Free Wi-Fi was one of the perks hosted buyers enjoyed at the 2011 IMEX Frankfurt conference, but 72 percent of them used an iPhone to access it, 23 percent used an iPad, and only nine percent used a BlackBerry. That’s a dramatic shift from last year’s smartphone use, when BlackBerry held the edge (47 percent of users vs. 31 percent on an iPhone).
And the iPhone users might be more mobile-savvy. Of the attendees who downloaded the conference app, 80 percent had iPhones.
Post-conference, IMEX surveyed 838 international meeting and travel buyers on their views and use of social media. The 2011 IMEX in Frankfurt Hosted Buyer Social Media Survey found that professional use of social media has increased exponentially over the past year.
Seventy-one percent reported using Facebook for either networking or promotional business purposes, an 11 percent increase over last year. Professional Twitter use showed the most growth. The percentage of people using it jumped from 27 percent in 2010 to 41 percent in 2011. Sixty-nine percent reported using LinkedIn and 25 percent said they use YouTube.
Blogs, however, declined in popularity. Eight-six percent of the buyers reported that they do not regularly read industry blogs, an increase of three percent over last year.
And although 26 percent of the hosted buyers said they were aware of the use of QR codes before and during the show, only 16 percent of them used their phones to scan them. Twenty-nine percent reported they didn’t notice the QR codes at all.