March Madness Champion: What Drives Meeting Planners the Most Mad?

Well ladies and gentleman, it’s finally over. The long battles between some of the biggest pains for meeting planners is over. We started with eight of the biggest issues that we have heard from meeting planners:

  1. The sales manager of your 2017 venue leaves her position, just as you were building a great working relationship.
  2. It seems like everyone you work with has champagne taste—and you’re working with a beer budget. Are you the only one who thinks about managing costs?
  3. Managing the process for collection and review of countless abstracts, working with a very clunky system. You’re ready to tear your hair out!
  4. Another presenter gave you their final materials after the deadline, and now you have to call three different vendors to update the app, the website, and the printed program.
  5. A CVB calls you out of the blue and tries to monopolize half an hour with their sales pitch. You don’t have time for that!
  6. This year’s keynote is well-regarded and popular, but he’s also the biggest diva you’ve ever met. If he requests green M&Ms; in his rider, you’re going to scream!
  7. You’ve called your conference printer three times this week and no one has gotten back to you. There’s no excuse for bad customer service.
  8. Attendees bring every device under the sun to your annual meeting—except laptops—and your online conference materials only look good on a full-sized screen.

MWe then randomly paired them to face off in the first-round, or our elite eight. And there were some interesting winners that advanced toour final four:

  1. It seems like everyone you work with has champagne taste—and you’re working with a beer budget. Are you the only one who thinks about managing costs?
  2. Another presenter gave you their final materials after the deadline, and now you have to call three different vendors to update the app, the website, and the printed program. For the fourth time this week!
  3. A CVB calls you out of the blue and tries to monopolize half an hour with their sales pitch. You don’t have time for that!
  4. You’ve called your conference printer three times this week and no one has gotten back to you. There’s no excuse for bad customer service.

It then came down the final two in the championship:

  1. You’ve called your conference printer three times this week and no one has gotten back to you. There’s no excuse for bad customer service.
  2. Another presenter gave you their final materials after the deadline, and now you have to call three different vendors to update the app, the website, and the printed program. For the fourth time this week!

After 68 different meeting planners participated in this year’s March Conference Madness, “8 Things That Drive Meeting Planners Mad;” we have a champion. The thing that drives meeting plann
ers the most is:

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What do you think? Do you agree with our participants ranking of the things that drive meeting planners mad? Or is there something else that was maybe left off the list?

 

Event Planners, What Will You Never Say?

Sue Pelletier crafted a light-hearted list of 5 Things You’ll Never Hear a Meeting Planner Say, featured in a recent MeetingsNet Extra newsletter. To recap:

  • Let’s just wing it.
  • Lists? Who needs lists?
  • Travel is so glamorous.
  • I love food and beverage minimums!
  • Don’t sweat the small (meetings-related) stuff.

Pelletier added a few items from feedback she received through social media, and a commenter added even more. Take a look. Can you relate?

What will you never say as an association event planner? Given the niche events you plan, your list may be more association-specific. What words have never crossed your lips? Inexpensive A/V equipment? Easy-going speaker? Timely handout collection?

One phrase we’d like to strike from you list of things you’ll never say is “hassle-free event content management.” The new EventCMS suite of services can make it a reality. Work with Omnipress and you can use just one vendor for event websites, mobile event apps, and print. Last-minute changes won’t make the list of things you’ll never say, unfortunately, but at least they become easier when you can update one source and call it done.

We’d love to hear what you’ll never say in your job as an event planner. If you learn more about the EventCMS and find out how much simpler event content management can be, maybe “Content delivery was pretty easy this year!“ will be something you can actually say without a smirk. Wouldn’t that be nice?

3 Basic Types of Mobile Event Apps

One of the key decisions you need to make when implementing a mobile event app is deciding which type of app will best meet your objective.

For a meeting planner, it is important to have a basic understanding of the types of apps including the pros and cons as you work with your mobile app developer during the selection process.

 

The following chart breaks down the three basic types of mobile apps:

What It Is
Advantages
Disadvantages
Native Apps
Built specifically to the needs of the various operating systems such as Apple’s iOS or Android
  • Speed, performance and user interface are optimized
  • Works without Internet connection
  • Must build a specific app for each operating system
  • Takes more time to develop and deploy
  • Higher development costs
Web-Based Apps
Websites built using HTML that are designed specifically for smaller screens
  • No need to distribute using app stores
  • Works on any device with a browser, but experience varies
  • Lower deployment costs
  • Slower performance
  • Internet connection is required
Hybrid Apps
Native app shell with feeds from the website
  • Caches content, so it works offline to a degree
  • Downloadable from app stores
  • Easier to deploy cross-platform than native apps
  • Lower cost than native apps
  • Doesn’t run as smoothly as native apps
  • Offline performance can be inconsistent
  • Built to specific operating system

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Do You Need Your Mobile Event App to Work Offline?

Because most mobile event apps will be used extensively within a convention or exhibit hall, it is likely you will want to provide an app that can be used offline. This means you will probably be going down the path of either a native or hybrid app.

  • Both native and hybrid apps will function offline.
  • Native apps have better offline performance but are more costly.
  • Hybrid apps can vary in performance from vendor to vendor based on design. If you go with a hybrid app, make sure you understand functionality around caching of content and how offline performance works. It is likely you will lose some functionality.

Tip #1: Test all demo apps in airplane mode so you can see how the app performs offline.

Will You Be Serving Users With Both Smartphones and Tablets?

When apps are built, they are usually optimized for either a smartphone or tablet.

  • Web-based apps can usually transparently service both products.
  • Native and hybrid apps usually need to be optimized for a device. This doesn’t mean the apps will not work on both devices, but some of the screen layouts, menus and navigation are optimized when built for a specific device.

Tip #2: If you are targeting one device over the other, it is important to notify your vendor.

What type of mobile event app is your organization looking at implementing?