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Should Association Management Cater To Tablet Users At Events?

For association management planning conferences, events and meetings, catering to attendees who are using their tablets is a huge win. Ignoring them, on the other hand, is a big mistake. A recent blog post on Velvet Chainsaw’s Midcourse Corrections blog highlights research that shows about a third of all American adults have a tablet.conference-attendee-tablet-use	|	Photo Courtesy of	Depositphotos	http://depositphotos.com/26340505/stock-photo-business-man-use-tablet-compuer-at-office.html?sst=60&sqc=125&sqm=10827&sq=22nrhnFor association management planning conferences, events and meetings, catering to attendees who are using their tablets is a huge win. Ignoring them, on the other hand, is a big mistake. There has been incredible growth in the tablet market in the past few years. With so many competitors in the marketplace, prices have come down, and the penetration has skyrocketed. This is especially true among professionals. A recent post on Velvet Chainsaw’s Midcourse Corrections blog backs this up. The post quotes figures from Pew Research that show that about a third of all American adults have a tablet. “Attendees are toting tablets at conferences and trade shows in record numbers,” the post explains. “They’re downloading slide decks, taking notes, verifying facts, swapping content info, snapping photos, tweeting, posting and scanning attendee lists to figure out who they need to meet next.” If you look at conference attendees or association members for professional organizations, it’s a safe bet that more than half of them own a tablet. It’s just so easy to carry a tablet to meetings and conferences. Attendees want to be able to partake in everything at a conference from their tablet. If you’re not making it easy for them to do that, you’re missing the boat on attracting new attendees. And there’s really no excuse for conferences to not be tablet friendly, as it’s not that expensive to build mobile apps. The bottom line is that organizations must change the way they deliver content at conferences. Nobody wants to come home with a three-ring binder full of paper. They want information delivered digitally and to be able to easily collaborate with other participants at the conference. With that in mind, here are two suggestions from the Midcourse Corrections blog post for association management to consider for this growth in tablet use. First, make sure you’ve got plenty of Wi-Fi and charging stations available. Second, if your conference attendees make more than $75,000 a year or are between the ages of 35 and 44, you can bet that most of this crowd has a tablet. Research shows that more than half of households in that income bracket own a tablet. Source: Velvet Chainsaw’s Midcourse Corrections, July 2013
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