Last week, Cvent joined meeting and event planners and hospitality industry professionals from around the world in Frankfurt for an unprecedented opportunity to network at IMEX.
I caught up with them just before the doors opened on Tuesday and snapped this photo (right), before the crowds came in.
Cvent Tech Tap Campfires
- Going Mobile: How Smart Devices and Mobile Apps Can Increase Engagement and Strengthen Connections at Meetings and Events
On Tuesday, it was standing room only as 19 event and hospitality professionals joined Brian Ludwig, Cvent's Senior Vice President of Sales, for a highly interactive Tech Tap Campfire. (This is significant as Campfires have seating for 10.)
Brian shared these key statistics and trends that underscored the importance of apps for events:
- the number of apps listed in Google doubles each and every year
- annually, there are over 50 billion app downloads
Even more significant is the fact that users are already using apps, from touch screens at airports to restaurant guides to enhance their daily lives. Brian stressed the importance of giving attendees what they already use and want, an alternative to juggling, paper brochures, binders and bags when they attend trade shows and other events. The good news is that, now more than ever, technology puts the power to manage and distribute their content in the hands of meeting organizers.
Meeting, event and conference planners can reinforce branding by customizing apps to integrate, colors, logos and fonts. Apps make it possible to make changes on the fly and send alerts to attendees through push notification. Once an app has been set up, it can be used for multiple events and users can access a number of upcoming events through the same interface.
Brian offered many practical tips to event organizers:
- test drive apps on all platforms
- ensure that the screen is uncluttered by including a button that makes it possible for users to access and load their personal apps separately
- use one clear URL from the app can be downloaded for various platforms
- market the app to attendees through a variety of channels
Exhibitors can scan business cards and distribute brochure and catalogs through apps. Apps can give exhibitors the opportunity to offer pop-up promotions to attendees that approach their booths.
With apps, event participants can access schedules, speaker information, maps, navigation throughout the event venue. Attendee can boost their networking if Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can be integrated into apps. In fact, through opt-in features that ensure privacy, apps can boost networking opportunities by alerting attendees to LinkedIn network members, Facebook friends and Twitter followers who are at the event.
- Technology and the Future of the Meetings and Events Industry: What You Need to Know
Wednesday's Campfire was so popular that Brian used a microphone to ensure that everyone benefited from the presentation. (I stopped counting when 25 participants had arrived and more came after that.)
Brian highlighted the fact that, in many organizations, corporate events and meetings dropped to the bottom of the corporate priority list after the 2008 economic meltdown. For this reason, now more than ever, event planners must build the business case for meetings and events. Brian explored how mobile and online technology are re-shaping business meetings and corporate events. He highlighted how e-mail marketing, online registration tools and social media marketing are cost effective strategies for re-kindling interest in meetings and boosting attendance. He also demonstrated how web surveys can capture the data required to prove the R.O.I., of meetings and events which is now a must have to keep events and meetings on the corporate agenda.
Photo Credits: Executive Oasis International