Moving Mobile to the Center of the Virtual Event Experience
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Over the last decade, mobile devices have become so integrated into our daily routines that it is difficult for most of us to imagine living without them. In fact, we now love our phones so much that, according to an article by ZDNet, Americans spend roughly 5.4 hours on their phone every single day. To put that in perspective, according to a Pew Research Center survey from 2019, 96% of Americans own some sort of mobile device, in comparison to ¾ of American adults owning a desktop or laptop computer and half now owning a tablet computer or an e-reader device. That’s a lot of people indulging in a lot of screen time.
With 81% of American adults owning a smartphone, all of these devices keeping us connected at all hours of the day means moving virtual events to mobile has now become more critical than ever. Over the next few years, mobile scenarios will come to dominate many aspects of the virtual event experience. The three pivot points around which this innovation will occur are: 1) access from any device through browsers, not just apps, 2) enhanced event experiences, and 3) local customization.
Three ways that mobile will change hybrid and virtual events in 2020 and beyond
- Access from any device through applications, not browsers – Mobile devices have already become key access points for virtual event attendees. But, for the most part, these early mobile integration efforts have been limited to providing access to content from the event through a dedicated mobile app. In order to provide a truly satisfying mobile experience, virtual event providers will need to invest in browser ready experiences for the most popular devices…not just on mobile apps. Having a virtual event that is optimized for all screen types is an investment companies need to make as it’s expected by today’s mobile first audience. The Social27 Virtual Events platform is completely mobile compatible, and events can be pushed out to iOS and Android devices.
- Enhanced hybrid experiences – Providing access to content was the most logical first step for virtual event providers to take when looking for ways to integrate their online and mobile solutions. However, much of the opportunity in the mobile space will come from creating custom solutions that complement and not simply replicate the event. In many cases, mobile devices will come to form the bridge between in-person and online event activities. For example, while at an in-person event, an attendee might be able to take a picture of the partner booth that they are interesting in. The mobile application would then log their interest and make sure that additional information regarding the partner was waiting for them the next time that they logged in to the digital event on their device.
- Local customization – One of hardest things to do with a virtual event is to By using a combination of desktop based and mobile clues, virtual event providers will be able to customize each experience based on the location of the user. For example, event organizers could customize the weather outside of the virtual event’s windows based on the user’s city. In addition, in order to match users with other attendees in their area. Obviously, these solutions will need to be strictly opt-in, but for users who choose to participate, they will offer significant benefits.
For virtual events, it’s time to think small and invest big
As consumers and business professionals, mobile devices are at the very center of our lives. While virtual event providers have recognized the importance of allowing attendees to access event content from their phones, our current solutions are only scratching the surface of what is possible. In order to fully exploit the opportunity that mobile represents, we will need to focus on improving access, enhancing experiences and providing local customization. In doing so, mobile devices will become more than content access points…they will become the center of the hybrid event experience.
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