What They Offer
- Attendee Engagement – networking, photos, push notifications, social media integrations
- Sponsors and Exhibitors – sponsorship opportunity, interactive exhibit hall map, company profiles
- Program/Content – speaker profiles, downloadable session documents, personalized attendee agendas
- For Planners – surveys, audience polling, analytics
Choosing a Provider
- Components to Consider
- Price/Cost – apps are available at all ends of the spectrum
- Provider Location – important for onsite assistance
- Web-Based vs. Native – native apps are downloaded from an app store and downloaded on your mobile device.
- Getting started – there are dozens of providers available. Do your research.
- Features – focus on the goals of the event to help you decide what features to include.
- Some basic areas to consider: Pre-event marketing, social media connectivity, attendee networking, instant alerts/push notification, floor plans and maps, vendor profiles, attendee profiles, speaker profiles, audience polling, surveys, single or multiple events, custom event schedule, badge scanning.
Mobile App Success – A Special D Events Case Study
The team at SDE recently implemented a mobile app for a client user conference with over 700 attendees.
- Timing. The app went live 5 days before the beginning of the show. We found that there was a flurry of questions from attendees right after the launch. Next year we are planning to launch 10 business days before the event so we have adequate time to answer any questions and tweak content before we arrive onsite.
*Note – the iTunes App store may take up to 3 weeks for app approval.
Any changes that are made during that time will send you back to the end of the queue.
- Security. A login and universal password was provided to all registered attendees. This provided an extra level of security because although the app is free to anyone for download through the app store, you had to log in to access the content. The most common issue onsite was attendees typing the email address incorrectly because the password was case sensitive. To address this issue for next year we will create a password with all lowercase letters.
- Support. If the option is available, we recommend that you have a representative from the app provider onsite to help with technical assistance. At the very least, plan to have a dedicated member of your staff or a volunteer who is able to man a table near registration to assist attendees with questions and monitor/make content changes to the app during the event. Our app provider was based on the West coast, while our event took place in the Eastern Time zone, resulting in a 3-hour time difference. This created some challenges when we needed to reach support during the morning portion of the conference. Our team plans to create a custom support plan for next year’s show to address these issues.
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