It appears that our fast-changing event world is increasingly dependent on technology, particularly mobile technology. Not a specialist in that area, I am calling on a guest for this week's post. He is Justin Ungerboeck, the Product Marketing Manager at Ungerboeck Software International. In this post, he takes a look at the future.
In an industry that evolves as quickly as event management technology, figuring out what comes next can be nearly impossible. However, there are some trends rising that could indicate some big changes for developers, organizers, and venues alike. Here are some of the “next big things” on the horizon for our industry, and what they could mean.
#1: Free or Low-Cost Apps
As more people come to expect mobile apps as part of an event, organizers will need a way to provide this perk without busting their budget. In-app advertising will offer a way to offset the costs of an application, and ever-decreasing lead times for development will also contribute this price drop.
StrategyAnalytics predicts that sales of HTML5-compatible smartphones will grow to 1 billion in 2013, up from just 336 million in 2011. This language will become the standard for event management applications because it allows for easier compatibility between devices.
#3: DIY Mobile Event Apps
Mobile apps have traditionally been the realm of larger, established organizations, since the cost was simply too high for smaller players to get involved. DIY mobile event apps will provide an affordable alternative for those with smaller budgets. However, these apps will be limited in their uses and designs, leaving space for custom and semi-custom apps to remain. A parallel can be drawn between this and website development: Standard templates can be used to create a cheap and easy website. You simply fill in the blanks with your information and upload it. However, this template may not accommodate all your needs and also may not reflect the company perfectly. A custom website is more expensive, but it also provides flexibility and a better representation of your brand. In the same way, DIY apps will offer a fast and cheap solution, but custom and semi-custom ones are here to stay.
#4: Multi-Platform Integration
Right now there is a heavy focus on smart phones, but development is moving more into tablets and desktops, as well as toward the integration of these three platforms. As hardware progresses and these devices become more powerful, they will become mobile equivalents of the laptop/desktop software, offering everything that the main system can do in a more portable package. All information will be available and synced instantly between devices.
#5: Social Media
The role of social media will increase in mobile apps and be integrated into the software itself. This will allow attendees, organizers, sponsors, and other involved parties to network and communicate better, and lend a more community-like feel to the event.
These are just five of the possible developments that could occur in event management software over the next few years. Whether these changes actually come to pass is anyone’s guess, but in any case, it’s plain to see that mobile event management software, and the people who use it, are in for a major transformation.