Dead Battery Grief – What Happens When Your Attendees’ Phones Die at an Event

We know all too well that a dead phone at an event means two things for any event attendee:

  1. They’ll have fewer opportunities to engage with your event
  2. They’ll do just about ANYTHING to charge it

If attendees can’t use their phones, they can’t take pictures, post online, or share their experiences with anyone except other people currently at your event. If your event uses a custom event-specific app, they might even miss out on key sessions or performances because they don’t have easy access to your event schedule or map.   This can drastically decrease their level of engagement and make the entire experience way less memorable.

There’s also the added factor of dead cell phone grief, which can cause some erratic behavior.

From attendees sitting idly in front of any outlet they can find, to an audience member literally climbing on stage to charge their phone during a Broadway show, the feeling of having a dead phone at an event can lead even the sanest attendee to do some pretty wacky things. But can we really blame them for feeling grief over their dead phone?

Here’s how you can spot the 5 stages of dead cell phone grief at your event.

    1. Denial
      Denial usually begins when the last “low battery” alert pops up on their phones. Just like a driver who “knows” their car can make it an extra 15 miles on an empty tank, they’ll most likely continue texting, snapping photos, sending emails, and posting content online with reckless abandon.

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  1. Anger
    Once the screen goes black, their eyes may go white with rage. The struggle is real when you have a dead battery, and your attendees will let you know it without thinking twice about “being nice.” (Protip: investing in a charging station can prevent even the most short-tempered attendee from going postal when their battery is completely drained).
  2. Bargaining
    Bargaining comes in many forms. Attendees might ask event staff where to find spare outlets (or just literally unplug anything they find “non essential”). You might find them pestering other attendees for a spare charging cable. In a worse case scenario, they might leave your event all together in an attempt to get a little charge back. Instead of bargaining for some battery life, they’ll literally be bargaining to determine how valuable their time is- can they give up a bit of the event experience for the chance of having a functional phone again?
  3. Depression
    When the depression hits, the attendees will be totally disconnected from your event. All they can do is mourn the dead weight sitting in their pocket or bag. Ok, this might be a bit of an exaggeration… but wouldn’t you be depressed if you couldn’t communicate with the outside world about how awesome this event is (or send out an SOS)?
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  4. Acceptance
    Acceptance finally comes once the depression has faded. This usually results from one of two things:

    1. They gave up, put their phones away, and started living in the moment
    2. They found a way to charge their phones


Don’t give them a reason to go through these 5 stages! Get out ahead of dead battery grief by providing plenty of charging stations throughout your event. From our eye-catching line of Flex stations, charging lockers, and tables, to our sleek Inbox units that can turn almost anything into a charging station, we’ve got you and your attendees covered.

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