Be it a sport event, concert, television show or some other occasion, organisers have always looked for new ways through which they can engage their audience. It is not enough anymore to feed information to a passive audience but essential that they feel engaged in the occasion. Mobile technology is one effective way of achieving this. Using mobile marketing to help promote events is not a new practice but it is one that will continue to evolve and improve. With the emergence of smart phones capable of an extraordinary range of functions, the future integration of mobile technology into organised events is certainly exciting.
Television has proved to be an effective user mobile technology as a way to further engage its audience. Shows such as American Idol who allow viewers to vote for their favourite contestants have been at the forefront of mobile use on television. Certainly, Idol owes its consistent number one rating in part to its engagement of viewers in allowing them to decide each season’s winner.
The popularity of using mobile technology in television has easily translated to live events. As a way of filling the time between matches and keeping it’s audience involved in the proceedings, the replay screen at this year’s US Open tennis tournament frequently displayed messages that patrons could respond to by SMS. Amongst other things, the crowd was asked to vote for correct options in fact or fiction games, answer trivia questions or even vote for the song they most wanted to hear played over the PA system. The idea proved such a success that the organisers are already looking for new and exciting ways that mobile technology could be developed for future events.
The rapid emergence of smart phones is perhaps the biggest development in the way mobile technology is and will be used in events. One of the central features of smart phones is their ability to run a diverse array of specially made applications. This has lead organisers to create their own downloadable applications that tie into their events. The US Open previously mentioned is one example of this where it created an application that would provide users with live scoring and tournament information.
The online features of smart phones will also herald significant developments in event promotion. Recently, the Red Bull Air Race used the social networking service, Whrrl, to create its own online society. Because Whrrl makes can take account of a users location when they are using a mobile to access it, the Red Bull society was able to provide those who joined up with exclusive content and event updates that was relevant to their location.
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