By Seth Kaplan
RISMEDIA, October 4, 2010—Fall is upon us, and here at Mobile Real Estate ID, that means tradeshow season. Now through the end of the year is when a number of state associations, franchises and the National Association of Realtors host their annual conventions and expos. Last year, the NAR incorporated mobile into its expo by creating an app that attendees could download through the iTunes store. This year a number of other conventions and expos are going Mobile as well, allowing attendees to access pertinent information right from the palm of their hand.
In today’s environment, especially within the real estate industry, it is more important than ever that a convention provide mobile access to the information attendees need. There are a number of reasons why, the first and most explicit is that attendees expect to be able to access that information on their mobile devices! With the advancements that have been made in wireless networks as well handsets, the majority of attendees have sophisticated web browsers on their mobile devices that are capable of accessing this information. Second, every convention attendee will have their mobile device on their person throughout the entire event. This provides the host organization a great way to reach attendees in real time to inform them of the various events, sessions, and meetings that are taking place.
As I mentioned, NAR took the initiative to go mobile last year, but didn’t do it in a manner that benefited all attendees (it wasn’t phone agnostic). By creating an app that needed to be downloaded through the iTunes store, they alienated all attendees who did not have an iPhone. The best way for host organizations to provide attendees access to convention information is to create a mobile enabled website. A site of this nature can be accessed through the same URL as the traditional online convention website and give all attendees who have an Internet phone the information they want and need on the go. In addition, host organizations should allow attendees the option to receive text alerts. This will give the attendees who opt in the ability to receive real-time alerts regarding what is going on while they are at the conference via text message.
Two conferences that I will be attending this year have both employed mobile engagement strategies along these lines for the benefit of their attendees: the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® EXPO and EXIT Realty Convention. Both conventions will feature a fully mobile-enabled website that attendees can access right from their Mobile Device. The URLs are the same as the traditional online conference website URLs – for the C.A.R. Expo visit http://expo.car.org from any phone with Internet, and http://m.exitconv.com for the Exit Realty Convention. The C.A.R. site has the Gateway Application that can be downloaded to attendees’ phones for easy access. In addition, both prior to and during the conference, registered attendees will be able to receive real-time alerts about the events going on at the event.
I applaud both organizations for recognizing the importance of mobile technology in the real estate space and integrating it into their most important annual event. By doing so they are aiding in the subtle mobile education of their members and attendees. Today more than ever before Mobile technology is and will continue to play a major role in how real estate consumers access information. The quicker and more abundant the access to that technology becomes for real estate agents, the better the industry will be for it.
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