A new survey shows that while small businesses and nonprofits plan to use more mobile technology to market events next year, there’s a sizable gap between what they’d like to do and what they feel they’re skilled enough to do.

The survey, conducted in September by EventSpot from Constant Contact, received 299 responses from a range of business-to-business, business-to-consumer and nonprofit companies. Of those polled, 81 percent expect to use more mobile technology in 2013, but 90 percent said they’d like to learn how to leverage the technology for their events.

Considerable training needs to occur before we’ll see widespread adoption, Chris Litster, vice president and general manager of EventSpot, said in a statement.

Here’s a closer look at survey results:

  • 16 percent of respondents said they already distribute event content to a registrant’s mobile device. Event schedules are sent by the highest percentage, white papers by the lowest. Other content distributed includes session descriptions, speaker biographies and presentation slide decks.
  • 15 percent use a smartphone always or frequently for mobile registration and payment, posting event insights or comments to social networks, save-the-date notifications, check-in apps, feedback and event schedules.
  • 61 percent do not use smartphones.
  • 49 percent plan to begin using smartphones for mobile registration and collecting social media comments.
  • 23 percent plan to start sending save-the-date notifications.
  • 25 percent plan to provide event schedules via a mobile app.
  • 22 percent plan to offer a mobile check-in app.
  • 17 percent plan to engage with attendees by posting event insights or comments to social networks.

The survey showed that the power of social media to promote events and engage attendees is gaining momentum among event planners:

  • 23 percent promote events using a hashtag.
  • 26 percent plan to promote events using a hashtag.
  • 27 percent use Pinterest, with 18 percent having created a specific board for attendees to post on.

Finally, for the 13 percent of surveyed planners who said they were not interested in, or had no opinion about, using smartphones for future events, a common anecdotal theme was, “The smartphone I use is my personal phone and not a work phone, and I don’t want to use my personal phone for business.” Readability was also a concern.

If you’re among those who want to build your skills, check out this Constant Contact eBook, it’s free.