Remember the PC revolution in the 1980s? Or how big the Internet became in the 1990s? Mobile is running laps around them both with over five billion users worldwide. And considering smart devices are spreading faster than any other technology, it’s not surprising to hear experts say there will be more smartphones than people in the world by the end of this year. (Note: There are over 7 billion people in the world.)
Even more impressively, it took tablets less than two years to reach what mobile did in seven. Apple’s iPad debuted in 2010. That year, more than 15 million tablets were sold. Tech experts predicted sales would triple in 2011; instead the number more than quadrupled. These stats aren’t slowing down either. By 2015, tablet sales will quadruple again. Smartphone sales will double to one billion.
It’s rare to meet someone nowadays who doesn’t own either a smartphone or a tablet (or both!). These devices are a part of our daily lives—we check them when we wake up, while watching TV, during dinner, and before we fall asleep. We read email, post on Facebook, text friends, watch videos, shop online, research restaurants, and much more. Research indicates the average person checks their phone 150 times a day, but there are many who claim that number is low.
What are people looking at when they check their phones? Mobile apps! The average smartphone user has 65 apps installed on their device and spends 77 minutes per day using them. Because people are so closely connected to their devices, mobile has become a powerful tool for businesses to improve and expand their marketing methods. According to Google, 95% of smartphone users look up local info and 90% take action after a smartphone search. If businesses don’t have mobile-friendly sites or—even better—a mobile app, people will move on to a competitor’s site instead. The goal of mobile is to enhance the user experience, retain interest and increase engagement.
If companies have a strong mobile presence, they can strengthen relationships with their existing customers and make new connections much faster, all while promoting their brand. Mobile is a more than just an additional platform now, and has much more potential than print--particularly for events and conferences.
Think of all the materials your event needs: Event schedules, session lists, speaker profiles, exhibitor info, sponsor ads and pages, site maps and so on. These details can change multiple times before and during an event. With a native event app, attendees can access this info anytime, anywhere instead of having to reference an outdated printed program. In addition to accessing all pertinent event information, attendees can help accelerate the popularity of your event by sharing relevant content and unique event experiences with their networks instantly from the app. The more people who know about your event and the value it brings to attendees, the more successful your next event will be.
Attendees help accelerate the popularity of your event and improve their overall experience by:
- Connecting with each other via in-app messaging
- Sharing content via Twitter, YouTube and Flickr
- Leveraging area maps for easier navigation
- Instant access to the event schedule at all times
- Taking notes on the go (No pen? No problem.)
- Interacting with an in-app game to break the ice and have more fun
- Referencing speaker lists by name and day they present
- Viewing presentation topics and building their schedule before the event starts
- Identifying must-meet exhibitors through featured lists
- Receiving push notifications for quick and effective updates
With mobile apps, you can highlight speakers, generate leads for exhibitors and promote sponsors in a new and exciting way. But most marketing teams want to know what their exhibiting and sponsorship dollars are getting them. Unlike paper programs, mobile gives you concrete, measurable results you can share with management and sponsors. By leveraging mobile analytics, you gain rare insight into attendee behavior and what they care about most, such as which sessions and speakers were most popular, which ads they responded to, who used an iPhone vs. an iPad, etc. Knowing and understanding this information will allow you to create better event experiences and make critical adjustments to your event and marketing strategies.
Want to know more about how a mobile app works to your advantage? Check out one of our free webinars! Or if you’re ready to find out what you can do to boost attendance and increase app usage, download this free eBook, Mobile App Marketing Playbook: A Guide to Increasing Mobile Event App Adoption, today.