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Socio Event App [Review]

By EventMB Studio Team

Socio is a multi-purpose event app that can be bundled with a supplementary Lead Retrieval app and Live Display platform. Here is our review.

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Socio: What Is It?

Socio is an event app with both a container version and fully branded, white-label option. The container app comes at a lower price point, but the white-label app allows for greater customization.

Even with the higher price, a fully branded app may be more suitable for a corporation that wants to use the event as a marketing tactic. Further, the white-label app provides more opportunities for sponsor placements.

Both the container app and the white-label version offer an interactive agenda, advanced networking features, event gamification, and the capacity for push notifications.

Add-ons

To accommodate organizers dealing with sponsors and exhibitors, Socio has also created a supplementary Lead Retrieval app. Another separate but related application is the Live Display platform, which allows organizers to draw from the event app’s core content in real time to create an animated slideshow of highlights for guests.

 

Main Feature Categories

  • Event App

    The Socio event app provides planners with a number of core features, including multiple networking options and an interactive agenda that can be broken down into different tracks. The app can also facilitate event gamification and social posting, and offers built-in integration with many other platforms. It is available as either a container app, or a fully branded white-label app at an additional cost.

  • Lead Retrieval

    The Socio Lead Retrieval app is an optional add-on that operates through licences assigned to specific sponsors and exhibitors. This app allows sponsors and exhibitors to capture and rate leads, as well as collect metrics on their sales team’s overall performance at the event.

  • Live Display

    The Live Display feature is a web-based platform that draws key content from the event app and displays it in an eye-catching layout. Highlights include a networking leaderboard and upcoming sessions in the event schedule.

 

Review

Socio emphasizes interface interconnectivity, networking tools, and integrations.

The Socio interface allows organizers to create links between different sections of the app, allowing users to navigate between session info, speaker profiles, and exhibitors from their respective pages.

As such, organizers are not required to upload a speaker profile into the session page; instead, they can add a link to the speaker profile that has already been uploaded to the ‘Speakers’ section. Similarly, each speaker’s page can include links to all of their presentation sessions, which are housed in the ‘Agenda’ section of the app. This system avoids the need for duplicate entries within the app.

Further, the 'Shake' networking tool is a new way for attendees to connect with each other. When attendees are interested in connecting with people nearby, they can gently shake their phones; if any other nearby attendees have recently shaken their phones, they will appear on the user’s screen as suggested connections.

The app also provides agenda functionality, attendee management, and social engagement tools, although some of these services depend on integrations with other apps. For example, the app’s registration and Q&A functionality are both provided through integrations with third-party services. (More on specific integrations further down in this review.)

Another notable third-party integration involves the app’s 'City Guide' feature, which can include 'Get Uber' and 'Get Lyft' buttons for key locations. Socio features many integrations, and their development team is also open to accommodating special requests for new integrations.

To address client concerns, Socio appoints a ‘Customer Success Representative’ to each event. At the time of publication, the company has a 10/10 rating for support services on the G2 Crowd Rating site.

The back-end of the app does not require technical expertise to set up. It features a drag-and-drop builder, and Socio provides clients with instructions and pre-labelled Excel forms to manage bulk uploads of event data. Organizers can also manage and edit the app from a tablet or smartphone, with instant previews available.

 

Who Is It For?

The Socio app has been used for events catering to as few as 30 to 40 people, but it has also been used for events hosting over 50,000 attendees. That said, most of Socio’s clients fall somewhere in between these two extremes.

With an emphasis on networking tools, agenda features, and sponsorship placements, Socio addresses business event priorities. The app primarily serves three event formats: conferences, trade shows, and internal corporate events.

In addition to Fortune 1000 companies, Socio also has experience working with professional associations, educational institutions, third-party planners in event services and marketing, and technology companies.

Socio also supports non-Engish-speaking events, and the app can be adapted to accommodate a variety of languages, including those written in a right-to-left format.

 

Features

As a preface to the features, it’s worth noting that all of these are optional.

WHITE-LABEL CUSTOMIZATION

Three Different Format Options: the white-label app allows organizers to choose from three different layouts:

  • keyboard_arrow_right Banner Ads
  • keyboard_arrow_right Smart Feed
  • keyboard_arrow_right Features Only

[Caption] The image above represents the three different layout options: Banner Ads, Smart Feed, and Features Only respectively.

