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What Mary Meeker’s 2014 Internet Trends Report means for Event Tech
Legendary internet analyst and JPCB partner Mary Meeker has just released her annual State of the Internet presentation, which raises a lot of questions for the event industry.
As a provider of event technology, these slides stand out to me:
Mobile Now Accounts For 25% Of All Web Usage
That’s up from 14% a year ago. If the current pattern holds for the next few years, we should see a majority of web usage coming from mobile devices by 2015/2016. A majority.
Let’s be clear about this. We’re not talking about phone usage surpassing desktop usage. This stat doesn’t include app usage from Flappybird or Tinder (which, according to this report, is up 21X year over year…do I hear “Tinder for events”?).
This stat strictly speaks to web browsing. That means that, very soon, your event attendees will be more likely to browse your event site on their phone than their desktop. When they click on one of your Tweets and view some content you’ve shared, they’ll be doing it from a very small screen.
Is your event technology ready to be mobile-first?
Each New Device Type Has 10X The Previous Install Base
What comes after “mobile internet” you ask? The Internet of Things, also known as connected devices. We’re already seeing this hit the event industry with mesh networks and iBeacons. This will soon spread from an iOS-only novelty to a widely adopted standard, to the tune of 100 Billion units if this trend holds form.
That means we’re going to start to be able to collected a lot more data from attendees, with signals being sent by everything from exhibitor booths to coffee stands.
Can your event technology handle these new signals?
Can you collect new forms of data while still respecting attendee privacy and choice?
The tech titans are dismantling their apps to focus on specific experiences. Why? Jack-of-all-trade apps are a master of none, and users want things to be simple and work really well for the task at hand, whether that’s chatting, viewing pictures, or sharing status updates.
Is your event app functionality buried under a menu full of icons?
Are you trying to replicate the full event guide experience in your app, or are you focusing on experiences that work on mobile?
We’re collecting a lot of data….and using very little.
We find these stats the most interesting. A shockingly small amount of data collected is analyzed - less than one percent! The next frontier of event technology is the ability to make data collected at events easy to understand and make actionable.
What do you do with the data you collect at events?
Where does the data you collected end up? Is it available in a CRM system, or locked in an excel spreadsheet?
While Mary’s internet trends report is filled with great information, the 4 themes that echo the loudest for event technology are mobile adoption, connected devices, app unbundling, and big data analytics. Those trends should help guide your event tech strategy until 2015, when (we predict) drones, China, and Chinese drones take over the industry.
You can view the full report here.
Kyle Morehouse leads product and strategy for Vivastream. He lives in Ridgefield, CT with his wife and three daughters. He’s currently obsessed with QuizUp, and while he’s getting crushed in Math and History, he dares you to challenge him in Game of Thrones or Beer trivia.
Five REAL Ways that Event Apps Increase ROI
In the events world today, it has practically become a “must-have” to integrate an event app with the development and execution of a successful conference, seminar or tradeshow. However, many companies and organizations question if the use of an event app is right for them, or their attendees, and they share concerns of adoption, cost and effort.
Through research and past proven results, it has been found that there are many tangible ways that event apps not only increase awareness, attendance and popularity of an event, but also more importantly - a company’s return on investment. Here are five time tested and statistically proven ways that event apps increase ROI that are enough to turn non-believers into believers.
1. Low cost of ownership
Using event technology to organize, market and execute an event reduces costs tremendously. If a single source (your event app) is organizing registered attendees, updating content, collecting insights and delivering analytics, then an additional investment is not required to be spent on outsourcing these tasks, hiring freelance developers, or diverting IT resources from higher priority projects. Plus, the cost savings from online marketing and promotional campaigns as compared to traditional print campaigns are something that cannot be ignored.
2. No more wasteful paper promotional or registration items
Event apps allow you to put all the information you need to share about your event in the palm of your attendees hands. Less money can be spent on extensive show guides that list everything from session descriptions to speaker bios. Enter all of this information into a mobile event app and poof! Information delivered and money saved.
3. In-the-moment feedback
By using event technology, attendees can constantly post, comment and message about the sessions, speakers or exhibitors that are featured at an event. This kind of real-time feedback reveals both quantitative and qualitative data to use for future events, campaigns, product launches and more. As an event host, you can see attendee reactions and takeaways easily, which will enable you to react quickly, make revisions to content and improve your event in real-time. This will create a more engaging attendee experience. Also, if your event app includes surveys, polls, and rating features, there is no need to contract with a costly 3rd party system to collect this critical feedback.
4. Category and Topic based insights
One of the most useful and interesting factors of event apps is their ability to capture topic based insights. It is important to provide an event app that enables attendees to self report topics that they are interested in or can help with. Attendees want the ability to identify peers that can help solve a business challenge. It’s not only the speakers that are experts on a topic, often times it’s the people sitting next to them in a session. With an event stream and access to who is checking into what segments of an event, you have visibility into the categories and topics attendees were interested in most. The cost of acquiring this type of behavioral and interest data on business professionals from outside sources can exceed $50 CPM.
5. Monitor Engagement and Downstream Conversion
Finally, the ability to monitor engagement is key when looking to increase ROI through an event app. Gaining deep insight on event attendee interests, questions, content and posts help generate leads for sales enablement of relevant products or services. Money can be saved on campaigns and product development by capturing attendee feedback and analyzing engagement from events. This will help your marketing and product teams become more focused and efficient.
Posted by Anne St. Hilaire - May 27th, 2014
Anne St. Hilaire is the social media manager at Vivastream, and is a lover of antipasto, live music and all things digital. Check out her LinkedIn here: www.linkedin.com/pub/anne-st-hilaire/40/588/753/
The Made In NY Map is a visual testament to the vibrant state of New York’s digital industry. Great to see who is around us making it happen. Can you find Vivastream?
Vivastream was a perfect fit for our conference social needs and I was thrilled when working with their team. One of the main reasons we chose Viva was that they collected and analyzed so much data that gave us insight into what people really cared about – and since we love data so much I wanted to share some of the findings that were collected.
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