Table of Contents
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Deciding how to create the app
- 3 Embracing modern trends
- 4 An excellent tool for networking
- 5 Personalize attendee experience
- 6 A mobile guide for your event
- 7 Opportunity to appreciate your sponsors
- 8 Capture Data and measure your ROI
- 9 Engage attendees
- 10 Integrate the event app with your tech stack or software
- 11 Make the event app adaptable to different devices
- 12 Track attendees
- 13 Conclusion
Want to know how beneficial Event Apps will be for your next event experience? Check out these statistics:
78% of businesses that use apps during events say it contributes to a positive Return on Investment (ROI). (Markletic.com).
Research conducted by Event Manager revealed that 76% of app developers reveal that demand in the event app space was higher in 2020 than in 2019. (Event MB, 2020).
With an increasingly tech-oriented society, it’s imperative for you to up your digitization game to stay ahead of the competition. Event Apps allow for a seamless event experience and are currently in vogue. The following are some of the best practices and strategies you can use to engage attendees using event apps.
Deciding how to create the app
There is a saying that goes: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Creating your event app, you can go about it in two ways: build one yourself or buy. Your choice should be one you arrive at only after careful consideration, which would be in your best interest. If you have all the resources to be able to build one by yourself, that is perfect.
Otherwise, you may need to buy one. Most app companies charge according to features, while others may charge by the number of attendees at your event. (EventMB, 2020).
In deciding which way to go, consider the cost involved with each choice, what features are required for a smooth event, the event’s goals, the technical resources needed, and more. The above screenshot is just one example of what an event app could look like.
There is event app creation software you can use to create your apps. When creating your event app, ensure that all touchpoints undergo an annual extensive security audit and obtain SOC 2 reports to avoid security interruptions when event attendees use it. After you’ve completed the app, it is advisable to give a tutorial on how to download and use the app.
Embracing modern trends
We have long passed the days when event organizers print event schedules and other materials for attendees. Today, apps have taken over, and you should undoubtedly use apps for your event to stay current. Event apps have ended the need to use paper. They are great for accommodating last-minute changes and updates to program schedules without issues. A bonus is the environmental benefits that come with reduced paper usage.
An excellent tool for networking
One of the main reasons people attend events is to learn as well as to network. Event apps can be designed to allow attendees the opportunity to message each other before, during, and after events. It’s recommended that you incorporate features that allow for ease of networking among attendees.
Consider adding a discussion board, photo sharing, social feeds, live polls, and gamification. Having a direct chat or messaging feature on your app is not enough. Go ahead and let attendees know that these features exist on the app. Further, ensure that the app is safe and secured for information transfer.
Push notifications help you communicate with your clients. These notifications allow you to send messages about the event in bulk to attendees. Share timely updates on the events with attendees to help them stay on top of important sessions if there are changes/oversights during the event. Another great feature is allowing guests to access on-demand content and webcasts via the app. To take advantage of this feature, design your push notification so that attendees can respond, so you engage them. Push notifications serve as a good reminder for online events.
Personalize attendee experience
- Give event attendees control of their schedule and allow for a stress-free selection of sessions relevant to them. You can design your app with some artificial intelligence to suggest attendees based on their interaction with the app and past choices.
- Deliver specialized content before, during, and after the event to ensure that attendees never miss an important event or information. Before the event, send maps, schedules, exhibitor information, speaker bios, and more. About 57% of app providers include recommendations of nearby places, events, and experiences, while 65% of app providers include personalized session or content recommendations. (EventMB, 2020)
- You could also add a feature that allows attendees to take notes in the app, and then download the notes after the event.
A mobile guide for your event
Interactive maps and venue floor maps will help attendees find their way around the venue with ease. Ideally, the mobile app users should be able to zoom into the mobile guides and navigate to locations of their interest.
Opportunity to appreciate your sponsors
Successful events require financial investment, and sponsors are critical to your work as an event planner. Satisfying your sponsor today ensures that you get more sponsorship for future events. 88% of sponsors attend events to increase awareness. Here are a few ways you can show value to sponsors. You can place the logo of valuable sponsors on the front and center of your app.
