As associations continue to move toward leaner staffs and more efficient processes, more are turning to key vendors to become business partners in the truest sense of the word. Here are five key association trends we see occurring with our existing clients and throughout the industry as a whole.
Nick Jones, vice president and distinguished analyst at technology research company Gartner, recently shared the company’s top 10 mobile technologies and capabilities that, he claims, organizations must master in 2015 and 2016. While some of these are outside the realm of typical association business, being in the know about how these technologies may affect the wider market can be of value to your organization.
1. Multiplatform/Multiarchitecture Application Development Tools
Most organizations will need application development tools to support a “three-by-three” future — three key platforms (Android, iOS and Windows) and three application architectures (native, hybrid and mobile Web). Tool selection will be a complex balancing act, trading off many technical and nontechnical issues (such as productivity versus vendor stability), and most large organizations will need a portfolio of several tools to deliver to the architectures and platforms they require.
As HTML5 and its development tools mature, the popularity of the mobile Web and hybrid applications will increase. HTML5 will be an essential technology for organizations delivering applications across multiple platforms.
3. Advanced Mobile-User Experience Design
Leading mobile apps are delivering exceptional user experiences, which are achieved by a variety of new techniques and methodologies, such as motivational design, “quiet” design and “playful” interfaces. Designers also are creating apps that can accommodate mobile challenges, such as partial user attention and interruption, or that can exploit technologies with novel features or “wow” factors, such as augmented reality. Leading consumer apps are setting high standards for user-interface design, and all organizations must master new skills and work with new partners to meet growing user expectations.
4. High-Precision Location Sensing
Knowing an individual’s location to within a few feet is a key enabler of the delivery of highly relevant contextual information and services. Apps exploiting precise indoor location currently use technologies such as Wi-Fi, imaging, ultrasonic beacons and geomagnetics. In 2014, Gartner expects growth in the use of wireless beacons using the new Bluetooth Smart standard. In the longer term, technologies such as smart lighting will also become important. Precise indoor location sensing, combined with mobile apps, will enable a new generation of extremely personalized services and information.
5. Wearable Devices
The smartphone will become the hub of a personal-area network consisting of wearable gadgets such as on-body health care sensors, smart jewelry, smart watches, display devices (like Google Glass) and a variety of sensors embedded in clothes and shoes. These gadgets will communicate with mobile apps to deliver information in new ways and enable a wide range of products and services in areas such as sport, fitness, fashion, hobbies and health care.
6. New Wi-Fi Standards
Emerging Wi-Fi standards will increase Wi-Fi performance, make it more relevant and enable Wi-Fi to provide new services. Over the next three years, demands on Wi-Fi infrastructure will increase as more Wi-Fi-enabled devices appear in organizations, as cellular offloading becomes more popular, and as applications such as location-sensing demand denser access-point placement. The opportunities enabled by new standards and the performance required by new applications will require many organizations to revise or replace their Wi-Fi infrastructure.
7. Enterprise Mobile Management
“Enterprise mobile management” (EMM) is a term that describes the future evolution and convergence of several mobile management, security and support technologies. These include mobile device management, mobile application management, application wrapping and containerization, and some elements of enterprise file synchronization and sharing. Such tools will mature, grow in scope and eventually address a wide range of mobile management needs across all popular OSs on smartphones, tablets and PCs.
8. Mobile-Connected Smart Objects
By 2020, the average affluent household in a mature market will contain several hundred smart objects, including LED light bulbs, toys, domestic appliances, sports equipment, medical devices and controllable power sockets, to name but a few. These domestic smart objects will be a part of the Internet of Things, and most will be able to communicate in some way with an app on a smartphone or tablet. Smartphones and tablets will perform many functions, including acting as remote controls, displaying and analyzing information, interfacing with social networks to monitor “things” that can tweet or post, paying for subscription services, ordering replacement consumables and updating object firmware.
9. LTE and LTE-A
Long-term evolution (LTE) and its successor LTE Advanced (LTE-A) are cellular technologies that improve spectral efficiency and will push cellular networks to theoretical peak downlink speeds of up to 1 Gbps, while reducing latency. All mobile users will benefit from improved bandwidth, and superior performance combined with new features such as LTE Broadcast will enable network operators to offer new services.
10. Metrics and Monitoring Tools
The diversity of mobile devices makes comprehensive app testing impossible, and the nondeterministic nature of mobile networks and the cloud services that support them can result in performance bottlenecks that are hard to locate. Mobile metrics and monitoring tools, often known as application performance monitoring (APM), can help. APM provides visibility into app behavior, delivers statistics about which devices and OSs are adopted and monitors user behavior to determine which app features are being successfully exploited.
Whether you’re offering a digital component as part of a physical meeting or a standalone digital event, you should spend as much time working out the details of the virtual event as you would a physical one. Use these four tips to ensure your attendees remain absorbed, entertained and involved.
During my 30 years in business, many of the items I approved for purchase for the companies where I worked were not items I proactively sought nor sometimes even knew existed. That is, not until a salesperson brought them to my attention — often via a cold call. A call in which the person demonstrated how he or she could benefit my company and me.
Physical events are naturally engaging. Attendees meet during social gatherings, at lunches and even in the hallways. Digital events, however, are a polar opposite. Attendees are typically tied to their desks with huge potential for interruption and little opportunity for serendipitous engagement. Yet without engagement, a digital event becomes akin to watching mediocre television — background noise while we accomplish other things.
Today’s technologies can help keep attendees absorbed, entertained and involved. Check out these ideas for ensuring your digital focus on engagement pays off in 2014 and beyond:
Show daily newspapers remain tremendously popular as a communications tool. Our research consistently confirms they are read extensively by both trade show attendees and exhibitor personnel. Read on for 10 more reasons why a show daily newspaper could be right for you.
Do you ever have to hold yourself back from the momentary freak out at work? Like a situation with an exhibitor, a vendor or a colleague where you felt like blowing your top? Or maybe you’re always feeling guilty about stuff? Like when you’re faced with competing demands on your time, making you decide who to please and who to diss.
Ever messed up? Been held accountable for a mistake that you or your company was or wasn’t personally responsible for? How did you handle it? Did you use the experience as an opportunity to strengthen the personal and professional relationships around you? Here are some tips to ensure you handle the situation well, should you ever land in the hot seat.
Remember the first website you were involved in launching or supporting? Seems like forever ago, doesn’t it? Since those heady early days of website development, you’ve probably been focused on developing more action-oriented marketing efforts on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter, content marketing through blogs and the like.