Any and all Events should have some kind of a meaningful mobile device management policy, enabling your speakers and others to feel like they are not competing with a room full of unengaged attendees. Our recommendations include these top ten items:
1) Let your attendees know in advance via marketing materials that you will have some kind of mobile device usage policies in place for your Event or Conference and that they will be required to support these policies (phrased diplomatically of course).
2) Discuss potential mobile device management policies with your executive management team 2-3 months in advance, enabling you to convey these via your marketing materials.
3) To enable support with your attendees, set up some kind of a charging station and check in station to motivate your attendees to check in their smartphones and tablets – this will be a daunting task for some, so be prepared for push back.
4) Make a presentation early in the event (opening bell) and talk about your focus on not disrupting the speakers and presenters – ensuring all attendees have a great experience at your conference. You are trying to garner support of course.
5) If some attendees insist on keeping their smartphones ask them to set their ringers on vibrate mode and ask them to please step out of the room prior to speaking with anyone
6) Understand that some individuals will not play by the rules and if they disrupt your conference or event by insisting on using a smartphone during a speaker’s presentation gently escort them out of the room, without being offensive. But, let them know they are creating a less than positive experience for others around them.
7) If your event or conference lends itself well to smartphone usage, there is nothing wrong with integrating your attendee’s interaction with and participation in the meeting – Twitter Hashtags coupled with an IT System and Display that shows participation via Hashtags shared by the presenter can be a great way to involve your attendees in the conference.
8) You can also utilize and leverage text messages in your Event or Conference by sharing a common account that you have set up prior to the conference.
9) Be creative at the front end of your conference via your marketing materials and as your attendees what they think your Smartphone policy and procedures should be for the event and remind them of their input at the front end of your conference to get their buy in and support for your mobile policies for your event.