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5 Min Read

Digital Experiences for Events: Mobile-Friendliness is No Longer Just a Courtesy

Let me guess: You’re reading this on your phone right now, aren’t you? No, I’m not actively spying on you (because that would be creepy!), but I am tuned into the latest stats on mobile usage, which claim that more than 90% of the world’s internet users go online via a mobile device. That tells me there’s a good chance you’re not parked in front of a desktop computer right about now.

Just recently, media company We Are Social released their Digital in 2017: Global Overview report, revealing compelling insights that event professionals should take serious note of if they wish to keep their events relevant. Here’s a sample of such statistics:

  • Almost two-thirds of the world’s population now has a mobile phone, and more than half of the world now uses a smartphone
  • The total number of unique global mobile users is rapidly approaching 5 billion
  • Approximately 2.5 billion of all the 2.8 billion social media users came from a mobile device
  • The average number of hours that internet users spent accessing the internet via a mobile phone each day averaged between 1-2 hours in most countries across the globe

How does that compare to mobile usage in days of yore? If we walk back seven years and compare the percentage of all global web pages served to mobile phones in the month of January each year, we’ll find that the percentage has skyrocketed from 2.9% in 2010 up to 50.3% in 2017. That’s kind of a big leap.

As the laws of physics tell us, what goes up must come down…or, at least, in the case of web traffic, when internet access via mobile devices goes up, access via another means must go down. Hence, as mobile usage has lifted, laptop and desktop devices have experienced a 20% decrease in usage.

Keeping up with the phones(es)

What does all this mean for an event professional who is trying to drive results? It means that you must deliver optimal, cohesive digital experiences for attendees, sponsors, exhibitors and so on across all devices, especially when it comes to mobile. Quite frankly, it means that serving up user-friendly, technically sound mobile content for your event is no longer just a courtesy; it’s an absolute must.

Today’s average consumer checks his or her smartphone 46 times a day and has come to expect unprecedented access to information. Event attendees are no different. The shift to immediate access has led to decreased patience and attention spans shorter than that of a goldfish, as well as a need for access to quick answers and information. Event professionals must meet these expectations for their events at every touchpoint, at every stage in the event customer’s journey—from initial awareness to registration, throughout the event, and beyond.

Event attendees, exhibitors and sponsors want seamless, cross-device user experiences and instantaneous access to current data when they’re on-the-go. More specifically, this means event websites should be built using responsive design, allowing actions like information searching and event registration to take place optimally on a phone. Attendees are becoming accustomed to using mobile event apps with an expectation that in 2016 attendee event app adoption would reach 94%, enabling more and more events to minimize the use of printed materials. Email marketing is another area of consideration for event organizers, as it has been estimated that by 2018, 80% of email users will likely access their email accounts from their mobile devices. And don’t even get me started on the use of mobile for event-oriented social media activity. That’s a given.

The benefits of mobile adoption are not just for your customers either. Integration of your event management software and mobile properties can help ease the burdens of double data entry and the associated likelihood of costly errors. Event digital properties should be integrated with your event management software so you can improve your own efficiency and please customers at the same time. A real win-win.

How event managers can make the most of mobile

Beyond ensuring you are mindful of what mobile properties need to exist for your event, an organizer looking to “do mobile right” can consider two important elements when it comes to their mobile properties.

For one, a core focus of your event mobile platforms should be user experience. The fact that it has become much more common and easier to use mobile apps means that people will quit using any app that provides an unpleasant experience. Therefore, trends in mobile app development in 2017 indicate that smart developers will pay more attention to the user’s point of view than ever before.

The second key element in serving up an ideal mobile experience is incorporating data-driven personalization. This is where integration with your event software comes in extra handy. When you provide targeted, data-driven, digital experiences for event customers, you are more likely to satisfy them and engage them on a deeper level. As the personalization platform provider Evergage reminds us, consumers recognize that personalization gives them more enjoyable and relevant experiences that help them accomplish their goals.

How are you responding to the demand for mobile when it comes to your event(s)? Leave a comment below and let’s talk about it!