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4 Tips on Event App Development

These 4 Tips on Event App Development will help you plan better, build a better event app and deliver a more engaging experience for your attendees.

EVENT APPS TIP 1. FEATURES AND PLATFORMS

Determine what must-have features you require and what features your attendees expect from your Event App. Your app should also be available on all platforms for the one fee to ensure you are not excluding any participants from the mobile experience.

Some of the available features include:

  • Platforms offered: iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, Web
  • Event branding opportunities
  • Sponsorship recognition
  • Recognition and advertising banners
  • Event documents & links to external urls
  • Interactive floor plan for venue and exhibition
  • Exhibitor profiles with handouts and logos
  • List of attendees at event
  • Speaker biographies
  • Complex Session Ratings
  • Ability to take notes for each session and email them post-event
  • Meeting requests
  • Live polling and surveys
  • Gamify options to add a bit of fun
  • Exhibitor leads tracking
  • Presentations and handouts can be downloaded and emailed
  • Abstracts, Full Papers, Session Presentations and Digital Posters right in the app.
  • Multi Device Sync
  • Push technology for alerts to iPhone and Android
  • Social Integration with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
  • Locate me with tracker
  • Videos
  • Photo Sharing and Flickr Integration
  • Standalone QR Code Scanner
  • Featured Products lists
  • Ability to monetise apps through advertising and sponsorship sales
  • Detailed post show reports
  • Live analytics
  • Admin managed alerts feature

Requirements will vary for each event but should not always be dictated by the list of features your vendor supports. The list of available features is growing rapidly as Event Apps and supporting technology continue to evolve.

My five best tips on what to consider when developing Event Apps®

EVENT APPS TIP 2. TURN ON AIRPLANE MODE?

Download a Native app and a web based html5 app and have a play with both. Put your device in airplane more so see the worst case scenario. To run a Mobile Web-based app (which is essentially a mobile website), the user commonly has to access the Internet via Wi-Fi or cellular connection. Native Event Apps®, on the other hand, reside on the device itself; they don’t require an Internet connection to work. This is crucial because in a hotel or a convention centre you may have hundreds or thousands of attendees trying to access Wi-Fi or cellular network simultaneously to use their Event Apps®, email, social networks etc. Even with the best venue supplied Wi-Fi service this can produce a virtual traffic jam. Native apps do require updates periodically but those updates usually take less than 10 seconds. HTML5 apps may one day be the way of the future but for now native apps provide a greatly enhanced user experience.  Have a chat with your venue and event app developer to understand what internet access capabilities your venue provides?

My five best tips on what to consider when developing Event Apps®

EVENT APPS TIP 3. MAKE SURE YOUR DEVELOPER ‘SPEAKS YOUR LANGUAGE’

It is important that your app developer understands your event and can provide support services above and beyond app development. They need to speak your language. As part of the development process you will need to design graphics, prepare documents, capture and manage data, create marketing collateral etc. If your app developer understands your event and can provide all of the support services this will make the development process a whole lot easier and will produce a powerful event experience for attendees

EVENT APPS TIP 4. WHAT COSTS?

There are a lot of points to consider when selecting a mobile Event App developer, cost is certainly one of them but should not be your determining factor. I look at everything with the view of ‘you get what you pay for‘ this is certainly true when it comes to Event Apps®.

I want to summarise for you a few simple things you should be looking for in an Event App that will help you reduce or even eliminate development costs. Hey, with a bit of creative thinking you could even increase revenue for your event. Wouldn’t that be a welcome change?

Cover your costs through: Sponsorship Opportunities, Banner Advertising, Enhanced Exhibitor Profiles, Exhibitor Leads Generation, Revenue sharing with your developer etc. etc.

If you think creatively I am certain you will come up with many new and innovative ways to increase event revenue through a mobile event app. As development of Event Apps® continues there will also be new opportunities available for all stakeholders to benefit.

Should you choose to deploy an app as a revenue generating tool, done properly, an Event App should never add any cost to your event.

About the Author:

Darren Edwards
Darren Edwards is the founder of Invisage Creative Services in Australia. With more than two decades of experience in the meetings and events industry, Darren's passion is to connect people through supply of creative design and innovative event tech solutions. Invisage Creative Services has been providing creative and technology products to the Meetings and Associations industries since 1993, this has resulted in a solid understanding of the needs of professional conference organisers, associations and events. Darren understands that often event managers need to be budget conscious and utilise effective time management strategies as they are often steered by volunteers and sub-contractors. Invisage as developed its products and services with this in mind in order to save you both time and money whilst still maintaining a professional presence. Core services include graphic design, mobile event apps, association apps, polling solutions, email marketing and surveys, document submission portals, collaboration tools and technology consulting. info@invisage.net | www.invisage.net

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