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In a recent post (“Mobile Devices: Friend or Foe at Your Events?”), I noted the meeting industry’s debate on how to deal with attendees distracted by their smartphones. The best way to address this situation, I opined, is to use mobile as a channel that’s reinforcing the speakers instead of competing with them.

In May, David McMillin of the Professional Convention Management Association posted an excellent story focusing on a recent survey about meeting planners’ usage of mobile apps at events.  Of the meeting planners responding to the survey, 42% had never included an app in their budgets.

For me, here’s the nugget in the story:

“Regardless of the size of the meeting, planners are beginning to focus on extending the life of their meetings beyond just the three or four days when everyone is on-site. The survey shows they’re counting on apps to help fuel a continuing conversation. Seventy-five percent of respondents want to use an app to start conversations before an event, and 78 percent want them to keep the discussion going after it ends.   Maximizing the app’s potential relies on one very important element: content.”

That passage contains a lot of wisdom for every meeting sponsor to heed.  The importance of extending the life of a meeting, using all available tools, can’t be over emphasized. (We explored the idea at length in this post.)

With this broadened perspective, your CFO and CEO will stop viewing the company’s events as point-in-time costs that break the budget.  Instead, they will see your events as strategic assets that can produce measurable, ongoing value long after each event has ended.

McMillin noted that apps can outlive a meeting. Using mobile apps for astute targeting of relevant content is one key to maximizing an event’s value over its life cycle.

Thanks for the great insights on mobile event apps, David!  I’ll conclude with a quote from one of your earlier stories, “How to Take Your Meeting Mobile”:  “It may be worth considering an organization application versus an event application that can deliver updates throughout the year to increase your organization’s relevancy and eliminate the need to develop a new app each year.”

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