Since 2000, the average human attention span has decreased from 12 to 8 seconds. Is that a bad thing? Well consider this – the attention span of an average goldfish is 9 seconds (source: National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine). In addition, technology and our need to be connected to a constant flow of information in real-time provides many distractions. With these challenges, how can we create a more effective and meaningful experience for attendees in today’s event industry? How can we keep attendees engaged?
If you can’t beat them, join them
With lowered attention spans and so many distractions, it's easy for your audience to disengage during presentations. It's even more difficult to get them to absorb the information you're delivering to them and retaining that information over time.
Instead of competing with mobile devices for your audience’s attention, use them as a channel to reinforce the messages being delivered. With mobile event apps, you can maximize opportunities for engagement and content distribution before, during and after face-to-face events. You can use mobile apps to gather info via surveys, contests, discussions, networking and social media interactions.
For example, push notifications – a message that is "pushed" to your mobile device without you doing anything – can act as your attendees’ personal assistant, letting them know what is happening during the event. These messages catch their attention and guide them to what you want to have them do, i.e. “presentation is starting in 15 minutes.”
Another smart way to use a smartphone app? During presentations, some people do not like to raise their hand/stand up to ask a question. Through the app, push notifications can be used to submit questions for the keynote speaker in text format. It’s a win-win for that shy audience member – their question is answered without having to go out of their comfort zone.
Have you used mobile apps to build engagement at an event? We’d love to hear about it! Contact us today!