Banner Ads Layout: this option includes a rotating display of ads in the lower portion of the screen, below the ‘features’ icons but above the menu bar. This format provides an opportunity to upsell a sponsor, but the banners can also link to any content inside or outside of the app. Other use cases include promoting speakers, sessions, activations, etc.

Smart Feed Layout: instead of showcasing a rotating slideshow of images, the Smart Feed uses the lower third of the screen to make personalized suggestions for speakers, networking connections, and other highlights from the event. These items rotate under the header, 'What’s Up?'

Features Only Layout: as its title suggests, the Features Only option dedicates almost all of the landing page to the app’s ‘features’ icons. Feature-heavy events, such as research conferences with a lot of content to display, may prefer this format.

These icons allow users to navigate to different sections of the event app from the landing page. With the white-label app, organizers can customize both the images and the titles underlying them. The default icons include:

  • keyboard_arrow_right Overview
  • keyboard_arrow_right Attendees
  • keyboard_arrow_right Sponsors
  • keyboard_arrow_right Agenda
  • keyboard_arrow_right Announcements
  • keyboard_arrow_right Speakers
  • keyboard_arrow_right Maps
  • keyboard_arrow_right Event Game
  • keyboard_arrow_right My Badge / QR Code
  • keyboard_arrow_right (Social) Wall
  • keyboard_arrow_right Follow Us
  • keyboard_arrow_right Donate Now
  • keyboard_arrow_right Program PDF
  • keyboard_arrow_right Documents
  • keyboard_arrow_right City Guide

Both the container app and the white-label version include a catalogue of 86,000 icons, or organizers can upload their own.

Custom Splash Screen: the splash screen is a temporary image that appears while the app is loading. The white-label app allows organizers to customize this screen. You can choose to highlight your own logo or an event photo, pair your own imagery with a sponsor’s logo, or showcase a sponsor exclusively.

 

MENU BAR FOR CORE FEATURES

In addition to the icons, another key element of the user interface is the menu bar that continually appears at the bottom of the screen throughout the app. The features listed below provide an overview of these five tabs.

Events: this tab allows users to return to the event home page.

Connections: this tab will bring users to a list of the networking connections they’ve accumulated at the event.

Shake: this tab activates Socio’s signature 'Shake' networking tool, a kinetically-activated feature that innovatively allows users to connect with each other by shaking their phones simultaneously — this feature is described in further detail in the 'Networking' section below.

Chat: this tab directs users to the app’s messaging center, where attendees can contact and schedule appointments with anyone in their network.

Me: attendees use this tab to add information to their own user profile.

 

INTERACTIVE AGENDA AND ADVANCED LINKING

Different Tracks: the Socio app includes an interactive agenda that accommodates multiple tracks and concurrent sessions. Users can click on the upper right-hand funnel icon to browse through the different tracks available.

Advanced Linking: the information pages for each session can include links to any other section in the event app. Likewise, speaker profiles can include links to each of their speaking engagements. Documents and sponsor profiles can also be included by linking to their dedicated section of the app.

Interactive Map: organizers can upload multiple venue maps to the event app. It is also possible to link to other sections of the app within the map; for example, exhibitor booths can link to exhibitor profiles, and session rooms can link to the relevant sections of the agenda.

Seamless External Linking: any external links included within the app will take users to an embedded version of the website so that users will feel as though they have not left the app; users can return to the event app by hitting the ‘back’ button.

Real-Time Updates to Session Availability: within the agenda, each event listing includes up-to-date figures for how many people have registered to attend. Where applicable, it also indicates the room’s maximum capacity, giving attendees a quick snapshot of how likely a session is to become fully booked.

Individualized Agendas: the 'Agenda' section of the Socio app is broken down into two tabs, the general 'Agenda' and 'My Agenda.' When users sign up for a session, it is automatically added to their personal agenda.

Simple Interface for Session Registration: to sign up for a session or activity, attendees have to click the '+' icon beside it, at which point the icon will turn into a check mark.

 

NETWORKING AND ATTENDEE MANAGEMENT

User Groups: the event organizer can segment attendees into groups within the app. These groups can be visible to everyone, or to the organizer only. When a group’s visibility is set to private, even people within the group will have no way of knowing that they have been assigned to the group. If the visibility is set to public, however, any attendee can use these groups to create filtered search criteria when browsing through the attendee list. Further, the administrator can treat groups like distribution lists, with targeted messages and push notifications sent to specific groups only. The app’s interface can also be tailored based on user groups, with some icons visible to select groups only.

