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How to do an Event App Correctly

April 2020 4 min read

Year-Round Engagement as the Long-Term Goal

Apps on a mobile phone

Mobile event apps are increasingly growing in popularity, and it’s easy to see why. Event apps are highly powerful in terms of engaging with your audience and delivering a better experience overall – it’s no surprise then that event apps grew by 68.2% from 2018 to 2019.

However, the problem with event apps is longevity. It’s likely that a one-off event app will be uninstalled as soon as it hits closing time at your conference. People don’t have enough storage on their devices because they already have their Spotify playlists downloaded or their favourite Netflix series to binge on their commute.

But that doesn’t mean to say event apps don’t work long-term – they definitely can. Having the right app and a good strategy in place means you can still get all the benefits of your event app, but you’ll get the benefits all year-round. Here’s how it’s done.

Provide a Direct Communication Channel

Providing networking features such as social media integration and messaging functionality not only increases the benefits of using an app during your event, but also post-event. It’s much easier for users to keep in touch with their peers this way.

One of our clients, Revo, wanted a primary engagement channel for their members all year, rather than just engaging at their annual conference. Within their app, members can message other members directly. Find out more about how we ensured their app would be an engagement hub for the other 11 months of the year.

People gathered at a conference

Relevant, Personalised Content

We live in an age where we can get anything we want, when we want it – whether that’s checking live train timetables before you get to the station, getting a taxi to work when it’s raining, or Uber Eats on demand, and it’s no different when it comes to events. Having the ability to plan your event schedule from start to end via a personalised itinerary naturally increases engagement – the added value of a personalised experience is second-to-none in a successful event app.

On-Brand Experience

A high-quality app enhances your organisation’s identity, placing you as an industry leader, adaptable to the ever-changing world of technology. Having control over things like colour scheme, imagery, logos and messaging will help keep that connection between your brand, the live event, and your attendees.

With Revo’s app, news and other content can be added as and when, and colour scheme can be configured to distinguish between events. Having entirely dynamic content allows them to be in control – their brand identity doesn’t get lost, and members can feel more connected to them.

Real-Time Updates

Gone are the days of printed brochures.

(Side note: Going paperless and reducing your environmental footprint is a huge bonus in itself, plus you’ll save a lot of money on printing costs in the long run!)

We live in a fast-paced world where time is of the essence. Your users want to get the most out of their time, so having information available in the palm of their hands is highly valuable.

All of the planning and preparation in the world cannot prepare for those last-minute dropouts or sessions running behind schedule on the day of your event. Utilising push notifications can provide attendees with updates on any timing changes or other important details in real-time – a massive advantage over printed material methods.

Mobile phone app notification

Market your App

You’ve got an event app, now you need to make sure people are actually aware of its existence. Showcasing your app is critical for success, and needs to demonstrate the benefits of downloading it.

Ideas for promoting your event app include:

  • Social Media
  • Email Marketing
  • Engaging Sponsors
  • Dedicated landing page on your website
  • On-site Branding (flyers, QR codes, etc.)
  • Word-of-Mouth
  • Keynote Sessions

Our partners, memcom, worked with us on a launch campaign for their innovative event app. After the campaign ended, they had a 2.94% engagement rate on LinkedIn, compared to the average rate of 0.054% - marketing is therefore an absolute must if you’re going to do an app effectively.

Year-Round Engagement

If your app doesn’t offer engagement on a year-round basis, it’s probably going to be forgotten about. That’s the last thing you want to happen after putting all that time, money and effort into building your app.

Engagement is key.

The best event apps provide engagement opportunities outside the event itself. Apps should serve to enhance the event experience and give your attendees the most they can get from the event and beyond. Let them know why the app will completely transform their experience, and keep your organisation at the centre of member conversations.

If you are interested in a year-round mobile event app, get in touch at [email protected]

Written by Tabby Duff Digital Marketing Executive

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author unless explicitly stated. Unless of course, the article made you laugh, in which case, all credit should be directed towards our marketing department.