Lately, in this blog, I've been talking a lot about cutting-edge meetings management stuff -- like social media and the growing use of mobile apps for meetings.
Now, along comes a new study by the International Telecommunication Union, as reported in TechCrunch, that the number of people using all social media services has passed 1 billion -- 100 million less than the number of users Facebook claims it has.
ITU's 2012 “Trends In Telecommunication Reform” report also "confirmed something else that Facebook has been telling us: mobile is fast becoming the main way that the vast majority of people are using its service," according to TechCrunch. That's partly due to issues with affordability and availability of fixed broadband in many countries.
In the meetings industry, usage of mobile apps is fast becoming the chic and efficient thing to do -- for event organizers, attendees and suppliers. According to Expo Magazine’s 2012 technology survey, 21% of event organizers listed investment in smartphone apps as a top priority in 2013, compared to only 5% investment in this area currently.
So I'm very happy to say that, today, Active Network is introducing a groundbreaking suite of Business Solutions mobile applications that provides a much-needed, all-purpose portfolio for professional meetings and events. For attendees, these are tools that bring a new level of convenience and engagement. But they're also marketing tools; they enable hotel national sales organizations to manage their incoming leads better and marketers to increase their brand awareness and messages to key audiences.
Attendees can use the new Business Solutions mobile applications to:
- schedule events
- search for local venues and attractions
- access and fill out speaker surveys
- IM with other attendees
- play games that help drive attendee brand engagement
- exchange business contact information easily (via QR code contact exchange)
These features enable event participants to engage more deeply with peers, speakers and exhibitors.
For suppliers, especially hotel national sales reps who are experiencing a growing volume in e-RFPs, the Business Solutions mobile applications offer the ability to manage, review and evaluate RFPs on the go. And, for planners, the tools provide an easy way to produce mobile experiences that attendees increasingly demand, while creating a valuable new source of business data, already digitized and ready for analysis.
For more information on the use of mobile tools at meetings and events, check out this new Active Network whitepaper: "The Future of Events is Mobile."