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GenieConnect: Event Mobile App and Live Interaction Tool [Review]

By Julius Solaris

GenieConnect is a complete event mobile app for event professionals looking to expand their content, live interaction and networking offering of their event. Here is the review.

GenieCon Paid Review

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Event mobile apps are still one of the fastest growing technologies in the event industry. While there may be still uncertainty about adoption and engagement rates, event professionals have demonstrated an unprecedented interest for the technology.

Quick wins like saving on the printing of unnecessary guides or real time schedules are benefits that even the most traditional event professional will recognise.

We are witnessing an evolution of event mobile apps which are gradually becoming comprehensive platforms. GenieConnect is the prime example of this trend. The app, which was recently acquired by #eventtech giant Lanyon (who also recently acquired Active), is offering a suite of tools encompassing the whole event experience.

So let's have a look at the tool and what it can do for your event.

GenieConnect: What Is it?

GenieConnect is an event mobile app. It gives event professionals the opportunity to have a branded, multi-platform app to offer to attendees. The app offers several features and benefits but gives the best value if used as a replacement for the show guide.

While it may be a hard sell for those events with mobile unfriendly audiences, it is a no brainer for attendees who enjoy using mobile at events.

GenieConnect offers three main feature categories:

Activity Stream Screen

1. Content. You will be able to streamline event sessions easily but that is just the beginning. You will be able to present speakers, exhibitors and attendee profiles easily in the app.

2. Engagement. The app offers several engagement modules that span from interactive maps to easily finding exhibitors or rooms in a venue, to live event walls. Some of the highlights include also gamification tools and a proper suite of live interaction tools.

3. Measurement . One of the biggest mistakes we can make with apps is not to measure. GenieConnect offers a comprehensive yet easy to use suite of analytics to make sense of your event app program.

Review

GenieConnect is powerful and comprehensive. The platform is not the inception of a product. It is a fully fledged piece of software that takes care of all aspects of a mobile event.

The thinking behind each and every aspect is really solid. The user experience, while not revolutionary, is solid and delivers. It is very easy to find beautiful apps that don't work. While I am a big fan of revolutionary design, I prefer software that works. If you have more budget to spend you can definitely look into GenieConnect custom designed apps, which combine reliability with cutting edge design.

320dpi multi screen

What I particularly liked is the forward thinking multi screen experience of the tool. While all the basics of an event apps are offered, GenieConnect is taking it further by offering tools such as a live event wall. What that does is to use all the information you put in the app to deliver a highly configurable onsite, large screen display of your event content, up and coming sessions, sponsored messages and all the user generated postings and comments. Pretty awesome. Attendees don't actually care about whether they are using an app or a site, they want a multichannel experience and GenieConnect seems to grasp this concept.

One of the major concerns when approaching event mobile apps is the platform they operate in. Some event audiences are hyper sensible to downloading yet another app. GenieConnect offers a comprehensive solution covering all major platforms (iPhone, Android and Windows) but also a web interface.

Live interaction is becoming a biggie in the industry. While there are dedicated live interaction apps out there offering comprehensive solution, event mobile apps are beginning to venture in the space offering some form of live interaction themselves. GenieConnect is none of the above. They actually offer a full fledged live interaction app. Q&A, integration with the live event wall, polling, moderation, it's all covered.

One of the items I look at when using an app is mapping. It is the part of an app I use the most and which I think we need particularly in exhibitions. The tool GenieConnect offers can work really well with complex and simple venues with an interesting touch when it gets to creating sponsorship opportunities in maps. Apps are in fact growing to become revenue channels for events and GenieConnect seems to fully grasp that.

More could have been done in terms of social networking and attendee-to-attendee interaction. While the app offers basic attendee profiles, messaging and 1:1 appointments, I did not see anything revolutionary (although I must say beacons usage is quite neat).

Features

Here are the most significant features GenieConnect has to offer:

CISCO screenshots

Multi-platform

The app functionality is available on Desktop, Native Mobile apps (iOS, Android, BB10 and WindowsPhone), mobile web, tablets and onsite big screens.

Multi-Event App

For those planning more than one event a year, this feature will be particularly handy.

Custom Branding

Choose from a range of layouts or custom Designer Layout to ensure that the look and feel is as unique as your event and consistent with your corporate branding and messaging.

Interactive Mapping

- Detailed multi-hall exhibition floors and venue maps
- Locate exhibitors, sessions and facilities (e.g. restaurants, WC)
- Self-locating and route-finding functionality
- Colour coding and sponsorship opportunities

OmniStream and Social Media Integration

Curate an almost unlimited variety of content – event activity, industry news, user-generated discussion on event content and social media contributions.

Event Wall

A reference for all attendees displaying relevant content and information about the event.

Audience Response

- Live polling embedded into standard Powerpoint
- Results screens on device and big screen
- Easy to use with full control over timing and management
- Social Q&A, where audience can submit and vote for questions they want answered
- Moderation

Gamification

- Highly configurable games driven by points and trophies from all actions in the app
- Live leaderboard
- Off-the-shelf games for easy implementation

Who Is It For?

GenieConnect is not an entry tool for small events. Experienced event professionals with large event portfolios and structured audiences are best positioned to make the most out of it.

The acquisition by Lanyon in December makes sure that the tool integrates with a number of tools such as registration, microsites, strategic meetings management.

If you are a busy event professional and require hands on, 24/7 support, then Lanyon and GenieConnect are very good choices. If on the other hand you are a DIY event professional, the tool would be probably too much for your needs.

Pros and Cons

Pros

- A very complete tool. Features everything you'd expect in an event mobile app.

- Multiscreen, multi language, multiplatform compatibility.

- Live interaction module is almost a stand alone app.

Cons

- Not ideal for small events.

- Attendees networking is great but not revolutionary.

- Does a lot and while this can be a plus for some, it may be overwhelming for others.

Prices and Plans

Learn about the pricing by getting in touch with them.

In Conclusion

I am impressed by the attention to details and comprehensiveness of the app. GenieConnect is not a toy, it's a proper mobile event platform and can deliver a lot of value if used by the right audience with the right objectives. This is probably also why so many Fortune 100 companies use it.

While there is scope for improvement on sections such as networking, the live interaction and event wall piece is really cool and makes it a great selection for those event professionals understanding the power of multichannel strategy.

Disclosure: Startup Reviews are paid for placements. While Event Manager Blog receives a fee to extensively look at the tool and review it in detail, the content of the review is independent and by no means influenced by the startup. If you have any question please use the contact us section.

about the author

Julius Solaris
Julius Solaris is the editor of EventManagerBlog.com, he is an international speaker, author and consultant.
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