More than half of the attendees at events are walking around with a smartphone, and many folks are making the move into tablet computing. Mobile devices are the wave of the … of the … well, of today.
So why aren’t most planners focusing their tech strategy (You do have a tech strategy, right?) on their attendees’ always-on tools? And, similarly, why aren’t hotels doing so for their guests (though they are way ahead of most planners). It really does seem to be a no-brainer.
Begin with the Portal. A good a place to start this conversation is with the portal that provides a world of meeting-focused mobile content. If you haven’t already, check out MeetingApps, a smartphone app portal focused on the hospitality industry. What better starting point for planners wondering what their mobile app strategy can look like?
Conference Apps. Mobile conference apps abound for our industry. Typically, a simple home screen is the starting point, with navigation to various types of content (educational sessions, exhibits, maps) plus a EproMeetingApps has a demo that you can navigate right on the screen. SwiftMobile provides custom apps, both for events and for facilities. QuickMobile offers more examples to check out. And for those of you who like a build-your-own option, check out Ootoweb’s ( mobile event guides.interface. Want to see some examples?
Mobile Landing Pages. Part of your tech strategy should be providing an easy interface for attendees, customers, or members who prefer browsing on their mobile devices (part of their mobile lifestyle). To begin, test your Web site. Is it easy to navigate on a phone screen or do users have to continually navigate down and over to find things? Chances are, if you haven’t created a proper mobile landing page, your site will be of little or no value to those browsing on a smartphone. Is that what you think about this segment of your Web site visitors? That they’re of little to no value?
You can get a better feel for mobile Web site navigation at Mobile Awesomeness, a showcase of mobile landing pages. One prototypically effective mobile site is that of Geek Squad. It’s clean and easy to navigate, with only a few specific calls to action. (By the way, the “m” prefix—or a .mobi extension—in the URL indicates a mobile version.
Need help? At a recent industry event, I met up with the folks from Atmio, which helps organizations create custom landing pages for groups.
Is Your Mobile Site “Flash-y”? While you’re thinking about your mobile tech strategy, you may want to reconsider any flash animations on your Web site, especially the ones on your home page. Those mobile devices that begin with the letter “i” can’t display them (and don’t get me started on the negative effect Flash home pages can have on search engine optimization).
Want more? MeetingsNet recently published a great article about mobile meeting guides, which includes a directory to help you find a developer.
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