Are you ready for the Multi-Screen World?

On the plane, on the train, in the office, the hotel or at home. Is your event ready for the multi-screen world?

Give your audience the tools to research, plan & build their event agenda & connections online, then use mobile for what it’s best for: quick access to information on the go.

We are never without our mobile devices, 24/7, 365 - they are within 3 feet of us! On the bus, the train, in the park and on the sofa; we are constantly socialising online, researching, shopping, reading, emailing, tweeting, blogging, and so the list goes on.

Cisco are forecasting a 13 fold increase in global mobile traffic from 2012 to 2017, growing at an astounding rate of 66% year on year. Gartner also predict that mobile use will continue to grow in 2013, as sales will overtake that of PC’s, and by 2015 tablet shipments will reach 50% of laptop shipments.

The battle of the devices is a very personal one. We have the loyal apple group, the android advocates and the new kid on the block, the Windows 8 Phone! And of course, there’s a similar story in the tablet market.  But they all have one thing in common – they are all devices that allow the user to consume content wherever they are and whenever they want.  This creates both opportunities and challenges in equal measure for businesses.

In a Gartner survey carried out at the end of 2011, 81% of respondents cited that they use mobile technology to check emails, read news, check weather & use social networks on the go – you can imagine that by now, some 18 months later, this has only increased!  Meike Escheric, Gartner’s principle researcher, did also comment mobile is not replacing the PC or Laptop, but instead creating an interchangeable world rather than a substitutional one.  It is about anytime, any-place usage. Gartner have also predicted that by 2015, mobile applications projects will outnumber PC projects by 4-1, indicating the PC is no longer king but still part of this new multi-screen, interactive, time & geography, independent world.

We can see similar patterns when looking at LinkedIn, Facebook, Amazon and eBay. These companies all have very strong websites or web portals that account for huge volumes of traffic, but all also now have huge volumes of mobile users, which allows those users to work with a multi-screen and connected environment.  Of course, there are different adoption rates in different countries and for each company, but it is clear that the user base is growing and this multi-screen setup is becoming the norm.

By offering a mobile app, businesses are becoming well placed to be in consumers’ pockets, with them wherever they go.  This is clearly an opportunity not to be passed up.  In the last few years apps have outpaced browser-based mobile sites by some 20 minutes per day.

The statistics say it all.  A multi-screen strategy would make your event details available to your attendees whenever they want or need them.  Using a web portal alongside an event app can help increase the returns for all event participants. Driving a higher engagement rate, increased sponsorship opportunities and creating a beyond-the-event experience.  We have seen a growing demand for this in our solutions provided to clients like GSMA’s Mobile World Congress, The Adobe Summit and Reed Exhibitions World Travel Marketing (WTM), where they are using the integrated web portal to allow their customers to do pre event planning of their attendance.  This included networking, session & educational track planning and favouriting exhibitors they wish to visit at the events.  Once attendees have done their planning on the web portal this content is available on the mobile app when they have logged in.  WTM witnessed a rise from 6k mobile users in 2011 to some 40k across web and mobile in 2012, sending a phenomenal 22k messages which is expected to rise again in 2013.

Cisco also maintain that a mobile app is an additional way of making your web portal available and accessible on mobile devices.  You can optimize and enhance you user experience, integrating with phone diallers and tap to connect functions.

While smartphone penetration in the UK is over 50% (and over 80% in the business community) quotes a recent report by Econsultancy, 84% of the participants said they prefer to use laptops or desktops for the majority of tasks like research,  reading in depth content and email,  citing ease of use and security in some of the reasons for this.

It is clear that there are times of the day when mobile usage is higher and other times of the day when PC traffic will peak – in this highly competitive landscape we have to be able to cater for these consumer demands, as you can see from this chart that Silicon Alley Insider produced – there is a clear pattern to daily consumption of content. This chart demonstrates the percentage of  mobile and PC content consumed for each hour of the day. As you can see, mobile usage is strongest from 6pm to midnight. PC usage is strongest from 11am to 5pm.

Multi-screen

In summary, the evidence is clear, we are a multi-screen generation. Our children will be even more so! With the rapid development of technology and the high adoption rates globally in both developed and emerging markets, we have to cater for the various ways content is consumed and how people now use technology to interact, network and make decision. 

If you want your attendees to build a personalized agenda, schedule meetings and have meaningful conversations and connections, don’t ask them to squint at a tiny screen, poking messages with their fingertips. Give them tools to build their agenda and connections online, then use mobile for what it’s best for: quick access to information on the go.

Make sure you don’t miss the boat!   

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