Smartphones and tablets have become a staple in homes and businesses nationwide. The high level of convenience is hard to ignore, making an event app an ideal way to connect with attendees. Additionally, most participants don’t just want a mobile app to help them navigate conferences and meetings; they expect one. This means that simply choosing not to offer one isn’t typically a viable option.
But, as an event professional, you may struggle with the task of selecting the right app provider to suit your needs. You may also be concerned about how choosing a sub par offering can negatively impact your business. To help you evaluate your options so you can pick an app that will offer your attendees the high-quality, professional experience you’re aiming for, here are some tips to guide your decision.
While a good portion of the information you intend to share will be accessible on the app’s pages, some items will need to be stored in other formats. You’ll likely also need organizational tools that can help you create content categories, giving you a method for segmented the information based on associated topics.
To make sure your app is up to the challenge, look for a content management feature that allows you to easily upload, update, and organize your content. Features like personalized schedules, a native calendar, and interactive maps are also helpful to your attendees, and the ability to synchronize information across multiple devices should be considered a must-have.
If you truly want to engage with attendees and give them the ability to get as much out of their experience as possible, you need to help them stay connected and interested. Features like push notifications give you the capacity to send alerts out to participants, ensuring they learn about unexpected changes or unique opportunities quickly.
Social media integration and aggregated feeds also help encourage everyone to post about the event and see what others who are onsite have to say. If you want to keep attendees moving through every corner of the conference space, look for gamification features that can be connected to locations or allow the scanning of QR codes. Communication options like attendee-to-attendee messaging, live polling, and question and answer sessions can also be useful.
Stability and a High-Quality User Experience
Attendees won’t use the app if it repeatedly crashes or is hard to navigate. Technical stability and a strong user interface are must-haves for any app to be successful, including one associated with your event. Make sure the app provider can offer a high level of guaranteed uptime and has solid support options should an issue arise.
Ideally, you also want the app to be accessible to as many device types as possible, though focusing on Android and iOS is often suitable. However, make sure a web app is also available to allow more people to connect using other devices that aren’t otherwise covered.
Ease of Management
A mobile app isn’t helpful if it is cumbersome to update and manage. Before you select an app provider, review the process required to make changes as well as the amount of lag time between when an update is submitted and the attendees can access the new information.
Also, see if the app allows certain key pieces of material to be copied across multiple sections. For example, if your post session survey can be created once and applied to numerous learning sessions, that is much more efficient than having to recreate the information for each one.
If you invest in an event app, you want to know the success rate. A reputable mobile app provider will give access to metrics relating to ROI, allowing you to track usage and produce reports. You’ll need to consider which metrics are most relevant to you and make sure the provider is able to record that information. Real-time reporting is the most beneficial as it allows you to see exactly what is happening from moment to moment, giving you a chance to take action should the need arise.
If your information is going to be in someone else’s hands, you want to know it is secure. Before you select a mobile app provider, request information about how data is backed up and stored, who can access the information, and what security measures are in place. Reputable providers will be able to provide a comprehensive description regarding their data management and security standards and procedures, giving you an additional level of assurance.
In the end, you want a mobile app that will provide you and your attendees with all of the tools and content needed to have a genuinely great experience. By evaluating the points above, you’re well-positioned to select a mobile app provider that can truly meet your needs.