While Business Travel* is reported to be down for the 4th straight month, in an interesting twist, the outlook for Business Meetings is still gaining momentum.
Meetings Outlook from Meeting Professionals International**, the largest global event industry association, based these numbers on their latest quarterly survey results.
One attributing factor to the health of the Events Market these days is emphasis on attendee engagement. Data collected from mobile devices and apps has allowed planners to fine tune the attendee experience—before, during, and after—making the event experience much more satisfying.
When professional events bring meaning, connect you with colleagues, and enrich your knowledge base, you tend to make them a high priority.
This article will highlight a few of these apps and device features. Planners are definitely using technology to make the event experience more personally satisfying. This list is by no means all-inclusive or new. Our intent is to give you a few more options.
Data Collected Before and After
Aside from the obvious—airline booking apps—planners gather data through:
1. Survey apps
Short surveys allow you to get specifics from attendees/exhibitors/sponsors. Apps like Survey Monkey and Polldaddy can help you get quick responses to questions you might have during the planning phase.
You can even do one-question micro-polls using apps, not surprisingly, like MicroPoll.
Many of these apps come in free versions so you can test drive.
2. Registration apps
One example is the Event Check-In for Constant Contact – Constant Contact MarketPlace. Other, more sophisticated apps include Rezgo, an administrative package giving you access to booking information, messages, customer information and reports.
Data Collected During
Beacons are low power transmitters used in tandem with consumer-enabled phones—android and iOS—to provide location-based notifications for attendees as they navigate your venue.
They can also be used to monitor traffic flow patterns to highlight what was hot and what was not.
4. Near Field Communication NFC / RFID
NFC, close-range wireless technology, and RFID, radio frequency identification, are part of the smartphone / mobile device ecosystem. They allow devices to “talk” to each other. Some instances where NFC is used is in credit card payment reminders, paying parking meters in cities like San Francisco, and getting boarding passes.
NFC technology also appears in wristbands and badges.
Making Your Next Event Even Better
All of this behavioral data is telling us what’s relevant and where people tend to gravitate.
• Which airports people fly into
• Which sessions people attend
• Which discussions they post about on social media
• Where they make purchases and how much they spend
Event-planners, these days, are living a targeter’s dream.
The quality and specificity of the data we collect and interpret is remarkable, but data is only going to get better. And it’s that data that improves our ability to take an event from educational to exhilirating.
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