Conference organisers don’t just need to make their events memorable, they also need to make them accessible and flexible to suit attendees’ needs. There is so much technology floating around to help this, and one of the biggest assets is arguably on the smallest device at a conference — smartphones. Conference venue in Milton Keynes, Wyboston Lakes, explores further.
Planning with mobile tech
Planning a conference is a massive undertaking. One way to streamline the process is to keep attendees up to date in real-time. Beacon technology for mobile phones is the perfect example of this. A beacon is a small device that connects to a mobile app and sends users geographical-based content. Back in 2013, Apple led the way with their iBeacon. The interconnectivity offered by the device allowed for personal welcomes to be sent to attendees, as well as allowing conferences to run live audience polls.
Beacons can benefit conferences in a variety of ways. One Romanian festival used mobile technology to stage a huge treasure hunt! For a conference, beacons can deliver content straight to an attendee’s smartphone, meaning it’s much more likely to be saved and taken away at the end of the event. It can also be used to help manage wait times throughout the conference.
It’s rare to go to a big-name conference without a purpose-built app being supplied to attendees. These apps can be used to communicate with ticket holders well in advance of the event. Mobile apps for conferences can act as a portal for information, bringing the much-coveted streamlined experience. Everything from conference agendas, check-ins, and hotel recommendations can be displayed through a conference app. Plus, there are often messaging options built-in that can quickly connect attendees and organisers.
Some apps can also act as a loyalty scheme. Regular attendees can be rewarded with perks, such as discounted parking or stand rates, by logging in to the app before each year’s event. This is a perfect example of how mobile technology is helping to foster a sense of community for conferences.
The next stage is for conference apps to be more personalised. Attendees, particularly those who head to a conference year after year, can build enough data in the app that tailored recommendations can be fed through. This means the attendee is shown only the most relevant sessions at the conference.
One up-and-coming mobile technology that could potentially break down the last barriers in conference planning is translation. Mobile apps are rapidly building simultaneous translation services, allowing conference planners to bring in more foreign-speaking experts to host talks during the event.
The technology is set to replace out-of-date translation headsets. The app will allow attendees to listen to the talk on their smartphone as sessions are ongoing. It will also allow business owners to pitch their company to attendees in their native language. Technology is a huge asset for conference planners. Mobile technology in particular can serve both attendees and planners, connecting them in efficient and beneficial ways.