In this series of articles, I’ll explore all aspects of ensuring success with a mobile app for your organisation’s annual conference or meeting. While I’ll generally focus on organisations that are searching for their first event app, there will be plenty of useful tips for those who have already used an app at their events.
It might be easy to view an event app as a one-off kind of activity. But success (and ROI) benefits greatly from a more holistic approach, consisting of:
- Selecting Your Event App
- Preparing and Planning (Before Your Event)
- On-Site Activities and Actions (At Your Event)
- Post-Event Assessment
- Long-Term Engagement
Selecting Your Event App
Let’s start with what may be the most critical component for success: choosing your event app. We’ve worked with 100s of organisations in implementing their event apps and what ensures success is not always what might seem obvious.
There are many mobile event app options, and it can be a challenge to distinguish one event app from another. The app selection process (and trying to understand the various feature choices) can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.
To make the right decision, it’s best to focus on selecting an event app that aligns with your organisation’s goals rather than an app that simply boasts the greatest number of features (most of which you’ll never use).
The app you select should include features that will make your delegates’ event experiences more productive and successful – and your job easier.
There are six major things your event app should do:
1. Give YOU control
You should choose an app that gives you 100% control to manage look-and-feel, navigation, content, and announcements. Does the app you’re considering provide the flexibility to present your sessions in a way that will be intuitive to your delegates and utilise your terminology? Can you make updates and publish them to your delegates’ devices immediately? These are all functions you want to own and be able to manage directly whenever you need to – and from any device.
2. Offer features of value to your delegates
What features will enable your delegates to make the most of their time at your event? Beyond the basics of schedule planning and note taking, what about maximising social engagement and extending the value of your event? Creating personalised itineraries, viewing delegate lists, and facilitating delegate networking are all valuable benefits of a good event app.
3. Include full support
Good support ensures that you’ll deliver the best event app experience for your delegates. Does your event app provider offer a rich set of online help tools? Tutorials? Videos? How available are they to answer your questions? What consultative expertise do they offer? Can they provide enhanced services such as becoming part of your team when you are resource-constrained?
4. Be reliable
Your event app must work on every device, every time. Connected to the internet, not connected to the internet. In the airport, on your way to the hotel, walking through the event venue. Plain and simple, it needs to work. Does the event app you’re considering have a proven track record of success? And if there is a problem, how will you get the support you need to quickly resolve it?
5. Deliver 360 year-round engagement
A good event app should provide the perfect place to engage your members during your events. An exceptional app provides engagement opportunities that extend beyond your events to enable peer networking, access to personalised content and member tools, and a direct line of communications – available to your members year-round via their mobile devices. How will your app enhance your member value proposition?
6. Pay for itself
Your event app should provide enough value to your members that is presents new opportunities for your organisation to generate revenue and increase sponsorship income. Your event app should include rotating ad spaces, sponsor highlights, promoted posts, enhanced exhibitor listings, sponsored sessions, and beacon notification options. Generating revenue is often an afterthought in app selection, but shouldn’t be. A well-designed event app will offer a number of options should you wish to take advantage of them now or in the future.
Does your event app do all of these things? Your event app is an investment, and it’s essential you select a provider that’s focused on your specific needs. Your app sets the tone for your meetings, reflects your brand, and represents your organisation . Make it great and give your delegates and members an experience they will thank you for.
Next up, we’ll discuss:
Preparing and Planning (Before Your Event)
If you would like further advice about how to succeed with a mobile event app, please reach out to me on +44 (0) 20 3473 3100 x3 or via email at [email protected]
Results Direct Mobile is proud to be the official Event App Provider for Digital Excellence 2018. Visit our site to learn about the MemberWise app and request a complimentary Event App Success Kit.