This morning we hosted a webinar titled THE POWER OF MOBILE: Harnessing the Power of Mobile for Your Venue. CEO Lynne King Smith was joined by guest presenters Ben Cash, Founder of Blue Key Inc. and Kevin Anderson, VP of Business Development at Appetize.

Read the highlights here, or watch the full video below:

1. Mobile Friendliness and Responsive Design

Ben started off the talk with an overview of what “mobile friendliness” means, and how to make sure your site complies. Americans spend an average of 147 minutes watching tv, 103 on laptops/desktops, 151 on smartphones, and 43 on tablets, which means that time spent on mobile devices has now outstripped time spent watching television. Now more than ever, it’s time to make sure that you’re appealing to the mobile customer by making your site friendly. And what does being mobile friendly mean? Being human friendly.

“Dynamic menus are hard to use on mobile with human fingers,” Ben points out. “Using a responsive design that compresses the menus when used on a smaller device makes it easier to use.”

Ben shares the meaning of Responsive Design: A rearranging and resizing of elements on the page between desktop, tablet and mobile. That means making sure that your site is constantly adapting to the size of the device. With clever additions like allowing the small contact info at the bottom of a page to become a clickable button, or creating menus that compress easily for mobile use, you increase the mobile friendliness of your site.

You can test the mobile friendliness of your site by taking the Google mobile friendliness test. You can also use Responsinator to see how your site looks on different operating systems and devices.

Venues have the choice of three options for connecting with mobile users: a native app, a hybrid app, and responsive design—the latter of which is the least expensive, and quickest to build.

2. To App or Not to App?

Lynne King Smith took over to talk about the benefits of building an app for your venue. Apps give you the chance to send push notifications to your buyers, which you can use to announce presales and offers. Push notifications are faster than email and boast a higher delivery rate.

“Venue apps also allow patrons to connect directly to social sites, check in directly from the app, and earn rewards,” she added. “At venues that use a feature like Appetize, having an app can allow patrons to pre-buy concessions with easy payment and integrated ordering.”

Kevin Anderson of Appetize has more to add. “Venue apps that allow patrons to engage in the mobile app and even order from their seats is a win/win scenario: it provides a better fan experience for your customer and increases revenue for the venue.”

Ben chimes in with the beauty of being able to order the next round of beers at a concert without having to leave your seat. Ordering from your app allows you to stay in your seat and have food and drinks delivered to you, so you don’t miss that next great song/play/act.

Lynne adds that “people often want one company to do everything—but today’s technology allows companies to specialize, then integrate together on different platforms.”
Another benefit of going mobile is a better understanding of your patrons or fans. “Apps allow you to interact with the ‘anonymous fan’ – the person attending the event who may not have purchased the ticket,” says Lynne.

3. TicketForce’s New Responsive Design

Finishing up the webinar was a presentation by Lynne highlighting the new, responsive design of the TicketForce ticketing site.

“TicketForce clients (and future clients) are now able to benefit from responsive design, as we are completely optimized for any size device.”

We’ve also added a feature so that mobile users can better select their seats – allowing them to zoom in or out on the seat selection page without using the pinch feature.

Donations and memberships are also easier to select and purchase on mobile devices with responsive design.

That’s it for THE POWER OF MOBILE webinar highlights. We hope you have a better understanding of connecting with your clients on mobile devices. Thanks to Ben Cash at Blue Key Inc. and Kevin Anderson at Appetize for their contributions to the webinar!

Watch the entire webinar below.