Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

October 07 2013

What Meeting Planners Can Learn from the New iPhone

By David McMillin

apple logo

Your attendees probably purchased one. Your kids probably asked for one. You may have even waited in line to buy one, too. The “one” refers to the new iPhone, which came in two models.

Apple may be an electronics company, but the organization offers valuable lessons for just about anyone involved in business. With the new smartphone’s release in the rearview, it’s time to take a look at what meeting planners can learn from Apple and its latest product launch.

Can a focus on innovation come back to haunt you?

A recent article from David Pogue, New York Times columnist and a featured speaker at PCMA’s 2014 Convening Leaders, questions whether Apple’s typical history-making moves are making its future more difficult.

“Apple may have set its own bar for innovation too high,” Pogue writes. “Year after year, Steve Jobs used to blow our minds with products we didn’t know we wanted. Now, when the hardware revisions are minor each year, we’re disappointed.”

This is a particularly valuable question for meeting planners to consider. While a complete overhaul of a meeting’s design may wow attendees, be careful. They may want that one-time “wow” factor to become a year-after-year occurrence, which can put serious pressure on planners and their budgets.

SEE ALSO: Disruptive Tech - What’s New, What’s Coming & How It Will Change Everything

Does a lower price make a product seem less valuable? 

Part of Apple’s strategy with the latest launch seemed to be utilizing a more affordable model to attract a wider audience. While initial reports of the launch pegged sales at a whopping 9 million phones sold, what retailers are doing with that cheaper model is making some business experts wonder if Apple is losing its mojo. Take a look at the headline from a recent Los Angeles Times article: “Is the iPhone 5C struggling to sell? Wal-Mart cuts prices to $45.”

The iPhone 5C may, in fact, be selling very well. Still, critics are making assumptions based on the price. Sweetening the deal with an offer or early-bird discount can be very helpful, but attendees could easily draw the same type of conclusions. It’s important to be cautious about giving too much of a deal to attendees for fear of making it look like an item on a clearance rack in a department store. Make sure the price tag adequately shows the real value of the program.

Are you ready for the new wave of technology?

Now, for the obvious takeaway: technology is continuing to change at an insanely fast pace. Pogue highlights the fact that the chip in the 5S is twice as fast as before, along with a redesigned camera and a secure fingerprint sensor unlocking system. While the outside of the new iPhone may look very similar to past models, it’s clear that Apple is hard at work revolutionizing what’s behind the screen.

Other device designers will be working to keep up with that pace, and that means that attendees will be bringing more powerful devices that do more. Translation: they’ll be using more bandwidth at your next meeting.

SEE ALSO: 5 Reasons Why Free Wi-Fi Might Not Be the Best Deal

Do you have the new iPhone? How do you think it might impact your attendees and the continuing evolution of technology at your meeting?

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