This customization might be based on job title, learning style, or other data you’ve gathered from polling questions and surveys. More advanced meeting professionals are taking personalization a step further to include event design, instructional design and content self-selection.

4. Cater to Generational Personas

It’s important to recognize generational differences in your audience. If your audience is made up of millennials, they will be familiar with smart devices and quick to learn new systems. You can put engagement technology in their hands without worrying about training. However, if your audience is comprised of an older generation, their willingness to engage on an app is likely going to be lower. It would be advisable to provide ample explanation up front and give them a few exercises to make them comfortable with the meeting technology.

Not all audiences are homogenous. If you are speaking to both legacy and millennial attendees, you might design a segment of meetings targeted at the different personas. Another option would be pairing up millennials with older counterparts. That mixture in itself has proven to build some valuable bridges for any audience.

Get Personal

It’s clear that the use of smart devices and mobile apps is not going away and will continue to play a large role in the future of live meetings and events. By implementing mobile into your events the right way, you can ensure your audience is getting the most out of your meeting and you can exceed consumer expectations in today’s fast-paced digital environment.


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