Searchable Attendee Profiles: by default, all attendees are listed under the 'Attendees' section, accessible by clicking the dedicated 'Attendees' icon on the homepage. This list can be searched by keyword or by filtering for groups — the funnel icon in the upper right-hand corner allows users to set these filters. Users can review headshots, names, and job titles by browsing through the alphabetical list of attendees.

Optional Connectivity: as a fully GDPR-compliant app, Socio will not allow attendees to see another user’s full profile until both parties have agreed to connect. Users can request to connect with anyone by clicking the 'Add' button next to another attendee’s name. If the other attendee accepts your request, you will then see their contact information, their personal description, and any links to social media profiles they have made available. You will also be able to message them using the chat function.

'Connections' Tab: the menu bar, always located at the bottom of the screen no matter where you navigate in the app, includes a 'Connections' tab that allows users to access the contacts they’ve made at your event. Further, when attendees open up one of the profiles in their list of connections, they can download the relevant contact information to their phones’ internal list of contacts by clicking a downward arrow button on the page.

Shake & Connect: the 'Shake' function enables users to connect with attendees situated in the same general area. By gently shaking your phone, you prompt the app to search for other nearby attendees who have also recently shaken their phones. You can then click the 'Add' button next to any of the names that appear, just as you would when browsing through the complete list of attendees.

Chat & Schedule Meetings: once users have connected with one another, they can send each other messages. Users can send messages to individual contacts or to groups. They can also use the chat function to arrange meetings with each other, again either individually or in groups.

Smart Matchmaking: using shared interests to predict mutually beneficial matches, the Socio app will regularly suggest potential connections to users if the Smart Feed layout is selected. Once again, the user can click the 'Add' button to request a connection.

 

ENGAGEMENT TOOLS AND INTEGRATIONS

Event Game: the Socio app includes a game feature that allows the organizer to set challenges or create a scavenger hunt. Challenges can be used to incentivize visits to key sponsor booths, as well as other activities that contribute to your event’s ROI.

Players are rewarded with secret codes for completing each stage in the game. When they enter these codes into the app, they activate an animated display that announces the points they’ve earned.

Inbuilt Rating System: each activity and session page includes the option to incorporate a 5-star rating system, along with a text box for submitting written reviews. You can also give attendees the option to submit their ratings and reviews anonymously.

Social Wall: the app’s 'Wall' feature allows guests to post pictures and comments to a shared social feed. Sponsored posts can appear alongside user-generated content.

Announcements: an 'Announcements' section is one of the core features of Socio’s app. Organizers can send these announcements to highlight key aspects of their event, or they can publish announcements on behalf of sponsors. Announcements can be scheduled in advance or made in real time, with the option to alert attendees about new announcements with push notifications.

Q&A: Socio has partnered with sli.do to provide a Q&A feature within their app. For this feature to work, you will have to have an account with sli.do in addition to your Socio account, but Socio’s support team is fully trained to deal with sli.do-related issues. Socio can also accommodate organizers who wish to use a different Q&A platform. Links to these Q&A apps can be integrated into the session pages of your agenda.

Surveys: the Socio app can integrate with a variety of survey platforms, including Survey Monkey and Typeform. For the Typeform app, Socio has readymade Excel forms that allow event organizers to enter their survey information directly into pre-labeled columns. As with the Q&A platforms, these surveys can be added as links on individual session pages.

Engagement Metrics: the Socio app provides a comprehensive overview of engagement stats updated in real time.

 

OTHER INTEGRATIONS

Uber & Lyft: the Socio app includes the option to integrate with Uber and Lyft. The app’s 'City Guide' allows users to search for key locations in the city, such as the event’s hotel venue or the airport. The event organizer can create individual pages for each of these locations, with a dedicated 'Get Lyft' or 'Get Uber' button included on each page. Any applicable event discounts can be automatically applied.

Registration: although Socio doesn’t currently support a native registration platform, it can be integrated with a number of well-known third-party registration platforms.

LEAD RETRIEVAL

Licenses: the pricing for Socio’s Lead Retrieval app is based primarily on the number of licences purchased. The organizer buys licenses on behalf of sponsors and exhibitors, who will then be able to access their organization’s unique profile on the Lead Retrieval app.

