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Insight On The Benefits Of Emerging Technology

Mobile App Company Shares Insight On The Benefits Of This Emerging Technology

By Marlane Bundock

CannonKerry Cannon Jr., CEO of mobile app company iM@ Inc., which specializes in creating smartphone apps for meetings, conferences and events, shared his insight with ConventionSouth on this emerging technology in this online exclusive Q&A.

What’s the neatest function of an app for a meeting?

One of the most unique aspects of our program, is that we incorporate all the info that a meeting attendee might need in one platform. It’s kind of like a “mobile Swiss army knife” for meeting attendees. The apps include event info, including:

- schedules,
- speakers,
- shuttle bus routes,
- announcements,
- floor plans,
- exhibitor directory and more.

The apps also include information about the local area, including:

- host hotels,
- dining,
- shopping,
- transportation,
- entertainment,
- coupons,
- flight status,
- weather,
- traffic and more.

And, they include information about the meeting venue, including:

-facility maps,
-business services and more.

Our content management system is incredibly flexible, so that a meeting organizer can deploy exactly the information they want their attendees to have.

Another unique aspect is that iM@ primarily builds “mobile web applications” that requires no download or app store approval, and will run on ANY smart phone or connected mobile device. That is a huge benefit to the organizer in terms of development costs while providing maximum reach to exhibitors and attendees .

Our integrated text messaging capability is great for attendees, exhibitors and organizers. Attendees can opt in to receive messages, special offers, announcements (like room or booth changes) etc., so that they have the most current info. Exhibitors/sponsors can ask attendees to get them to come meet with them (“Come to =he Carnival Cruises booth #234 to meet the Captain of the Love Boat, and enter to win a 7 day cruise…”). The response to these messages and resulting booth traffic have delighted every exhibitor that has participated.

We also offer registration integration, were we can integrate with virtually all conference registration processes, capturing mobile number, carrier, and opt-in messaging permission as part of the event registration process.

There is a “share” button on every page of our apps. A user simply clicks the button, inputs their friend’s mobile number and their name. The friend immediately receives a text message that says “Your friend [name] is sharing this mobile app with you… click here ________”

How do apps like yours increase the attendee experience?

Our apps make it very simple for the attendee to access all the information they might need—about the event, the destination, sponsors, exhibitors, or the venue—all in one convenient place. No hassling with fold out maps, or big clunky printed guide books (that are printed weeks before the event and may not have the most current info.)

The text messaging is particularly valuable for attendees. By opting in to receive special announcements, they are kept apprised of up-to-the-minute show developments, and can receive valuable offers and incentives from exhibitors who’d like to meet with =hem.

A rich compliment of valuable special offers from local merchants specifically for meeting participants enhances their experience while in-town”.

Attendees leave with a convenient record of their show experience and exhibitor info for post-show follow-up and reference. We usually leave the apps live for months after the event.

What returns on investment does the app offer meeting organizers and planners?

We come out of the event / tradeshow and tourism industries. Our team has run, sold, managed and started major events. We understand what makes a successful event, and we understand the pressure an event organizers to maximize revenue, and minimize costs.

In terms of revenue optimization, IM@ doesn’t just provide technology. We actually work directly with show organizers, exhibitors and sponsors—handling sales and marketing of sponsorships, mobile advertising on the app, messaging. We actually help you generate the revenue that will the more than cover the costs of deploying mobile event guide. In just about every app we’ve developed, the show organizer actually generated significant surplus revenue over and above our development and hosting/setup fees.

Another way our platform maximizes revenue is from last minute exhibitors. Often the printed show booklet goes to press a month before the show. But the event sales team is still trying to sell booths to exhibitors who might be hesitant to exhibit if they will not =e featured in the show program. Our mobile guide allows the event staff to include exhibitors in the mobile show guide right up until the way of the show!

As for cost cutting – If an event organizer can reduce the press run of printed guide booklets by 50% because people can now access =he info on their phones, they stand to save a tremendous amount of money. We’ve had a few events where there was no printed guide booklet at all!

Do you have a testimonial from a meeting planner?

As a tradeshow and conference producer, we are always looking for innovative ways to engage our audience and were excited to introduce mobile technology to this year’s program. The response to IM@’s applications exceeded our expectations in every way! Clients and attendees alike were thrilled to have content, updates and exciting announcements in the palm of their hands and were able to make the most out of their experience. The team at IM@ did an impressive job on educating users (and us) on all the functionalities – thank you for making our first initiative in the mobile marketing world a successful one!

-Jennifer Fernandez, senior manager, Luxury Travel Expo

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