TECHNOLOGY HAS BECOME AN INTEGRAL PART OF MEETINGS AND EVENTS, yet the landscape changes faster than most people can keep up. Here are a few things to consider in 2014:
Over the last few years, mobile event apps have become a prevalent part of meetings and events. Most significantly, the price points have been lowered and there are now apps that fit just about every budget. Attendees are expecting to see them and adoption will only increase. There will also be tighter integration of mobile event apps with existing social networks so that users don’t have to create yet another login. We will see apps like Topi gain market share as they put an emphasis on networking before the basics like agendas and speaker bios.
Event organizers are getting more strategic use of social media. This year we will see more creative uses of social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest in addition to the usual Facebook and Twitter. The key here is planners are starting to understand how these tools work and are using them with better results.
According to Staples, by next year there will be more than 80 million tablet users in the United States. By placing easy-to-use, easy-tocarry devices in the hands of meeting attendees, planners have much more flexibility in terms of where they hold meetings and how they distribute content. Thinking about having a session on the beach? Everyone can grab their tablets and bring the presentation with them.
As you can see, the underlying theme is that social interaction is converging with mobile technology. This trend will make it easier to reach and engage attendees. How do you get started? Take a look at what you want to accomplish and then figure out the tech from there.
Jessica L. Levin, MBA, CMP, CAE, is president and chief connector at Seven Degress Communications, LLC. She can be found at sevendegreescommunications.com