Simple Setup: exhibitors and sponsors can activate their licence in 4 steps. Although the initial invitation is sent to a single representative from the company, other members can be added afterward.

QR Scanning: exhibitors and sponsors can track leads by scanning attendees’ QR codes, available either on their badges or within their event apps under 'My Badge / QR Code.'

Lead Profiles with Ratings: every time a lead is scanned, the Lead Retrieval app draws attendee information from the event app. While contact details, job titles, and personal summaries are automatically carried over, the booth team also has the opportunity to add relevant notes and rate the lead. There are two rating scales: 1-5 stars, and Cold/Warm/Hot. Once this information is available within the team’s CRM, sales can perform faster, more targeted follow-ups.

Metrics Dashboard: all lead-retrieval stats are collected in one dashboard. This data includes the number of new leads, the average quality of leads, and the number of active booth staff members. It also uses pie and bar charts to break down the most active times of the day, week, and month (where applicable). These statistics are also broken down as they relate to individual members of the sales team. It is possible to provide the company’s marketing head with access to this information, with stats updated in real time. These metrics can also be exported to your email, where they can then be added to Marketo, Salesforce, and other sales management programs.

 

LIVE DISPLAY

Rotating Features with Customizable Backdrop: the menu bar at the top of the Live Display platform includes five tabs — Social, Agenda, Networking, Challenges, Sponsors, and Download. Each of these tabs corresponds to a different display page that will appear in a rotating slideshow of adjustable duration. The background color can also be modified.

Toggle Functionality: any of the tabs listed above can be toggled on or off, with updates reflected in real time.

Social: the 'Social' page displays an animated cascade of highlights from the event app’s 'Wall' of user-generated content and sponsor posts.

Agenda: this page promotes current sessions and activities, as well as a list of upcoming events in the program.

Networking: this page lists the number of people using the event app’s networking features, along with their digital ‘handshake’ totals. It also displays a leaderboard showcasing the most active networkers.

Challenges: the 'Challenges' page highlights key challenges in the event game, alongside a leaderboard of top players updated in real time.

Sponsors: this page showcases an animated slideshow of sponsor logos and ads.

Download: designed to increase app adoption rates, this page simply features a QR code that links directly to a download of the event app.

 

Pricing and Plans

Socio’s rates are primarily dependent on the number of registrants expected at your event, but the company provides discounts for organizations that purchase coverage for multiple events at a time, or for those who buy bundle packages. Review the list below for an overview of their pricing model.

  • Fully Branded White-Label App

    Starting Price: $1399

    Avg. Price: $2999

    *Bundling rates apply. The more events you purchase in bulk, the lower the per-event cost will be.

  • Socio App (Container Version)

    Starting Price: $799

    Avg Price: $1999

    *Bundling rates apply. The more events you purchase in bulk, the lower the per-event cost will be.

  • Lead Retrieval

    Base pricing: $99 / Exhibiting Company

    *Bundling rates apply here as well.

  • Live Display

    $499 / Event (unlimited screens)

    *Bundling rates apply here as well.

Visit Socio’s site to request a custom quote.

 

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Both a branded and container version of the app, with multiple customization options available for the former.
  • The ability to edit, manage, and preview the app from a tablet or smartphone.
  • The 'Shake' feature that allows attendees to find potential matches by shaking their phones.
  • The ability to link to any other part of the app within any given section as well as content outside of the app.
  • GDPR-compliant sharing of ‘digital business cards,’ with contact information that can be downloaded directly to a user’s phone contacts.
  • Hundreds of integrations with third-party apps, including Uber and Lyft.
  • A Lead Retrieval app that facilitates lead capture data collection.
  • A Live Display platform that automatically transforms event-app content into an animated slideshow.
  • Multi-language support.
  • Highly-rated support services.

 

     

    Cons
    • No native registration system.
    • No native Q&A or survey options.

     

       

       

      IN CONCLUSION

      The Socio app prioritizes networking features and advanced linking within the app, as well as notable integrations with other tools.

      Both the user interface and the back end are simple to use. The app can also be built and edited using a drop-and-drag builder on a computer, tablet, or phone.

      Socio’s networking and scheduling features make it suitable for corporate events, conferences, and trade shows.

       

      Disclaimer: 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 company. If you have any questions please use the contact us section.

       

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      EventMB Studio Team
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