Mobile event technology is set to explode in popularity in the next 12 months, according to a new report into event apps.
The State of Event Apps report, by Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and app provider DoubleDutch found that mobile app adoption rates among event professionals are set to hit 85 per cent in the next six to 12 months.
Of those surveyed, 63 per cent of meeting professionals are currently using mobile applications to enhance their events, and 60 per cent of those who are not currently using one expect to be within a year.
The report says: “Mobile apps will be viewed not only as a more convenient alternative to the paper guide, but also an integral component of the overall event strategy and experience, impacting key initiatives such as stakeholder retention, revenue outcomes, and data collection.”
And it is event planners who use the technology to its fullest potential that will see the most benefits.
“With mobile applications, attendees are able to easily access the information they want, when they want it. Recent advancements in technology like Apple’s iBeacon or Bluetooth LE, and NFC are already enabling organizers to engage attendees with contextual experiences based on time and proximity.
“Brands that create, anticipate, or answer to their consumers in personalised, contextual ways through mobile device will grow to understand their customers more deeply and thereby experience greater event success.”
Association meeting professionals constitute the largest percentage of mobile adopters, at 71 per cent, while other industries with high adoption rates include finance, event design, and trade shows.
Meanwhile, just 61 per cent of corporate meeting professionals and 51 per cent of pharmaceutical companies use mobile event apps.
Of the meeting professionals who do not currently use event apps, 35 per cent said that budgets were an issue, while 25 per cent said that apps do not currently meet their needs.
The research indicates the top two objections planners face when budgeting for a mobile application are Wi-Fi availability and generational differences.
However, as smartphones and applications become easier to navigate, it is likely that there will be higher adoption rates across less tech-savvy demographics.