Every statistic we’ve seen in the past quarter underlines how crucial mobile is to the success of any event. It seems that there is a clear imperative for event and meetings planners to fully embrace mobile platforms over the next year.
The research shows that 468 million smartphones will be sold worldwide this year, a 58% per cent increase from 2010; more than 2 billion smartphones will be sold in 2015. This means that smartphone sales will surpass computer sales in 2012. There were 1 billion mobile broadband subscribers worldwide at the end of 2010, up from 600 million a year earlier.
That’s the rapidly developing terrain for event planners. What’s equally significant is that web access through smart mobile devices will surpass access from desktop computers by 2015. Global mobile data use tripled between 2009 and 2010 and will increase by a factor of 26 by 2015. Source: Mobile Marketing whitepaper TBA Global
If we are to trust these figures, and there is little reason for doubt, then it is clear that mobile will be the predominant environment for internet information access and exchange within four years.
In terms of specific mobile platforms, Android has increased its market share by 34.5 percentage points in the UK in the year to June 2011. Android’s share now accounts for 45.2%, up from 10.7% in the same period last year, according to research by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
The market share of Nokia’s Symbian platform has fallen from 32.7% to 10.7%. It has now been overtaken by Android, Apple’s iPhone and BlackBerry’s maker, RIM.
In terms of other mobile platforms, IDC reports that worldwide media tablet shipments sale decline 28% in first quarter of 2011. However, shipment forecast for 2011 has been raised by IDC to 53.5 million units from its previous projection of 50.4 million units. Media tablet sales were not as high as expected due to slower consumer demand, overall economic conditions and supply-chain constraints. Worldwide media tablet shipments into sales channels fell on a sequential basis in the first calendar quarter of 2011 to 7.2 million units
Gartner predicts that the iPad will continue to hold 70 per cent tablet market share this year but Android-powered devices will approach 40% share by 2015. Gartner sees Apple’s tablet market share dwindling to 47% by 2015 as Android-powered tablets rise from 20% market share this year to 39% by 2015.
We think these impressive figures do underline the urgent requirement for event and meetings professionals to engage fully through mobile platforms
So, if you were wondering how, for example the iPad might fit into your event mobile marketing tactical plan, Lara McCulloch-Carter has a great guide with the definitive current list of iPad apps for event planners.
On the iPhone, Super Planner is a business app for the professional event planner. It provides a variety of planning tools, including calculators for venue capacity, staffing, catering, staging, projection and dance floor, as well as useful tips in several areas.
Yasmo Live is the first on-site event networking system that allows you to find the people you want to network with before, during and after an event. The app is available on the iPhone and Java-enabled mobile devices including Nokia, Blackberry, Sony Ericsson, HTC, LG, Samsung and Motorola. Android and Windows Mobile Operating systems will be supported soon.
The Cvent blog has a good list of Business Travel Apps for Meeting and Event Planners, although it is US-focused
AppBistro lists some useful resources, along with some not so pertinent to business event planners.
Cheryl Lawson, Party Aficionado has launched an app for Google’s Android powered smart phones, while focused on the consumer level, it might prove useful for other event planners. The Event Planning Tools app has a space calculator that will help planners determine how many people can fit into a particular space, or how much space will be needed for a particular venue. The second is an event budget calculator. Users plug in the number of attendees and include all expected expenses, and the app will calculate cost per attendee.
By harnessing mobile, event and meetings planners can extend their marketing reach, bind their customers closer and ensure that delegates /attendees enjoy a more rewarding and relevant event. Mobile devices are personal by their very nature and this key fact can be used by event planners to develop deeper relationships with their target audience as well as gain new insights into their desires and knowledge.