Event App Checklist: Why does your event need an app and what should it do?
So your team is hard at work planning every aspect of your next meeting or event. That’s good. You know a well-organized and executed event is one of the most impactful ways to take prospect, customer, employees, or member relationships to the next level. Prospects become customers. Members become champions. Employees become advocates.
But your audience can’t get everything they need from the event if they don’t know who else is attending. Or what’s happening when. Or any other one of countless details.
A robust, well-designed event app can make a huge difference in how enjoyable and valuable an event is for attendees. And it’s a crucial tool to help you gather the information you need to evaluate the event, and to demonstrate its values to members, customers, vendors, and sponsors.
Why do you need an app for your event? Because attendees expect it.
Sit outside the doors of any major meeting, expo or event and watch what happens to that huge stack of printed show guides. Probably not a lot. That’s because your attendees don’t want to be weighed down throughout the day with maps, schedules, vendor flyers and more.
A well-designed meeting app delivers everything a show guide does on the one tool every attendee has – their mobile phone. By delivering everything your attendees want and need with a screen tap, you make it easier and more intuitive for them to be a part of the event. Your attendees expect to be wowed, but they also expect their time to be respected. The right event app delivers.
What must your event app do?
That’s easy. Everything!
Beginning with the first invitation or email marketing contact you make through agenda to post-event download of session documents, your app can serve as your event’s brand-consistent, always accurate information hub. Here are some key functionalities to look for:
Your website and email marketing are already hard at work selling attendees on your next event. Encouraging recipients to download your app for quick and easy registration closes the gap between intention and action.
Accepting Mobile Payments
By the end of 2017, 24 percent of all e-commerce dollars were spent from mobile platforms. And that percentage grows with every passing quarter. If your attendees can apply for a mortgage from their phones, they expect to be able to pay for a meeting or event the same way. Be sure your event app makes paying for the event easier and more frictionless by accepting secure payments by credit cards, bank transfers, and other forms of digital payments.
Ticketing & credentialing
Event apps speed up arrival, entry and traffic flow by delivering info-rich QR codes on show badges, tickets, and other credentials straight to your attendees’ mobile devices. Scan their phone (perhaps with an event app for organizers) at the check-ins and they’re on the floor in no time flat.
Easy-to-use, interactive schedules show attendees what’s happening when (and where). Built-in links, QR codes, and relevant community information encourage attendance and promotion, along with up-to-the-minute time and place updates. Too, app-based schedules make it easier for you to publish agendas to the people who need them most.
Floorplans and mapping
The bigger your event, the greater the possibility that attendees will get lost, misdirected or delayed. Working with your venue, you can embed everything from simple floor plans to 360° views of your event in your app, making it a valuable resource throughout the day.
Event apps integrate data from registrations, CRM, or membership directories to make it quick and easy for attendees to find colleagues, contact each other for meetings, and keep track of needed follow-ups. Pocket full of business cards, you’ve met your match.
From selfies and check-in to LinkedIn profile checks, event apps with deep social integration help spread the impact and excitement beyond the venue.
Why wait for an email when you get back to the office? Your event app can make decks, presentations, videos, notes, research, transcripts, and more available from your app as they become available.
Optimized online experiences
Advances in responsive websites and mobile-first design can extend the power and value of your website. Which means in addition to all of the content you deliver straight to your attendee’s phones, you can use an event app to point users to your organization’s or event’s complete website.
Deeper sponsor/vendor/exhibitor involvement
You’ve worked hard to build relationships with relevant sponsors. They do more than help pay for your event; they bring the new products and ideas your attendees expect. Event apps take exhibitor directories and events to the next level. Detailed information, show locations, links, promotions, VIP events and more create a richer, more connected experience for your sponsors.
Featuring all your events
Your event app should last you longer than just one event. The best mobile apps work for all your events, so all events you organize are available for attendees inside the app. This way, they can easily discover and register for all your events in few taps, and the app works as another marketing channel that helps you get more attendees.
Integrated with your event management software
All your event marketing materials such as event pages, invitations, event app itself, tickets and other materials should be aligned so your branding is consistent. Event organizers are notoriously busy people running on tight schedules. By having your event app integrated with your event management software, you not only save hours of error-prone copying and pasting the content, but also a significant amount of money. For example, our Event Management Cloud comes with EventBank Attendee App and an EventBank Manager App for event organizers included.
Event apps deliver insights and awareness behind the scenes
Events and meetings represent a substantial investment of time and money. How can you know if the effort was worth it?
Event apps can help by providing real-time analytics. Who’s attending what events? What does the daily financial picture look like? Are membership renewals growing or declining? Event apps allow your organization to gather hundreds of valuable data points and integrate them into your membership or CRM systems. If you feed this data into a compatible business intelligence (BI) software, your team can watch event statistics on a dashboard in the home office in real-time. With the right app in place, you get instant insight and direction more easily than ever before.
Your event is branding, and so is your app
From intimate VIP get-togethers to city-wide, multi-week mega-happenings, events often represent the high point of your brand’s year. Your customers or members expect to be informed and entertained, of course. But they expect to be wowed, too. That’s because events represent a physical, experiential embodiment of what your brand stands for. It’s why you make considerable investments in event design and production. And it’s why planning for next year’s event probably begins the day after this year’s.
Well-designed event applications give you another powerful tool to create and maintain relationships with your audience by extending the brand experience, and by delivering all of the content and knowledge you’ve worked so hard to present.
Kiss The Bad Old Days Goodbye
Events used to happen through hard work, a great team and countless spreadsheets. Lists, schedules, directories, seating charts, floorplans–every critical detail of an event seemed to be relegated to a tool originally built to handle bookkeeping.
Today, event apps are powerful enough to handle dozens of member or customer activities, gather meaningful, actionable data, and then feed it back into your existing systems and processes. They’re your organization’s opportunity to change the paradigm of event planning and execution from one of list management and frantic effort to one where you spend your energy, and your team’s, creating memorable, valuable experiences for your audience.
To learn more about EventBank Apps and our event management software, please start a conversation through our live chat (green bubble) in the right corner of this page.
This article was prepared in cooperation with TechnologyAdvice.com, written by Web Webster, a writer who writes about technology, education, and healthcare for companies across the US. He’s attended many, many events that would have benefited from a well-designed event app like EventBank App.