What is the best Event Mobile App for Conferences and Events: A Bootcamp for Event Planners on Mobile Apps at Conferences, Tradeshows and Corporate Events
There is a very simple answer to the question: “What is the best Event Mobile App for Conferences and Events?”. The answer – the one you used. Really used. Because so often there is NO mobile app for the event.
Myth #1: Mobile apps can be scary and complex – they require deep technical knowledge, and are very expensive.
Mobile apps look like a scary technical thing: How do you upload the content in the app? What happens if we have a technical issue? Too often, it is a black box that, when it goes bad, the Event Planner needs to figure out what needs to be done.
The other issue has to do with price. It’s not uncommon to see 5,000-10,000 price tags for an Event Mobile app. Custom applications, long lead times for submissions to the Apple Store (notorious for giving developers a hard time) also make the proposition not only expensive, but a 3 to 6 month plan to execute. Event planners are busy, and really don’t need one more months long project to add to their busy schedule. So, the reality is that few events get a mobile app.
Is the Event Mobile App worthy ? Why would I do it?
The other part of the question that pops is “Are mobile apps worthy of all the complexity?”. Is there a REAL payout of all the work, is just the fad of the day? The answer, once you use one, is simple – ABSOLUTELY YES. Everyone benefits from the mobile app:
1. The Event organizer suddenly has a sales force – the attendees – that engage on the Mobile app and share via social media. Whom do they share with? Similar people, that have an interest on your conference. A doctor has other doctor friends in LinkedIn. An Oracle developer has other Oracle developer friends. Once they tweet or LinkedIn messaged, your Conference will be in front of their connections. Endorsed by a participant, to their trusted friends. Isn’t this a marketing manager nirvana?
2. The Event participants have the right info at their fingertips. They can check agenda, check speakers’ bio, connect with other participants, receive alerts, and use Google map directions to find the dinner restaurant. All in one convenient app. Did I mention social media already? Tweets that are pre-populated with the event hash tag? Check.
3. Sponsors are getting a main screen for exposure. Sometimes their booth is i the last row, and that becomes a problem. One touch engagement from the mobile app creates a direct connection from the attendee to the sponsor. Request literature button, for example.
4. Event Planners have a much better view of what sessions are the most popular, and have time to get that bigger room changed in the agenda. Sending Alerts to all participants is another very popular capability, when things happen during an event. And they always do, just ask an Event planner.
This is the first in a series of the Mobile App BootCamp: A Bootcamp for Event Planners on Mobile Apps at Conferences, Tradeshows and Corporate Events posts designed to be an easy guide for the vent organizers in search of a mobile app for their conference, tradeshow or corporate events.
The entire catalog of topics is listed below, just in case you want to skip ahead, or are interested in just one topic from the list.
BootCamp Day 1: Why Mobile Apps for Conferences, Corporate Events and Tradeshows
BootCamp Day 2: Top Features to look for on a Mobile app for your Conference
So, why mobile apps? Is that a fad, a temporary thing, or is this a mainstay, and over time, a “must have” for any event, and major dissatisfier if not provided. “Checklists for Event Organizers.” I’d like to first help you determine how to best select a mobile event app vendor. Let’s start by considering three topics: attendee profiles, desired behaviors, and the event environment.
First of all, attendees that can afford your event will carry a smartphone. They might also carry a tablet – iPad or Android one. You hear from all of them … and attendees want a mobile app. There are obvious benefits to implementing a mobile app for your conference, trade show, private event, corporate gathering, or public conference:
- saving money on paper print-outs – including session surveys
- better engagement and matchmaking with speaker sessions,
- better engagement with exhibitors, including quick scan of the potential of a booth or exhibitor
- feature sponsors for the events
- simplify the integration with social media (Twitter, Facebook)
- ability to send alerts to your attendees
- ability for attendees to create a personalized calendar, hence better leveraging all the event opportunities
- instant availability of data from the sessions surveys