Go Paperless with Mobile Event Apps

It’s been estimated that 70 percent of all printed conference materials are left at the hotel when attendees depart. Distributing traditional printed materials is often wasteful and ineffective but mobile tech offers an alternative.

Why You Should Offer a Mobile Event App

A M&C Research Study in 2011 found that 90 percent of meeting professionals use a smart phone. Among the general population, smart phones now outnumber basic mobile devices in the U.S. by 5 percent. Many event and meeting industry professionals have begun using tablets as well. With the explosion in the use of mobile devices, it makes sense to offer your clients a mobile event app that will enhance their event experience. Going paperless can be a positive and strategic move for your event as it supports environmental initiatives and could also help lower costs.

Using a mobile app, you can reduce paper waste by putting the event agenda right in the palm of your clients’ hands. It’s also less expensive to create, distribute, store and dispose of digital media. A mobile app can pay for itself when the costs of printing, distributing and storing materials is calculated.

Mobile apps can also improve the event or meeting experience by offering attendees more – opportunities to connect with other participants, the ability to create customized schedules, or access to documents, maps, etc. Last minute changes can be made and updated immediately. Emails or text messages sent through the app can help individuals communicate with each other.

Successful Apps Take Planning

When considering a mobile app for your event, be sure to consider what information will be the most useful to your attendees. Be clear and thoughtful in your app design and organize information in an efficient manner. Make sure you provide clear benefits to your users, such as the ability to contact other attendees, speakers and exhibitors through the app, or the ability to create a customized agenda that lists the sessions they would like to attend.

Sometimes wifi availability can be a barrier to successfully using a mobile app. Over the past few years, attendees of major conferences have experienced situations in which organizers have asked them to turn off wifi on their devices so that keynote presenters had enough bandwidth to complete their presentations. Unfortunately, the demand exceeded the supply in these situations. This shows just how important it is to properly plan for your needs when choosing to go paperless.

Two suggested ways to combat wifi issues are: Have staff on hand devoted to addressing problems including troubleshooting, and make sure your app is also available offline.

If you make sure your app is fully usable offline, your attendees will have access to all the information pertinent to your event, even if your wireless network encounters problems – or if your venue simply doesn’t offer the level of access you need. Often the app and information can be downloaded in advance and would require connection to data service only if updates are made.

Mobile apps can provide valuable information to event and meeting attendees while lowering cost and meeting environmental initiatives. In addition to eliminating paper waste, a mobile app can be a more efficient way to communicate important information. Consider going paperless by offering a mobile app to attendees at your next event.

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