It doesn’t come as a surprise that distraction is the slow death of any event. Attendee interaction is the top requirement for a successful live event – happy, engaged guests are one of your biggest marketing tools. Word of mouth, whether via an online platform or in person, is still the best way to measure success. If your guests are bored, you can pretty much expect those live tweets to do some serious damage to your brand. If your guests are entertained and amused, they’ll take to social media in the aftermath for a storm of positive feedback.
Who’s to Blame for Attendee Distraction?
Organisers across the globe are blaming mobile devices for attendee distraction; hoping to find a way to ban electronic devices from their events. Unfortunately, in the Age of Technology these event professionals don’t have a leg to stand on. As a modern event organiser you have two responsibilities:
– Keep attendees engaged enough that they aren’t desperate to use their mobile devices for salvation.
– Ensure that attendees can engage on their mobile devices with virtual goodie bags and entertaining media.
Organisers are in no position to shift the blame. With so many different ways to keep engagement levels high, it should be impossible to have throngs of disgruntled attendees leaving the event ahead of time.
Mobile Devices are Here to Stay
While roughly 40% of respondents in a recent survey agreed that it would be ideal for attendees to turn off their mobile devices before the onset of any meeting, the fact of the matter remains the same: we don’t live in an ideal world, so keep dreaming.
Most people own more than one mobile device. They need to remain online for work and personal reasons. Mobile devices are slowly but surely becoming a lifeline that most people are not happy to live without. Banning devices at events is risky for one simple reason; you run a high risk of alienating your target audience.
Use Mobile Distraction to Your Advantage
Instead of fighting mobile devices, it is in your best interests to use them to your advantage. Use effective engagement techniques via popular mobile apps to get the right kind of conversations going. Live polling is a major plus, especially when you consider the fact that you’re almost guaranteed to get more feedback than you would during a regular Q&A. People tend to be more comfortable interacting in their comfort zone (via mobile device) than they do when they are put on the spot.