i was inadvertently a meetings dinosaur!


I was recently at the Corporate Meetings Summit hosted by Cvent, which is an event technology company. Prior to the conference, attendees were not so subtly reminded to ‘download the app.’  Not surprising, right? Cvent recently acquired Crowd Compass and offers mobile apps in house now, plus apps just jive with the whole “future of the meetings industry” warm fuzzies that companies like Cvent (and just about everyone) are always talking about.

Here’s the issue though: I tried to download the app and it wouldn’t work!

I tried to download it before I even left for the conference, like a dutiful attendee. I tried several times and it just wouldn’t load right on my phone.

No biggie though, I thought. I”ll just pick up a paper schedule on-site.

Or so I thought!

Joke was on me! Cvent didn’t offer paper schedules – because they wanted everyone to use the app! It became a bit of a running joke throughout the whole conference – “The future is digital. Mobile apps are the future. Don’t be a meetings dinosaur – download the app!”

But what if your guests can’t download the app!

I’m in favor of any technology (mobile apps included) being used to enhance meetings when it makes sense. But you have to know your group and you have to properly invest in the tech to make sure it works.

I was able to eventually download the conference app. Cvent had a mobile app help desk (staffed with a slightly condescending man who asked me ‘Well, do you use apps? Have you ever downloaded one before?” Which I bristled at… I’ve been a little age sensitive ever since Connect Magazine listed me as 37 instead of 27.)

I wasn’t blown away by the app. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great. The push notifications killed my battery, which was a bummer.

What are your thoughts on mobile apps? As a planner, do you use them for your events? As an events enthusiast, do you like using mobile apps? What makes or breaks an app for you?


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