Medical meetings feature cutting edge research, valuable continuing education sessions, and exhibit halls filled with the latest treatments, equipment, and services. They are meticulously planned to give attendees an experience they can’t get anywhere else. Yet, when it comes to the event website, the experience can be frustrating at best.
Take a look at your meeting website on your smartphone or tablet. Try to search through sessions and abstracts on a mobile device. It’s not so easy is it? You probably have to pinch and scroll to see the details.
Now, try to register for your event on your smartphone. How long did it take before you were completely frustrated?
Your Attendee Base Has Gone Mobile
Often I hear healthcare meeting organizers say their attendees can simply move to their desktop to register and find the information they need. Or they say no one is using their smartphone or tablet to register. But the fact is your attendee base is a very mobile group.
According to a March 2015 Kantar Media study, more than eight in ten doctors use their smartphones for work and 56 percent use tablets. A January 2015 MedData Group study, shows physicians are using their mobile devices to access content. Over half the doctors surveyed are reading specialty-specific/clinical content and Pharmaceutical information. They are also reading practice management articles and CME articles.
Nuance conducted a survey of 3,000 patients in the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom found that 69 percent of patients have noticed an increase in the amount of mobile technology doctors use. It’s time healthcare event organizers started noticing as well.
Physicians and other healthcare workers are going from exam room to exam room with their mobile device in hand. They are also moving between their practice and the hospital regularly and use their mobile device to stay connected. It just stands to reason then, that they are using those devices to access your meeting site. Or, at least they would like to.
Google Has Thrown Down the Gauntlet
If an improved attendee experience isn’t enough incentive to create a mobile-friendly event website, perhaps this bit of information will convince you.
Google introduced a new mobile-friendly label on searches done on a smartphone. That label is meant to help smartphone users find mobile friendly content, but it’s just a first step. Google says they are experimenting with the mobile friendly criteria as a way to rank search results.
What criteria is Google looking for?
• Sites that avoid software that is not mobile friendly (e.g. Flash).
• Sites that you can read without zooming in.
• Sites that size content to fit the screen without the need to scroll horizontally.
• Sites with links far enough apart, so viewers do not accidentally tap on the wrong one.
MarketMyShow websites ensure that your event information is easy to navigate, and your registration process is mobile friendly. Navigation menus and buttons are easy to click on. The mobile-friendly forms make it easy for attendees to enter information.
But it’s not just the pre-show process that is made easier for the attendee. Once on-site, that smooth registration process continues with self-check-in and badge printing.
The folks at Data Connect would be happy to give you a demo so you can see first hand how a mobile friendly website can improve your attendees experience and help you manage your event.
If you are going to be at HCEA in Denver, June 20-23, stop by their booth (#806) and they will walk you through their system in person.