The Mobile Revolution is Here
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And if you don't believe that, let's take a look at the facts. There are roughly 6.9 billion people in the world today and 5.2 billion have a mobile phone subscription. That's more than those using the Internet (2.0 billion), television (1.7 billion) and a personal computer (1.2 billion) combined.
In fact, according to DigitalNow 2011's opening keynote and mobile expert, Tomi Ahonen, there are actually more users of mobile phones than there are users of toothbrushes (by a billion).
"There are 5.2 billion mobile phone users in the world and only 4.2 billion people in the world have access to a toothbrush," Ahonen says. "More people have access to a mobile phone subscription than have access to running water or a toilet."
Mobile giant Nokia reported last year that the average person looks at their mobile device more than 150 times per day—that's an average of once every 6.5 minutes (and you say you're not addicted).
We used to say we'd run into a burning house to save our family photo album. Now, it's our mobile phone. And how many times have you left the house forgetting your wallet but kept going, but turned around for your mobile phone?
The facts that point to just how strong our addiction to our mobile devices is goes on and on only reinforcing the theory that the future is mobile—making mobile the hottest new trend in meeting design.
But, like all things new, and with so many different channels, mobile can be a scary adventure for meeting professionals. There's are apps, SMS, MMS, social media, QR codes, GPS, mobile web, photos, blogs, email—and the gamut begs the question, "How do I integrate mobile into my next meeting without breaking the bank and scaring away my delegates?"
DigitalNow conference co-founder Hugh Lee says the answer is in integrating mobile in a way that allows the delegates to customize their own experiences.
"It's about creating a meeting design that gets delegates to participate in the meeting and be able to capture those ideas in a way that they can go back and talk about it."
DigitalNow 2011's theme, "The Many Faces of Mobile," not only showcased how mobile can improve meeting interaction through its keynotes and sessions, the meeting organizers showcased it through action.
Delegates were encouraged to have their smart phones and tablets out during sessions, quick response codes (aka QR codes—similar to the tags you see in the pages of One+ linking you to valuable mobile content) were everywhere and delegates were scanning them to learn more about a topic or a person or even to win a prize. Delegates were also encouraged to link up with others at the conference using the conference app's GPS feature. This allowed delegates to find others with similar interests anywhere in the conference hall, removing some networking awkwardness. Conference organizers also communicated with delegates via an opt-in SMS text messaging program, and delegates could communicate back via either text or email.
The mobile revolution was alive and well at DigitalNow—the numbers prove it.
Last year's DigitalNow 2010, saw the event's first attempt at a mobile app—Lee expected a 25-30 percent usage rate. They got 50 percent. This year, they redesigned the app and gave it even more interactive features (like the GPS functionality) and the usage rate jumped to 90 percent.
Again, it's all about giving delegates an opportunity to experience and change the flow of their conference—giving delegates the power to affect their own ROI. One+
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