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3 Ways to Tap into Tablets for Events
Monday, June 11th, 2012 | Comments | Latest Posts

Bloomsday event for tabletIt’s widely noted that media sales–books, music, and movies alike–are what’s allowing Amazon to sell the full-color Kindle Fire for less than it costs to manufacture. And Jeff Bezos’ gamble on content sales has paid off, netting the company a 34% increase in revenue in Q1 2012, particularly impressive in a quarter directly following major holiday sales. The growth was driven largely by a 44% increase in electronics (including Kindle) sales and a 16% increase in media sales.

Supporting the idea that media spend will continue to grow among tablet users, recent comScore research found that more than half of tablet users watched video in April 2012, and tablet users are three times more likely than smartphone users to watch video on their devices. Additionally, tablet users view video frequently: nearly 20% watch video content on their tablet devices weekly and 10% daily.

Just as the iPod was a device that produced major music sales for Apple, the Kindle Fire is a device that will support significant media sales for Amazon. So how, if at all, can event organizers create a similar dedicated market for their event-based content? In the case of events, your event itself is your “hardware.” Since you probably have only a few events per year, that’s far fewer opportunities than the daily interactions an iPod or Kindle can create. But you can take advantage of habituated device usage by ensuring that content perfectly tailored to a device is available in familiar channels. Here are three ways to optimize tablet use for your event.

1. Have a Tablet-Friendly Event Website

If your event website doesn’t look good on a tablet, people won’t use it on one. But if people can follow along with the social media conversation and conference content updates on their tablet, they will. The tablet is the perfect conference device–less bulky and intrusive than a laptop, yet more user-friendly than a mobile device for more involved reading and writing. Be sure to tablet optimize all aspects of your site, including video, keeping in mind that Flash does not work on many tablets.

2. Create a Podcast Series

Creating an ongoing podcast series (or video postcast series, if you’re daring) may seem daunting, if your goal is to create fresh content each time. However, transforming your individual event sessions into a podcast series that you release over time is a perfect re-use of your event collateral. This offers the chance to get in touch with your attendees week after week (or month after month), reinforcing your event’s brand and whetting the appetite for next year’s session. The O’Reilly Tools of Change (TOC) conference series is currently doing an impressive job of this with email newsletters highlighting past TOC talks. Your video podcast will look great on a tablet, but offer an audio version as well in case folks just want to listen during their workout or morning commute.

3. Have a Tablet Giveaway

Nothing sparks interest like a giveaway! Just as Amazon is essentially “giving” away Kindle Fires at low prices to achieve device lock-in, you can give away tablets–potentially pre-loaded with select apps and shareable content–to help your audience consume and share conference content more easily. Once your lucky winner has a tablet in hand, he or she is not likely to give it up.

So those are three ways to use tablets for events to encourage interaction and prolong the life of conference content. What are some of the ways you’re using tablets for events and conferences?

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