For many of us our mobile phones have become our most valued possession, being the central hub through which we organise and record much of our lives.
As they have become more pervasive, businesses in every sector have had to evaluate how they can use mobile phones to engage with their customers – many are realising that mobile allows them to form a direct, personal relationship that hasn’t been possible in more traditional media.
Recently we’ve been working with TEDx Bristol to explore how it can leverage the attendee’s devices to get them engaging more with the event. It’s been interesting to look at how technology can make these events more interesting before, during and after the day that it takes place.
Wearables could well provide a key component of on-the-day user engagement for many events. At the moment smartwatches are the only common wearable that you’re likely to see. These work very well for small, micro-interactions that don’t require more than one or two seconds of the user’s attention.
It’s precisely this type of interaction that works best when the user’s focus should primarily be on the talks taking place in front of them. It’s vital that new technology helps enhance already great events rather than detracting from them and frustrating their attendees.
There’s been a lot of buzz in the last couple of years around indoor location and it makes a lot of sense for events to take full advantage of these technologies. Perhaps it’s being held at a particularly large venue and technology can help guide users around; or at a smaller venue the organisers might want to monitor the relative popularity and activity that’s taking place in different rooms.
Users’ devices could even detect where the user was within the venue to offer contextual advice to the talk that they were attending, or if there were any special offers available in the café.
We already do most of our networking through our mobile phones – so why not make this super easy from within the event app too? Our phones already have a huge range of technologies to allow us to share information with each other; for example users could bump their phones to instantly share their contact details through NFC.
Perhaps the application integrates with the event registration system where the user already has a public profile of information that they’re willing to share?
Lots of conferences are already starting to provide lanyards with integrated NFC chips containing the holder’s contact details; it’s a small improvement that can really help grease networking. We’re always on – and our networking should be too.
Continue reading on the next page for purchasing power and platforms to consider.
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