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Smartphone app downloads worldwide are slowing down considerably. In an industry battling to raise app adoption and engagement levels is this the beginning of the end for event mobile apps too?
The volume of downloads from the top US app developers on both Apple iOS and Android has fallen 20% over the last year, with global downloads slowing to a modest 3% growth year on year. Meanwhile some event planners report disappointing usage stats from their participants and are struggling to boost app engagement levels. Does this mean it is all doom and gloom for event apps? Has the bubble burst?
5 Steps Event Planners Need to Take
The event industry moves fast and there continues to be lots of exciting developments in event technology. At the heart of technologies adopted and adapted for events remains the event mobile app. Many events today have chosen to get digital. There seems to be a continuing positive outlook for the event app market, against the growth deceleration of app downloads overall.
In the overcrowded event market it is important to choose your event app provider carefully. Going digital is one thing but creating value is another. There are five conditions event planners must get right if they want to achieve success. Here are the things to consider carefully to make sure everyone fully benefits from a mobile event app.
Accessible Event Content
Your event – whether it is an exhibition, a trade show, a congress or corporate event – generates a lot of content. Visitor information, dates and time, lists of exhibitors and products, conferences’ or speakers’ details, press releases, fringe events… It is a huge amount of information that you need to show properly to your attendees if you want them to have a good experience of your event. Make sure you enjoy the opportunity your mobile event app provides to digitize your event in a good way. Thanks to the app, your content can be listed and structured to fit your attendees’ needs and also be improved since you can link content together and offer new services such as an audio guide.
Engage Your Clients and Audience
Gathering your attendees is not enough if they don’t interact with your event and with other participants. Your event will be a success if you manage to engage your clients and audience. You have the opportunity to do that by making the most of interactivity features in an app: Q&A, polls and feedback tools. During a conference session, it is important to allow people ask questions to the speakers through the app and to allow the moderator to poll the audience and get live results displayed on the big screen.
To get your audience involved in the event in a more fun way choose an app with features such as a branded selfie tool. This develops a sense of community around your event, whether it is B2B or B2C. Solutions such as this provoke curiosity, interest and buzz as well as creating a dynamic, modern and positive image for your event.
Offer Your Attendees a Personalised Experience
Your participants come to your event with different objectives. If you are running a trade show, exhibitors, visitors and speakers will not be reaching the same goals: buying, selling, looking for market expertise, sharing knowledge, being visible, networking, finding solutions to their businesses… Each experience is individual. Make sure your mobile app can manage multiple profile and display different content and services depending on who is using it. Will you show the in-app lead retrieval feature to an exhibitor who did not ask for this service?
A personalised experience can also be offered if your attendees are able to easily find their way and plan their own route thanks to an efficient interactive floor plan or if they can generate a report with all their notes and favourites.
Facilitate Better Networking
This is the most important objective to fulfil when using an app for your event. Whatever your event is, it gathers people who share something in common. Your role is to get into the details of what they want to share in order to cleverly connect them.
This is exactly why a mobile app should be vital for your event. Ensure it comes with a networking solution in which you can use your expertise to decide the best matchmaking rules and a meeting planning tool to be sure meetings and appointments happen at your event. It should come with a lead retrieval system too to make connections easier for your sponsors and exhibitors and to avoid any lost contacts.
Your mobile app can help your event create links and help your attendees meet, which is often the primary reason why they came to your event and trusted you.
A mobile event app can be valuable if you use it the right way, making it accessible, engaging, personal and open to others. There is one last condition for you to build an even greater success though; what if you could generate income with your app?
You have made a financial investment into creating a valuable mobile event app for your event but that does not prevent you from expecting a financial ROI from it. Your app can give advertising solutions to sell to your sponsors, making them more visible as the main players of their industry with banners, logos, priority listings and global sponsorship recognition.
If you have exhibitors, offer them the opportunity to use the lead retrieval solution. Get licences from your mobile app vendor and resell them to your exhibitors who often don’t need to be convinced about the value of such a tool for their own ROI at your show.
An event mobile app is made to serve your objectives as an event organiser. It is not a standalone tool nor a gadget to prove how modern your organisation is. Your event app is the solution that will follow your attendees, whoever they are, all along their user journey – before, during and after your event.
It is important to build your event app according to the value you want it to bring to your participants and to your event. Event planners are operating in an increasingly competitive landscape and getting satisfaction from your participants and clients is fundamental. By providing the best digital solutions this is how you can differentiate from your competitors. When it is time for you to choose the mobile app provider for your event, keep in mind these five conditions that will drive you to success.