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How to Choose a Mobile Event App: Enhance the Event Planner Experience (Part 2)

It’s not all about you, they say. But, although you’re more focused on your attendees’ event app experience, your experience counts too. Make sure you choose a mobile event app that will enhance the event planner experience—because, at times during the event planning process, it is all about you.

Our last post (part 1) showed you how to find an event app that helps you enhance the attendee experience. Today’s post (part 2) provides a checklist of administrative functions that will make your job easier—and that’s important when you’re in manic meeting mode. In part 3, we’ll show you what to look for in an event app partner.

Alleviate App Anxieties

  • Apple-friendly app: Make sure your event app is compliant with Apple's revised App Store Review Guidelines 4.2.6 (December 2017) which confirmed they would again approve custom branded apps. You can learn more about their revised policies in our post on Apple’s New App Store Review Guidelines.

  • Data privacy: Your event app shouldn’t cause any concerns about data protection or security. By adding an access code or login control to your event, you can restrict app access to only those who registered for the event. You can even go one step further by making the event invisible in your container app or branded multi-event structure app. In that case, users need the event passcode to find your protected (private) event in the app.

Save Time Getting the App Ready

  • App submission process: Make sure the app is ready in time for your event. Know how long it will take you to submit the app and get it approved by Apple and Google. We cover event app timelines in our Event App 101 post—updated to reflect the latest Apple guidelines.

  • Customizable vs. configurable: Decide whether you want a custom branded app or a container app. Custom branded apps are developed specifically for your organization’s needs—either for a single event or for year-round use at multiple events—and, therefore, take more time to develop than a container app which is ready when you are. If you choose a container app—one which contains the event apps of several tenants (conference organizers) and their events—make sure you select one that is flexible enough for you to configure (modify) from the backend. For example, you can select color schemes and menu icon (or tile) sets that fit your organization’s or event’s brand.

  • Easy content/data import: At the least, you should be able to use an Excel template to upload data into the app’s content management system (CMS) or mobile content manager. Even better, the app integrates with your association management system, event management/registration system, or abstract management system so you can sit back and watch your data flow.

  • Instant app update: You shouldn’t have to wait for your app content to be ready. After you enter content into the CMS, your attendees should see it as soon as you click “Publish Event.”

  • Speaker/sponsor/exhibitor portal: Reduce the time you spend on data entry by making sure the app has a self-service portal where sponsors, exhibitors, and speakers can create and manage their own profiles so you don’t have to enter that information.

  • Changes on the fly: If you forget something, no worries. During your event, you can update app content, like making a room change, and it will take effect immediately.

Boost the Bottom Line

  • Increase revenue: Make sure the app provides several different ways to generate revenue, including:

  • Sponsored polls

  • Push notifications

  • Sponsored session profile page

  • Sponsor module on the app’s home page

  • Splash page

  • Rotating advertising banners

  • Sponsor profile upgrade

  • Local business (restaurant, retail, etc.) profiles

  • Lead retrieval: Empower exhibitors to retrieve and manage leads on their own mobile devices.

Get Attendee Feedback

  • Polls: Everyone likes being asked for their opinion and they like to know how their opinion compares with their peers’. Send out polls during your event and share the results instantly.

  • In-app session surveys: Get attendee feedback about sessions and speakers by making surveys available in the session descriptions.

  • In-app event evaluation after the event: Send out a more extensive evaluation to attendees via the app or email after the event.

Prepare for Your Next Event

  • Analytics: Review the app behavior of attendees so you have the data you need to plan your next event. Make sure the app provides adoption and usage data, such as:

  • Number of downloads by platform

  • Views for sessions

  • Page visits (sessions, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, and agenda)

  • Document downloads (sessions, speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors)

  • Marked favorites (sessions, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, and agenda)

  • Clicks on banner ads

  • App upgrades: Choose an app developer who is dedicated to continual app improvements and regularly releases upgrades. In our next post, we’ll discuss what you should look for in an event app partner.

As a benchmark while you do your research, check out this overview of Eventpedia’s features and functionalities. If you have any questions about app selection, please contact us—we’d love to help.