Disruption, innovation, start-ups, tech launches- you can’t turn a page these days without learning about the latest service or product based on mobile technology and apps. The great news is that mobile applications for the MICE industry are a driving force in sustainability as well as efficiency, helping us be more effective at managing events but also helping us print less whilst boosting attendee networking and engagement. But it doesn’t stop there!
The types of application for our industry can be broadly broken down into 4 key Areas:
Event Management & Programme Applications
Not a new technology anymore but becoming ubiquitous and increasingly cheaper as more and more companies offer products and chase the big players like Quickmobile, Eventmobi and DoubleDutch. From systems like Eventbrite that offer registration and invitation support up to those that focus primarily on the onsite seamless experience providing a home for the programme, floorplan, social media streams, delegate list and functions. These tools are fantastic for making your life easier but ultimately eliminating a printed onsite programme and things of the past that gave planners such a headache- the last minute conference “addendum” or room change signs you needed to rapidly print and distribute around the venue… now updating live to your hand.
Attendee Travel Applications
One to watch. Think Uber but for events. SAP launched TwoGo a great platform that lets employees within a company ride share to work each day or as it calls it’s “a smart and flexible carpooling service for your commute.” This makes sense for large scale businesses that might have 2000 people living nearby who can ride share between colleagues with or without compensation changing hands. Handily it also reduces the volume of vehicles travelling considerably, bringing a reduction in carbon emissions. It’s being brought to bear on SAP’s events too and there’s many more entrepreunerial opportunities in this field- expect transport disruption coming to an event near you!
The type and variety is long here, managing everything from guest lists to second screen technology such as Freeman’s FXP I Touch, allowing attendees to view content such as slides on their mobile to audience polling devices and even an app that turns your phone into a microphone- crowdmics. Lastly, the big social media companies are seeing events as a hotbed of opportunity, think tools like Twitter’s “Periscope” which allow live event streaming and Facebook with their new “live” feature.
Ultimately all these tools are making us more efficient with the equipment that’s already in our hands, saving costs and un-necessary additional resources.
Personal Travel Applications
Managing your own travel has never been easier with great tools like Tripit which organise all your flights, hotel bookings and car bookings in one central location. Travel companies like Expedia are getting in on the act and building great apps to manage all your bookings and confirmation numbers in one place, automatically syncing after an online purchase.
Do we even remember life before Skyscanner? A surefire way to find the best deal and date to fly.
All these Tools make travel bookings and management easier, meaning we no longer need to print tickets, confirmations and vouchers prior to departing.
So what does the future look like? A hell of a lot more sophistication, we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg, our modern mobile phones are loaded with sensors and features that we have not yet brought to bear and can provide so much more, from the participants, movements, interests and passions to activities going on nearby that may appeal.
Engagement & efficiency will rapidly increase and technology will continue to be a critical tool in reducing an events environmental footprint!