Ok, ok, having a year round mobile app may not be the Holy Grail to some – but to event app developers it is music to their ears! Why? Because it gets their app into the hands of event participants allowing them to benefit from this amazing communication tool, all year long. It’s like writing a song and hearing it on the radio time and time again! But no, this article is not all about application developers, it’s about you and your events and why it is important to plan for your mobile app being utilized year round.

You work hard building content and an audience for your mobile event app, why not extend the experiences well beyond the event. Typically, the event itself drives the app’s initial download. You plan the content for the event, keep it updated, and schedule promotions of the app in the lead up to the event. So why stop there?? By planning for your content to be maintained year-round you keep your audience engaged. Apps provide you with a powerful tool to communicate with the audience you have worked hard to build. Start by making a content playbook with a year-long calendar – one that does not stop at the event. Pre-event content can be loaded surrounding speakers, who’s attending, pre-event surveys, goals for this year, what to look forward to at this year’s event. Maybe even create content which focuses on certain sponsors and exhibitors (Sponsorship alert!!) leading up to the event. Then, after the event is over, add some content about highlights from the sessions, exhibition and networking functions. Keep your app alive. Use a survey to measure audience feedback. Talk about leadership’s goals for the upcoming year. And before you know it – it is time to begin talking about the upcoming event again.

In this tech driven age people almost always carry their mobile phones and devices with them so don’t miss out on the opportunity to utilize your mobile event app as a vehicle to communicate with the audience you have built. If you do plan for year-round engagement you will need to make sure from the outset that you choose a mobile app that is not going to stop working as soon as the event is over. It only takes a little common sense to know that if the front screen of the app is all about content that is happening at the event with titles, pictures, etc. then the app life is generally complete when the event has finished. Well at least in the users mind it is. We find that less than 15% of the audience who have downloaded the event app will actually delete it from their device after the event is over. This is further reason why you should plan for ongoing use of your app as you already have your audience’s attention. Keep promoting the app year round and you will see the impact it has on your community and events. Don’t remove app promotion from you website and emails. As a matter of fact, add little notes like “Check out the article on ‘Leaderships Goals’ for next year’s event on our mobile app” and then have the link right there for users to access the app. Keep it alive.

You should always plan your content for more than just the event dates. Plan this to be for the whole year until next year’s event. YOU have an audience – take advantage of using the app to communicate with them!

Promotion of the app is more than just putting up a link. Let your audience know what the app contains. Let them know that you plan to use the app year round. Highlight some of the cool features or new features in emails and your website. Provide your app’s link and a button for all of the event’s partners to put on their websites.

Downloads are great, but usage is king!! Keep in mind, one million people could download the app but if only 100 people use it then it is worthless. No one sees the content and most likely they will delete the app from their device. So follow these steps above and look for the usage to grow!!

If your organization’s goal is to grow your brand, build your audience, and make the audience aware of your initiatives, then there is no better way than going mobile.

Plan beyond your event’s initial content and follow some of these ideas above and you will have the Holy Grail of a year-long mobile event app and add another powerful vehicle to help meet your goals.