Jamie Fricker is Sales Director at Fliplet. Having worked in publishing for seven years he’s had to grow and adapt with the constant changes in digital and has learnt to love every minute. He’s passionate about new technologies, digital media and anything that presents and physical or mental challenge… preferably both. When not in the gym or playing rugby Jamie likes to eat… a lot, he still proudly holds the Runner’s World office record of eating 12 Krispy Kreme donuts (assorted) in 28 minutes.
There is hardly any large conference these days that does not offer an app. As event attendees increasingly come to expect apps as a central part of the event experience, companies are using these apps to make the most of their events, offer a better attendee experience, better communicate with attendees and stimulate networking.
But despite these developments, we are still only seeing the tip of the iceberg of what event apps could achieve. As we continue to see innovation in this field, we are likely to find many new interesting use cases that will elevate the event going experience to new levels.
In this article, we look at some of the innovative use cases that we are beginning to see.
Some innovative event app features
1. Increasing value of sponsorship packages
Although event apps are generally seen as ways of improving the event experience for attendees, companies sometimes don’t realise that they also provide great opportunities to generate additional tickets sales.
At a basic level, mobile payment solutions facilitate the registration process making it easier for attendees to purchase tickets in advance or upon arrival to the venue.
But an event app can also be used as an opportunity to target sponsor, exhibitor or event management messages to attendees. This can help increase the value of sponsorship packages and increase event revenue for your company.
2. Enhanced networking
A great way of stimulating networking among event attendees is to give them the social tools to better communicate with each other.
One example of this is in-app messaging, allowing attendees to search and message other attendees and to arrange to talk in person during the event. This can be facilitated by geolocation technology which allows users to easily find each other.
Another option is having an in-app activity stream or news feed of trending sessions, popular comments and integration with social media platforms.
Gamification is an element that lends itself extremely well to mobile apps, particularly for events.
Not only do gamification elements offer an exciting experience for event attendees but they can also be used to motivate them and direct them to the desired locations.
Games such as scavenger hunts, for example, can be designed to encourage attendees to visit certain booths or to attend key sessions. Alternatively, attendees can be asked to create content and share it on social media, which is also a great way to promote your brand.
Gamification elements can help draw in younger audiences to your event and potentially even generate additional revenue by allowing sponsors to become involved.
People love being rewarded for their achievements, so including competitions as part of these games and even providing prizes can elevate the attendee experience to another level.
One of the greatest mistakes companies make when designing their event app is not keeping in mind the possibility of gathering feedback from app users.
There are many ways in which you can do this: from app-based surveys to analytics data on how the app is being used.
A survey is a straightforward way to simply ask your users about their experience of using the app and of attending the event in general. This can help you optimise, over time, the app’s design and content and even the event itself.
These kinds of surveys can also be carried out in real-time during events via “live polling”.
But there are other ways to gain insight into app usage and event experience and attendees’ mobile devices will be key here. By using analytics software such as Google Analytics, you can find out a wide range of data on how your attendees are using the app and what they are doing at your event.
From metrics on app content viewed and app components used to measurement of the time spent at each exhibitor booth, the data collected can provide valuable information both to your company and to your exhibitors.
As a consequence, the app can become a way to measure what your attendees liked or disliked the most about your event.
A very exciting opportunity that event apps offer is taking advantage of the mobile devices’ native functionality in a way that allows the app to become personalised for each individual. It can do this by using this native functionality in a way that responds to their needs intelligently.
The most basic way of personalising the app is to require users to login, allowing them to connect to their relevant online profiles on social networks. This allows them to directly sync their information, for instance their professional experience via LinkedIn, eliminating the need to manually input this.
The rest of the app experience should be centred around the idea of helping attendees achieve their objectives as easily and effectively as possible.
For instance, the attendees’ app could directly notify the badge printer via GPS upon arrival and print the badge just in time for collection. Or it could allow users to register for specific events and talks directly on their app.
An event app is the ideal vehicle to share content with your audience. From videos and podcasts recorded at the event to additional documents relevant to the presentations, an event app can prove useful beyond the timeframe of the event itself.
Sharing useful content with your audience in this way gives you the chance to truly build relationships with your audience, increasing your reputation among attendees and potentially helping you secure a faithful client base.
Finally, what many companies don’t realise is that event apps don’t need to be restricted to only large events or conferences.
Instead, using an event app for internal meetings can also offer its own benefits, such as centralising all relevant documents in attendees’ mobile devices and allowing them to take notes.
But using event apps for meetings can also be an excellent way of aggregating valuable data in the long-term and to help companies understand a wide range of information from attendee preferences and business activities to corporate social influencers and hot topics.
As event apps become increasingly popular, we are beginning to see very interesting use cases that are helping to further shape the event-going experience and providing additional benefits to companies. However, we are still far from seeing the full possibilities that these apps could offer to businesses.
Find out more over on the Fliplet website.