A cliche is a phrase or expression that has been used so often that it is no longer original or interesting. Essentially, it no longer has true meaning because it’s original meaning has been used up.
Phrases aren’t the only things that lose meaning over time. The meetings industry is a fast-paced, quickly changing world, as is the world of technology. That means when these two worlds meet, the potential for something to become outdated, irrelevant, and ultimately cliched is very high.
Too many event technology companies fail to keep up with the demands of meeting planners and attendees, and so their software falls through the cracks and quickly becomes full of old, unoriginal features that no longer have true meaning. Companies cling to these features as if they still mattered and fail to communicate true value to their users.
Here are just a few of the many meetings technology cliches that exist today:
Cliche Number One: “Lions, Tigers, and Bears… Oh, My!”
Or more appropriately: Passwords, Platforms, and Branding… Oh, My!
One of the biggest mistakes the majority of event technology companies make today is thinking that they can have a “one size fits all” solution for meeting planners and attendees. They claim it’s too difficult to personalize and brand their conference technology for each event.
That’s simply not the case anymore. It’s important that event technology is now flexible and custom to each organization using it and vendors that don’t offer that option have fallen way behind.
So what exactly are some of the things event technology vendors are still doing that are outdated and cliched?
- Confusing Account Options: Users must create an account for the event website and another for the mobile app. They then have to log into each platform separately each time they want to access your association’s content. Or, they want you to create a separate app for each event without giving you the option to combine it all into one branded multi-event app.
- Lack of Diverse Accessibility: Some event technology software vendors don’t even give you or your members options. They expect event planners and conference attendees to access everything from your website and claim that this is just as good as having an app.
- No Branding Options: Many vendors still don’t understand that your association’s event branding is just as important as something like sponsor recognition. They have you choose generic features that go into the app onto a simple template, but when all is said and done, it doesn’t look like your app, it looks like the vendor’s app. There is nothing unique about it.
Cliche Number Two: “Content is King”
Remember: Content ISN’T Everything
There it is! We hear it in marketing, association management, and business all the time. Content wears the crown. And it’s true, without content your event won’t be able to make much of an impact at all.
There are however a few caveats to this old saying. Here at CadmiumCD, we call these the “Queen” and the “Supreme.” Read our white paper, “The Most Influential Advances in Event Technology Currently Shaping the Conference Industry”, to find out more about these.
The problem is, too many vendors don’t help you draw awareness to your content. They’re too focused on providing the next gimmick that the whole reason behind your event?education and networking?becomes lost in the fold.
Cliche Number Three: “Three Strikes?You’re Out!”
Technology Is Always Changing: Don’t Fail to Meet Your Attendees’ Expectations
One of the biggest mistakes many event technology software vendors make is failing to keep their products up to current technological standards. A floor plan, mobile app, event website, or even a content management system may have been top-notch three years ago, but if no big changes with real impact have been made in that time, then it’s more than likely the product is now less than stellar.
CadmiumCD likes making constant updates to its event technology and conference management system so our products can keep up with trends, perform to the highest technology standards possible, and deliver the best possible user experience for event planners and conference attendees. We think delivering great updates is crucial for the happiness of our users and the overall health of event technology in the meetings industry at large.
Today, there are three big factors that make or break an app. Many technologies and trends are no longer supported by the majority of users and so the event technology software vendors that still run their products on these principles are destined for failure, dragging their users’ down with them. Here are the three biggest warning signs that the software you’re looking at will make or break your event:
Strike 1: Does the vendor use Flash technology, or other plugins?
Flash technology is no longer supported by the majority of users. On computers, it must be downloaded and continuously updated, providing a slow, frustrating experience for your attendees.
According to W3C, the leading experts on web development, flash is out for a reason. They developed HTML5 because they wanted a better, more efficient web that was self-contained. Read more about that here.
Strike 2: Does the event technology work on all available platforms?
Your event planning team and your meeting’s attendees work in their own individual ways. Some of them prefer using Mac, some Windows, others use tablets or smartphones. If they’re a mobile worker there are a variety of platforms for that as well. Blackberry, Windows Phones, iOS iPhones, Androids. The list goes on and on.
That’s why it’s important to provide users’ with options and make your mobile app, floor plan, confernece management system and any other software associated with your organization available on every platform.
Strike 3: Is your event website, floor plan, and any other software your event planners or attendees will use, made with responsive design?
Responsive design helps ensure that everyone can access your association’s or event’s content. You may not be able to afford to create a mobile app for Blackberry users for example. It wouldn’t make sense to spend the money on that because only 1% of your attendees own Blackberrys.
But you may have the budget for an iOS and Android app, which the majority of your attendees use anyway. Having a responsive website for your conference as well will ensure that those Blackberry users can still access everything you have to offer.
These are only a few of the many meetings technology cliches out there. Can you turn a phrase and tell us about some challenges caused by outdated software you’ve run into? Get in on the discussion on Twitter or LinkedIn, or leave a comment below. We can’t wait to hear what you have to say!
If you’d like to learn about our own solutions for solving these problems, read our white paper, “The Most Influential Advances in Event Technology Currently Shaping the Conference Industry”.