Mobile first – but when?

“By 2016/2017 we will see whether the trend toward mobile only has come to fruition,” says Kai Hattendorf, head of Messe Frankfurt‘s Digital Business division. “Specific apps for events or time-limited use at trade fairs are already becoming more and more important. Many visitors of Messe Frankfurt trade fairs are already using apps more intensively than the conventional websites”. Ultimately, it is just much more convenient to access interactive floor plans and exhibitor catalogues on a smartphone to, than to haul them around in paper form.

In 2013, 70,818 app downloads were registered for all trade fairs in Frankfurt, and last year this number had already increased to 105,764, which is an increase of 49 percent within a single year. This is particularly impressive in light of the fact that users are much less willing to install new apps on their smartphones. According to as study conducted by the market research company comScore, two-thirds of the almost 40 million smartphone owners in Germany do not install any more new apps on their devices. If new apps are in fact installed, they are almost never used, as determined by Localytics.

These very different tendencies clearly indicate the importance of a sustainable mobile strategy with true added value. An app which is used as an indirect marketing instrument can only be successful if they offer a level of service and added value similar to Messe Frankfurt’s apps and are continually developed further. The steadily increasing technical potential of the devices provides an increasingly wider spectrum of options for using this potential.

In light of this fact, other mobile technologies such as NFC or iBeacon will gain ground this year.

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