Marketers, I hate to break it to you, but most of your events suck.

First thing you can do is stop with the whining, complaining and outright denial.  Either go read another article somewhere else (I’ll even give you some suggestions in bold print right here), or suck it up and finish listening to my suggestions based on your current behavior.  Right now, it’s highly likely that your events suck and I’m going to tell you how to fix that little problem.

[LISTEN: Trade Shows & Events Using Mobile Notifications – PODCAST EPISODE]

We’re freshly back from a good sized tradeshow – 18,000 people or so, 3 days, Las Vegas.  What a train wreck.  I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Let me dissect it for you.

  1.  Show promoters had zero interactivity.  Sending out an email two days before the show starts suggesting the people sign up for mobile updates?  Blah.
  2.  Show sponsors with events did basically a terrible job of promoting them.  Heck, there was only one party listed as an official after party, even though the exhibitor/attendee login section of the show website had a submission form you could have used for free.
  3.  Target demographics?  VIP lounges?  Any of that ring a bell?

Reasonably speaking, if you are a trade show producer, or any kind of events planner and you do not have some sort of mobile notifications component to your event planning and execution, you are probably the one that sucks.

Why do you need mobile notifications?

Two reasons, really.

First one – things go wrong.  It never fails that someone misses their flight and can’t be on a panel or give a keynote.  Or they go into labor or get hit by a bus.   Odds are that is going to happen to you at least once during every multiday event you produce.

[DOWNLOAD: Free iBeacon worksheet – learn how to use them at your event- FREE WORKSHEET]

Wouldn’t it be nice to let the attendees know what’s going on?  I was at a conference once where the fire alarm went off, the building had to be evacuated and we all stood around for nearly an hour waiting to get the building cleared.

The poor girl who was supposed to be speaking got rescheduled to the end of the day.  The people that tried to hear her speak in the morning were treated to no one speaking during that 15 minute block before the next speaker came on, no one showed up for the girls’ presentation and a lot of hurt feelings ensued.

This would not have happened with mobile notifications.

Second one –  people need to be reminded.  Like constantly, every moment of nearly every day, someone has to remind you to do something.  Take out the trash, pay your light bill, do your homework, pick your kid up from dance class, whatever.

What better way to remind all the people that are going to want to attend your event that you’re having an event?  Or to remind the ones that showed up last time that you’re about to open up signups for the next event?  Or to give your sponsors some extra exposure (and maybe charge them more for doing so) in between shows…  the list is long, we’ve written about it before, and nothing changes, other than your events keep sucking because you won’t get with the plan.

Whatever.  As more industries mature, eat what you kill is becoming more relevant.  Sponsors won’t keep spending money on events without a return.  Nor should they. 

Now’s your chance to shine, little star.

I don’t care if you use our platform or not…  ok, that’s kind of a lie, but bear with me until I hit you with the real sales pitch.

You need to be using a real mobile product that actually helps you do something with your business.   SMS or MMS is ok, but those are pretty much one time use cases that don’t have legs, longevity or much customization.

So that leaves you with an app, or a mobile wallet ad.  Obviously, since the name of this particular web site has both mobile and wallet in it, you can bet that I like mobile wallet ads over almost any other type of mobile notification or engagement product.  Let’s face it, we’re not playing Two Dots here, we just want to tell people what’s going on, as cheaply, easily, and efficiently as possible.

Sales pitch – this is a site about mobile, wallets, and marketing.  Do the math.  If you don’t understand, let me know and I’ll help you figure it out.