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3 Essential Lessons Every #EventProf Must Learn from Disney

Blair Pettrey

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Prior to Disney Land’s grand opening in 1958, there were many great successes (and failures) on Walt Disney’s part. From numerous successful animated films such as Steamboat Willy (introducing the now iconic Mickey Mouse), Bambi, and Pinocchio. And we’ve all heard of the many hardships Walt Disney faced – the many shutdowns, letdowns, and obstacles he had to overcome before his magic could be shared with the world.

Flash forward sixty years and many stories and films, characters and theme parks, fans and memories later – Disney continues to be an iconic favorite among both children and adults in the United States, but now across the world. 

How does Disney continue to delight their fans from yesteryear while being progressive enough that their brand is continuously ten steps on the forefront for the newer fans – all while delivering the same story and message?

As said: “Although Disney has been gone for many years, his company is still at the forefront of technological evolution. Yet, it was his marketing genius that set him and his company apart from everybody else.”

You see, Walt Disney and the events industry are a lot a like…

1. Technology Changes

Disney Lessons: Technology changesTwenty years ago, when attendees went to an event, they never imagined that they would be using a device in the palm of their hands that could not only replace their event program, but could also increase event engagement, could have a leader board, networking and attendee matchmaking, and even taking ‘typical activities’ and making them fun through event gamification. Basically, attendees had no idea what a mobile event app was – and yet here, in 2016, when we attend events, mobile event apps are assumed, if not expected.

Gradually with time, more and more it became accepted, until it was expected that mobile event apps were the norm at events.

2. Experience Changes

Disney Lessons: Experience changesTwenty years ago, at those same events where attendees held those bulky paper programs, tried to keep track of the dozens of business cards they had collected from others at the event as well as the exhibitor’s fliers and swag, event professionals would stand in the back of the smoke filled hotel conference room shushing the attendees as ‘the speaker’ with ‘the microphone’ spoke and attendees listened. How attendees experience events has changed – what was once a sit and listen only experience, has become an come and engage experience.

Gradually with time, the once sit and listen experience shifted to the come and engage experience.

Stories May Grow, But Shouldn't Change

Disney Lessons: Stories don't changeWhile the way in which attendees experience, engage, and interact at events has shifted, the messaging has not – just like Disney – which is why the events industry is one of the strongest industries alive, and projected to continue to grow even larger. The story, the purpose, the message - it may grow or alter - but as Disney has proven, it should never truly change.

Attendees attend events, meetings, conferences, and seminars with a purpose. Whether it’s to learn, network, grow, or a multitude of other reasons – there will always be a reason for events. There will always be a way to nurture yesteryear, excite tomorrow, and delight them both together on the journey together.

Hint: MeetingPlay's Gen3

That’s where MeetingPlay’s Gen3 comes in - the next generation of event technology.

In the past, MeetingPlay has prided ourselves as being the most engaging mobile event app. However, we knew we could take the most engaging mobile event app – and make it even better – something that attendees wanted and craved, that event planners needed, and all before either knew they even needed or wanted it.

MeetingPlay’s Gen3 mobile event apps – while still the most engaging mobile event apps – are taking the entire event app and transforming it into the most personalized experience an attendee could have within an event app.

Personalized content, in the palm of attendees hands - from first in the industry, proprietary algorithms. What does that mean? No matter the size of an event - 100 attendees or 50,000 attendees - every attendees experience within their mobile event app is completely custom, relevant and specific - aka desirable. Every attendee experience within your event app is personalized, engaging them and exciting them.

What Will Gen3 Mean for Event Professionals?

MeetingPlay’s Gen3 roll out means engaged attendees. It means higher than ever event app adoption rates. It means better than ever, and more advanced than ever, real time reporting. It means sponsor opportunities that have never existed within mobile event apps before, and thus a higher ROI than ever before. It means 30 additional features – as this is just the beginning.

Want to learn more about MeetingPlays next generation of mobile event apps and the official launch of gen3? 

Stay tuned #gen3iscoming!