Mobile-Friendly Annual Meeting Site
Over the past year we've created websites to support annual meetings for some of our association clients. The websites are intended to be mobile friendly so that they can be easily referenced on tablets and smart phones by meeting attendees while onsite.
This week I'm on site in Scottsdale, Arizona at the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma's (east.org) Annual Scientific Conference to help roll out some new web initiatives. We've worked closely with EAST over the past few years to build their current web presence -- the mobile meeting site (meeting.east.org) extends their web presence by targeting meeting attendees.
A common question is how a mobile website compares to native apps (e.g. an iPad app downloaded via iTunes). Until recently, apps had advantages that could not be matched by a mobile website. However, as HTML5 has become more widely supported by browsers and devices, there are relatively few things that an app can do that a mobile website cannot.
Apps still integrate better with a device's camera, microphone, and GPS -- but these are specialized features not commonly implemented by websites. A disadvantage of apps is that they are device or platform-specific. That is, an iOS app that functions on an iPad and iPhone will not function on an Android device (and vice versa, build once, deploy once). A mobile website, when implemented correctly, will work across all devices and platforms (build once, deploy to all). Using responsive design, we can create a website that adapts its presentation when viewed on a desktop computer and smaller screen tablets and phones.
A key consideration, especially for a meeting website (which typically includes meeting schedules, session and speaker descriptions, and venue information), is the ability to access content without an internet connection. Using HTML5, we've been able to create websites that store content locally and function even when offline.
An advantage that we have is our ability to integrate a mobile meeting website with a client's primary website and underlying systems. Our mobile websites pull schedules and session detail from the abstract submission and management systems that we build...and integrate with our membership database making the site aware of a user's member and registration status.
At Webitects, we feel that the mobile web has arrived. Drop us an email, we're happy to discuss how we can make your existing website mobile friendly or build a targeted mobile site to support your annual meeting.
Todd Reifenrath on Google+