Smartphones, for all the good they do, are changing the way we experience life.
The next time you’re at a restaurant, look around. You’re likely to spot many large groups of people sitting around tables, all silently flipping through their phones. Instead of being a way to catch up and connect, such gatherings usually dissolve into an opportunity to show the world what a fun experience you appear to be having.
Don’t get me wrong. The ability to communicate quickly, to share experiences with others, and to discover new information is incredible. It’s just that, with all of that at our fingertips, it’s easy to be distracted from events happening right in front of us.
Etiquettes have changed, and the line between rude and normal has blurred. Where once upon a time pulling your phone out at the dinner table used to be taboo, now it can either add to the conversation or lead to a table full of silent people pecking at their smartphones. It does make one wonder at what point mobile phones diminish our experiences, rather than enhance it.
Events are all about experiences. Event managers want to create something special that will resonate for years to come. They hope to create moments worth cherishing.
Increasingly, event organisers are taking phone usage into consideration while planning events. Mobile event apps can add a great deal of value, in terms of informing attendees about programme changes and increasing excitement about different sessions. Mobile phones can provide data that leading to greater event insights that help to improve your event. They also increase networking opportunities and facilitate connections among attendees.
What if, as an attempt to increase impactful phone use, you create some planned moments where technology is encouraged to capture the event and others where phones aren’t allowed so that delegates remain hyper-focused on the content?
Create a lasting impression with your event. Don’t be afraid to ask your delegates to switch off their phones during important moments. Think of it as a new strategy to enhance the attendee experience. Build phone use into the schedule and have blocks of time where phone use is not only encouraged but expected, as well as times for attendees to switch off from the world.