- You can display sponsor profiles in order of the support they give you and then follow to see how clients engage.
- You can equally use eye-catching banner ads at the top of the screen and then follow attendee engagement.
- You can have a splash page that highlights a sponsor to attendees for a few seconds.
- Sponsored push notifications are also fantastic.
After the sponsor appreciation, track all interactions and send a report on ROI to your sponsors. These notifications can enhance the value added to your sponsor and should help in maintaining sponsorship deals. It can significantly boost your sponsorship packages in the future.
Capture Data and measure your ROI
After events, do well to follow up. The users’ mobile engagement and behavioral cues collect vital intelligence or leads and use the data to initiate event follow-ups. Using lead captures, you can leverage the collected data to connect exhibitors and sponsors with clients. You can do the following:
- Measure attendee satisfaction by enabling session reviews and using polls. Polls help you gain insight into how satisfied clients are with event content.
- Conduct session reviews to show how much engagement is happening in the sessions.
- Collect data from surveys, polls, and attendee social engagement to better understand their needs.
Live Q&A sessions where attendees can ask questions in chat rooms are beneficial. Attendees can pose questions to speakers or discuss among themselves. Taking questions through apps reduces the anxiety for people who fear asking questions in front of an audience. It also allows for the translation of questions from people who ask questions in their native language and not English. It provides an opportunity to translate the question into English before being handed to the speaker or moderator.
Live polling is another feature you must consider- as it also helps engage attendees. In fact,
81.8 % of virtual event organizers use polling to improve interaction.(Markletic.com)
Gamification is yet another innovative app tool you can use to engage attendees. Gamification is a system used to increase user interaction with apps by making them solve non-game problems using game elements.
Thus you let users gain points by engaging with your app, and even reward top scorers. This makes it fun, and makes users feel important, and engaged. The image below shows the importance of polling and gamification in attendee engagement.
Integrate the event app with your tech stack or software
Integrating your mobile app with your software helps connect attendees across virtual and in-person channels. This integration also helps save time that you would otherwise spend on event data management. Integration may require some technical know-how, and hence you should partner with a tech company to help you- if you do not have the expertise. You can integrate if you have an app and software created by two different companies.
- The integration would allow for sharing data between your tech tools, eliminating the need for manual upload or import of data. For instance, you can transfer data between a registration system and an event app. After syncing your registration system with the event app, you can automatically create the initial session selections for attendees by pulling the registration system’s information into the mobile app. Attendees can then proceed from there to add more sessions.
- Other tools you can sync your mobile apps to include Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools, Event Websites, Marketing Automation, Email Marketing Platforms, and Online Event Solutions.
- Integration saves time and prevents tedious manual work, allows for improved event app adoption rates, and reduces errors.
Make the event app adaptable to different devices
Users of your app do not need to have a hard time using it on other devices. Note that users may use tablets, mobile phones, laptops et cetera. Every event attendee owns 1.57 devices on average, and they expect event apps to work on all of them. It’s critical to make the app adaptable for use on different devices.
Your event app can serve as a tracking device where you track the locations of attendees. It can show when an attendee arrives at the event, the session they choose to attend, and more. After the event, your app can help you follow up.
Here, you can share pictures taken at the event, send announcements, speaker slides, and push notifications for the next event. Unlike a website, an app is always on the user’s device, making it a great communication tool and extending the impact of events. These are features you should consider having in your app.
A good event app strikes a perfect balance between enhancing great content and access while allowing you to gather data to assess attendee satisfaction and calculate the Return on Investment (ROI) of events.
There are many benefits to using an event app. These include giving your sponsors more value for their money, enhancing attendee satisfaction, tracking attendees, streamlining processes, and reducing manual work for your team.
You also get opportunities to stay connected with attendees after events; event apps are indeed game-changers in the event planning industry.