Are Events Really Worth it?

If you’ve attended a large conference or small internal event recently it’s highly likely you came away with some level of disappointment or frustration, or were just generally underwhelmed by the whole experience and questioning of whether it was a good use of your time. It’s the age old question with events. Are they really worth it?

Your myriad of frustration often manifests itself pre, during and post an event in failed attempts to connect with people and interact effectively with the event. You want to attend the best sessions, create a personal schedule, be kept up to date with itinerary changes, ask burning questions, review presentations or documents ahead of time, give live feedback, and connect with new and existing contacts to further your business and personal goals. But more often than not, it just doesn’t work out.

In the digital world of today this should not be the case, however it remains a challenge for one main reason: The significant majority (>90%) of meetings and events persist with paper as their key communication form, and ignore the opportunity to connect with you on the device you are glued almost all of the time — your smartphone. Bonkers right? A year ago Ofcom pointed out that the UK is now a smartphone society. It’s now mid 2016 but it could easily be mid 1916 in the events industry!

Number of smartphone users in the United Kingdom from 2011 to 2018 (in millions). Courtesy of Statista

Event professionals however are not actually ignorant to the ubiquity of the smartphone, but many question the place of the smartphone at events, a world that is traditionally all about real-life human interaction. In reality they are scared and confused about how to evolve from an analogue world to one where digital technologies enhance (rather than replace) the real-life human interaction that is so critical to every event. Julius Solaris of Event Manager Blog, cuts to the chase in a recent blog post entitled “Kiss Kiss”.

At Guidebook, we understand that evolving from paper to mobile is a pretty scary leap to the uninitiated. However in order for events to be worth it, it is critical for attendees to meaningfully engage with each other, for event organisers to measure effectiveness and iterate events based on data rather than gut feel. Over 40,000 events have deployed on our platform to date, from over 100 countries, so it doesn’t need to be that scary.

Nathan Meyer of IE Group in London for example used Guidebook to make the leap from paper to mobile at 80 global events in one fowl swoop, and will be speaking at our next event about that experience.

If you know someone that would benefit from a few pointers from the experts, network with people with similar challenges and have a desire to ‘go mobile’, then they should join us at one of our quarterly workshops.

Or perhaps that person is you?

Next event: Thursday Sept 8th, 2016

Where: 41 Portland Place, London W1B 1QH

Guest Speaker: Nathan Meyer IE Group

What’s included: Breakfast, industry speaker, app building workshop, networking

What’s the ROI: You’ll build an app for free yourself, that you will publish on the app stores and be able to show off to your colleagues and friends — all in a morning!

Cost: Free £0, just your time.

How to get involved: click here

There are limited places, but we’ll try and squeeze everyone in that pre-registers.

It’s high time more events were really worth it!