We’re in the age of constant connectivity. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Reach for your smartphone (and then go stick the kettle on). When we’re on the go, our phone is our connection to both our professional and social digital lives – 43% of email opens now take place on a mobile phone and 10% of e-commerce transactions now happen on a mobile phone. Both of these numbers are rising rapidly.
Mobile first, desktop second
This is especially pertinent for event organisers since your event attendees will be mobile-first from the minute they leave their house or office to head into your event space. Go beyond making sure all of your messages are deliverable via mobile and make your mobile strategy a priority. But don’t forget that we live in a multi-screen economy now – Google reports that 90% of users move sequentially between several screens (TV, phone, desktop computer and tablet) to get things done.
Think about your stakeholders
The most important question you should be asking when wearing your stylish mobile marketer hat is, “what do my users want to do on their device?”
Each of your stakeholders will have different goals for your event:
- Attendees want to network and learn about industry trends
- Sponsors want to increase awareness of their brand and see a measurable return on their investment
- Exhibitors want to build their marketing lists and convert potential new customers
You need a mobile strategy that enables each of these groups to achieve their goals. There are stacks of event apps on the market that aim to create an amazing attendee experience but treat sponsors and exhibitors as something of an afterthought. These groups are critical for event success, so make sure they get VIP treatment too.
Make your swag mobile-friendly
Picking your swag can be one of the most satisfying parts of planning an event, but do it wrong and it becomes instantly forgettable. Swag for mobile can be tough with the diversity of devices on the market now, but there are still some good options out there for swag that’s useful for all mobile devices. Our personal fave right now is the external battery – they’re coming down in price and going up in quality all the time. Try Anker for some great wholesale deals on external batteries. We’re also really into swag that lets users identify which charger belongs to them.
And don’t forget to have a charging station or lockers at your event. These are fast moving from a nice-to-have to an essential part of any event experience.
Giving your visitors a place to refuel their mobile devices is key to creating a great event experience
Reduce Cognitive Overhead
The concept of cognitive overhead is a hot topic in mobile right now. Web designer/software engineer David Demaree explains the term as “how many logical connections or jumps your brain has to make in order to understand or contextualize the thing you’re looking at.”
Your goal should be to reduce the cognitive overhead of your mobile experience. Give the user less to think about in order to achieve the outcome that they want. If your app is complicated, involves large amounts of keystrokes in order to get to content or requires the user to stop what they’re doing at an event in order to get what they need, then your cognitive overhead is probably too high. Invest in technology that enables the user to gather and share the information they need without having to think too hard about it – this is why the “swipe and go” formula of NFC and RFID-enabled mobile experiences is so compelling.
Keep those brain cogs turning smoothly by reducing the cognitive overhead required to use your event app
You can also reduce cognitive overhead by using signposting on-site to make sure that it’s easy to understand how make the most of mobile. App instructions, pointers to your event hashtag and tips for how to network effectively using mobile will all be appreciated by your attendees.
Make data-driven decisions
The key to thinking like a great mobile marketer is to use analytics in order to make solid decisions about your strategy moving forward. Your event app should give you access to some killer analytics – from number of downloads to user engagement to click-through rates. Decide which metrics matter the most to you early on, and measure these consistently moving forward. Not only will you be able to see how different aspects of your event are performing (which sessions are most popular, which content rocked your attendees’ collective socks etc) you’ll also get to learn more about the mobile behaviour of your users.
Data is critical to making smart mobile marketing decisions
In addition, if you have access to detailed analytics that you can share with sponsors and exhibitors, you can help them to feel more comfortable with their investment by demonstrating ROI, a sure-fire way to keep them coming back for more!
Dive Right In
“Marketers that dive in, do it early, test and develop a strategy are going to win,” says ESPN’s Michael Bayle. Don’t wait to invest in mobile – although it can be tempting to do so when so many great options for mobile experiences are still emerging. The sooner you start placing mobile at the core of your event marketing strategy the faster you will be able to learn about the behaviours of your stakeholders, tweak your strategy and build the association between your brand and great mobile experiences. People are putting more time into consuming and creating content via mobile as their attention spans grow shorter. Don’t miss the bus on this one!
About Noodle Live
Noodle Live brings a seamless social experience to events, conferences and exhibitions using a combination of mobile applications and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) swipe cards to streamline information sharing.
This post was written by Clemi Hardie, founder and MD of Noodle Live.