Event apps – why they are essential for event organizers and participants
We are the makers of event apps. As the mobile partner of the OMR festival in Hamburg we provide the official OMR app since 2016. Bits & Pretzels, the „Lokalrundfunktage“ and „Medientage“ are also satisfied clients of us.
A year ago, we took a closer look at the existing market of event apps. Our conclusion: there are several different providers, but no one offers a package that is convincing alll around. Our thorough analysis and customer survey resulted in the following requirements for event apps – divided into standard (mandatory part) and extended (voluntary part):
- News around the event, f.e. shown as news feed or timeline
- Agenda of the event incl. details about content and speaker
- Information about the location (arrival and on site)
- Information about the attending companies
- Presentation of partners and sponsors
- Sharing feature to share content easily during the event with the side effect of free advertising for the event
- Most important information as push notification
- Offline capability for all static information (f.e. for preparation during arrival via train oder airplane)
- Favorites feature for all elements (speaker, exhibitors)
- Ideally branded for the event
With the following extended requirements the organizer can upgrade the event additionally:
- List of all participants with log-in via Social login (LinkedIn, Facebook, Xing, Eventbrite, XingEvents,…)
- 1-to1- meeting tool between participants to arrange meetings, possibly with recommendations „who to meet“
- Chat between participants/speakers
- Surveys, feedback to the event/ speakers, direct feedback of the participants
- Digital ticket deposit in app
- Magic link to the app, f.e. to send it directly with the ticket (Zero-Effort-Customizing)
If you are fullfiling the mandatory requirements your event app is definitly an enrichment for the participants. The organizers task is to provide the app in time and use it as a additional channel that has to be filled with reasonable content. With fulfilling this task the organizer taks advantage of having a communcation tool with which the participants can be fully controlled. There is no other way to reach the participants as effectively.
With the fulfilment of the extended requirements the event app becomes the swiss army knife of the event. Even if you are not implementing all requirements you are providing your participants with a tool, that will be gladly installed. Due to interaction your event will get more known and better.
The expenses of an app can of course not be neglected. The standard requirements can already be realised for a small four-digit price and can also be refinanced with sponsoring. The presentation of exhibitors and other features can be marketed as well. Especially for recurring events the investment in an app is reasonable because it has also an impact on the development of a community.
Depending on the event the app can also save printing costs for programms etc.
Contrast to a mobile website
A frequently asked question of the organizers is if the functionalities could be covered with a mobile website.
In general, many of the requirements described above can be depicted with a mobile website. Personalization and interaction although are complicated with a website since user profiles have to be created and organized. At this point it is no longer a static website but a interactive web tool. The effort to create such a web tool equals the effort to create an event app. Essential aspects like push notifications and device functions (GPS) can only be developed unnecessarily complex or not at all.
More information and data about the benefits of an app in contrast to a mobile website can be found here: http://www.lukew.com
An ideal mix can be reached by the organzier with a good responsive website and an app that uses its content management system to avoid double data administration. The website has a clear focus on information beyond the event whilst the app is specialized on the event.
Nowadays, an app is already expected by the participants. It is an useful addition to the website. Depending on size and meaning of the event the app is essential.
The app is a central communication channel to the participants and an unique chance for the organizer to bundle all in one tool. By taking it one step further and integrating its CRM system the organizer gets valuable analytics that allows an optmization for the next event.
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