In 2017, there were over 178 billion mobile app downloads on smartphones around the world, and this astronomical number is predicted to grow by 2020.
Additionally, the average person spends more than 3 hours on their device every day. There is an immense opportunity for event organisers to interact and engage with them in a more direct way – on the devices they use most – their smartphones.
From the attendee perspective, expectations are at an all-time high, and the success of an event is largely determined by the attendees’ overall satisfaction. The goal of the planner is to provide attendees with a memorable experience that makes a lasting impact.
In such a scenario, the integration of a mobile app into the event is no longer just a nice enhancement, but a must-have addition.
It’s time to embrace mobile apps as an integral part of events because not only do they provide an engaging, interactive experience onsite, but also offer an opportunity to further engage our attendees long after the event has ended.
Why is a mobile event app a ‘must have’?
1. Attendee engagement: Mobile apps can completely transform an attendees’ experience; connecting them with meaningful content and facilitating face-to-face connections. Incorporating a mobile app into your event gives you the ability to initiate a conversation with every delegate, providing them with an integrated social experience.
2. Up-to-the-minute updates: Having instant access to information at your fingertips is not only expected, it’s the norm.
Event attendees want to be able to access news and alerts, session schedules, speaker bios, and relevant updates whenever and wherever they need it. A mobile app is the easiest way to provide this interaction and gives event organisers the ability to edit content on the fly and send relevant push notifications to the audience in real time.
3. Social integration: Creating an engaged event community can be hard, so a mobile app with a built-in integrated social wall can quickly empower attendees to join in the conversation, share event-related photos, and make personal connections with people with similar interests.
4. Gamification: Keeping attendees inspired, entertained and engaged throughout an event can be a challenge. Mobile apps can connect attendees to their physical environment through their digital devices with a variety of games or challenges – catered specifically to that audience or venue.
This not only keeps attendees engaged, it can focus them on the event benefits, connect them with sponsors, and best of all, it’s fun!
5. Printing costs and the ever-changing event program: It’s not only about reducing the event carbon footprint and going ‘green’ – printing hard copy programs and shipping is expensive and stressful.
A mobile event app supports the inevitable ever-changing event schedule and eliminates the exorbitant cost of reprinting programs last-minute.
6. Keeping your investors happy: Sponsors and exhibitors can build brand equity by engaging in face-to-face interaction with attendees and are able to expand recognition through the app via banner ads, splash pages and profiles.
Mobile apps allow sponsors to be highlighted via interactive floor maps and has the capabilities to upload last-minute promotions and news – getting them the most out of their financial investment.
7. Track digital footprints of attendees: Live event data is a goldmine of critical information and mobile event apps help capture and analyse this data.
The entire process of collecting data has become easier with mobile apps. They help facilitate live polls and Q&As, are a great networking tool, and can give information on who your attendees are meeting with at your event.
Mobile event apps have analytic tools that can help you identify how people are engaging with your event and what they find interesting based on the in-app actions they take – allowing you to improve your event based on real-time attendee feedback.
Event planners that forgo the use of mobile apps will not be able to keep up with the fast-paced requests and needs of their attendees and will inevitably fall behind. Say goodbye to the days when mobile apps were simply a good addition to your event – mobile apps are now a necessity.
This article was written by Jack Ukil, Director of Sales, Cvent Australia