Mobile event apps are becoming an integral part of the member engagement strategy for many organisations. US Associations have been leveraging the benefits of mobile apps for years, so it’s great that UK member organisations are getting on board!
Many organisations consider their event app to be a one-off kind of activity. Get an app for the conference, put it away and think about it again when the next event rolls around.
Choosing the right app, the right delivery partner and having the right strategy means you can reap the benefits of an event app all year round. From choosing the right app to achieving real ROI, here we’ll explore how you can make your event app a success.
Choosing the right app
There are so many event apps on the market, choosing the right one can be overwhelming. You should focus on an app that aligns with your organisation’s goals and will make your members’ event experience more productive and successful and make your job easier.
A good event app will:
- Give YOU control – you should be able to manage the look and feel, navigation, content and announcements.
- Add value – your members should be able to personalise their event experience.
- Include full support – online help tools, tutorials, videos are all must-haves to make sure your event can run smoothly. Some app providers go one step further and can become part of your team when your resources are tight.
- Be reliable – your app should work on every device, every time, whether connected to the internet or not.
- Deliver year-round engagement – the best event apps provide engagement opportunities that extend beyond your events, enabling peer networking, access to personalised content and tools and a direct line of communication to your organisation.
- Pay for itself – your event app should provide opportunities to generate revenue and increase sponsorship income, including rotating ad spaces, highlighted sponsors, promoted posts, enhanced exhibitor listings etc.
Loading your event content
You should be able to manage your content through a back-office portal, without needing your app provider’s support. Having this control means you can make last minute content changes and save time and money.
The best event apps will offer additional capabilities to bulk upload content and will even integrate with your existing platforms e.g. Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Eventbrite.
Promoting the app to your members
There’s no point having an event app if no one knows about it. In the US, where event apps are more commonplace, it’s typical to achieve 100% download rates. This success is the result of marketing the benefits of the app early and often.
The most exciting benefits for delegates are usually building a personalised schedule and seeing who else is attending, so focus on these in your promotion. You might also want to consider running a contest, game or giveaway to encourage downloads.
Some suggestions for promotion:
- Delegate Emails – highlight different app benefits and include download instructions/links
- Social Media – generate excitement and promote your app before and during your event
- On-Site Signage – place signs in high-traffic locations with instructions for finding and installing the app
- Keynote – announce your app at your opening general session
- Slides/Video – highlight your app in rotating displays around your venue
No matter how much planning and advance preparation you put into your event, last minute changes are inevitable. Perhaps your keynote speaker is stuck in traffic, or the aircon has broken in one of your breakout rooms. Don’t sweat it! A great event app will enable you to make last minute changes on the app AND send notifications to your delegates informing them about agenda changes or room switches.
Your event app should enable you to:
- Communicate changes to your delegates quickly and easily
- Update session details and locations
- Update exhibitor details (often the most vocal when their information is missing)
- Add bios and photos for speakers, even those which were received at the very last minute
- Send out reminders and other important details during the event.
As well as adding value to your members, an event app is also about making your life easier. Some of our clients have done away with printed programmes entirely for their events – saving themselves time and money.
Find out more about the benefits of mobile apps for your events at www.eventsential.co.uk.
Eventsential by RD Mobile is an industry-leading mobile event and engagement app developed specifically for the membership sector. Eventsential is used by more than 500,000 event delegates at 2,000 events. Delegates use the app to create custom itineraries, connect directly with other delegates, access presentations, and engage year-round. Eventsential customers include: Institute of Fundraising, Operational Research Society, British Nuclear Medicine Society, and Royal College of Surgeons.
If you would like further advice about how to succeed with a mobile event app, please contact me at +44 (0)20 3473 3100 x3 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org