How Micro Moments are Changing Attendee Behavior
As mobile devices continue to blur the boundaries between the event attendees’ personal and professional lives, we are seeing a fundamental shift in how they consume and interact with an event’s updates and information to plan ahead.
Micro Moments are Here to Stay
“Mobile has forever changed the way we live, and it’s forever changed what we expect of brands.” – ThinkwithGoogle.com
Gone are the days of predictable behavior patterns, streamlined work flows and long browsing sessions online. Consumers now search for information and complete key tasks in increasingly brief interactions, and mostly on mobile devices. Each such instantaneous interaction is being recognized by marketers as a micro moment – a fleeting window of time within which brands not only have to catch their audience’s attention and but also satisfy all their aspirations.
Identifying Universal Micro Moments for Attendees
To meet the high expectations of the ever growing number of ‘mobile’ attendees who have almost ubiquitous access to hand-held devices and WiFi connectivity, event organizers need to familiarize themselves with emerging micro moments-based behavior patterns.
At a2z, we have sifted through data from a large number of trade shows and conferences across different verticals to identify the most common type of ‘on-the-go’ interactions from mobile users. Of course, the data is completely anonymous, but the scenarios that drive these interactions are fairly ubiquitous and universal in nature.
Here are five such scenarios that highlight how streamlined sessions on the web are being replaced by numerous fragmented mobile interactions that are more short-lived and spontaneous than ever before.
– Mike, a purchasing manager, reconnects with a key business contact at a local networking event. During their brief conversation, she casually mentions that her company will be exhibiting at a trade show which he’s already registered to attend. Mike had earlier downloaded the event’s native app on his smartphone to plan ahead. He immediately whips it out and searches for her company in the exhibitor list. He also notes their location on the show floor and adds them as a favorite in his personalized expo plan.
– Amanda, a senior corporate executive, has just heard through the grapevine that the biggest solution provider in her industry is launching a cutting-edge technology which will be a game-changer for her organization. Even though she is on vacation, she quickly searches with the company’s name as the keyword in her phone’s browser. The link to their listing in an upcoming expo’s responsive website is displayed right at the top position in the search results. Amanda finds that a trial version of this new technology is being given away for free to the first 100 orders at their booth. She promptly registers for the event and drops the exhibitor an email to let them know she’ll be visiting them on the first day of the show.
– Jodie is on her way to attend a major 3-day annual conference for real estate agents. Ideally, she’d have liked to spend a significant amount of time before the event in reviewing the session details along with the speaker profiles. But, with the economy on the rebound, her company has made some major new acquisitions recently and she has been on the road for weeks. Between back to back meetings and catching up with her other responsibilities, she has not had any time to check out the event’s website. However, while she waits to board her flight at the airport terminal, she realizes that the WiFi connectivity is fairly good and that she has just about enough time to download their mobile app. By the time she settles into her seat on the plane, she is all set to browse it in the offline mode and create her personalized plan before she reaches the event venue.
– Randy’s profile as an assistant director of finance for his company doesn’t require him to be on social media professionally, so he’s never made much of an effort to create a presence for himself on Twitter. He is representing his organization at one of the largest business events in the industry, and he has just realized that by not tuning into the tweets about the show, he has missed out on attending a key pre-show networking event organized by some of the biggest players in the domain. He knows that the event’s mobile app has a Twitter feed, but for the first time he is really motivated to check it out. When he gets started, he realizes it’s fairly simple to use. The app automatically filters messages about the show, so that he doesn’t have to search through irrelevant stuff. He now plans to visit the screen frequently during the next few days to stay tuned in.
– Tom is a young software programmer who has just registered to attend a leading meet-up for IT professionals in his region. His primary goal is to network with other techies in his area, many of whom he is connected to online. A millennial who is keenly interested in gaming and mobile tech, Tom depends mostly on his favorite tablet device for internet browsing. As he is a member of many popular online forums for developers, he quickly lets his network know that he is attending this event. Many of his peers respond to let him know that they will be there as well. As soon as he hears from someone he is interested in meeting face to face, he uses the event’s mobile app to find, favorite and communicate with them.
What This Means for Event Planners
The in-the-moment, impulsive nature of this new kind of attendee engagement is without a doubt having a significant impact on all face-to-face events across the globe.
Trade show and conference organizers need to look for technology solutions that are designed around a ‘mobile first’ strategy. Native apps as well as responsive and adaptive web sites which facilitate successful micro moments are not optional choices anymore. Search and planning features need to be intuitive and lightning fast. An event’s data and personalized itineraries need to sync across different devices and platforms automatically and without delay.
Event participants now expect access to smart mobile resources even before they register to attend an event. Indeed, the very availability of mobile-ready solutions may become a catalyst in driving their continued engagement with your event and brand.
As you plan for your next event, we recommend reviewing your technology choices carefully to ensure that your team can successfully cater to the attendees’ intent-rich, demanding micro moments.
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