When it comes to event apps, odds are that Smartsheet and Sched.org are on your radar. It’s almost gotten to the point where attendees expect every major event to have a dedicated app. And why not? If you do it right, it’s a great way to engage your audience before, during and after.
Whether you’ve taken advantage of existing apps or are considering having one built from scratch, here’s what you need to know about creating a wildly popular mobile event app and, more importantly, how to get attendees addicted to it.
Do’s and don’ts
You already know to leave application development to the pros, but here are 10 tips for your technical team.
- Make sure it’s a native app not a Web app. Essentially, this means that once a user downloads it to their smartphone, they can more quickly and easily interact with the content because they don’t have to go through a browser.
- Don’t let it inadvertently drain the user’s battery or gobble up precious minutes from their data plan.
- Brand it so it’s easily found in an app store.
- When the user first downloads the app, it should ask if they want to sign up for alerts, and offer options about the types of notifications that can be received.
- Make it easy for users to invite colleagues to download the app with an “invite your friends” button.
- Don’t require a user name and password every time your attendees log in.
- Do include local maps with recommended hot spots and restaurants.
- Add easy access to travel information including flights as well as local transportation services and schedules.
- Integrate the app with social media to promote the event through posts, tweets, likes, shares and favorites.
- Support on-site registration so attendees can skip long lines and dive right into networking the minute they arrive.
Inspiring app addiction
Here are 10 ways to make sure your attendees see your app as a “must-have.”
- Build a link on the event registration page that leads attendees to a separate event app page. The separate page should include an overview explaining the app and its benefits, a video demo showing its features and functions, and a social sharing bar to further spread the word.
- Create a sense of urgency by offering a limited-time registration discount for downloading the app. Promote the offer through email and social media.
- Post content that’s available only on the app and use alerts to let attendees know about fresh info.
- Reward users for sharing the benefits of the app on social media by entering their names in a raffle or spotlighting them in an email newsletter.
- Sneak in hidden rewards to surprise users when they interact with the app.
- Inspire users to rate the app so others will see its value.
- At the event, encourage attendees to download the app with reminders about its eco-friendly aspects.
- Include a QR code on event signage so users can easily download the app without having to type in a URL.
- Use the app to connect with attendees during the event with special announcements and offers.
- Re-engage attendees through post-event surveys and updates about your next event.