There are hundreds of events, conferences, and workshops going on in the United States at any given moment. Some range from a small meet up between business professionals to events used to shape the marketplace and industry. In the past, it was common to attend these events and walk away without bundles of papers, business cards, and quickly jotted notes. Today, due to the proliferation of smart phones and other web-enabled gadgets, attendees can access the event information with a few taps of their fingers.
We are now in the age of the mobile event app.
What are mobile event apps?
A mobile event app is a portal for attendees of an event to gain access to all the important details relevant to them, such as event timing, handouts, meet ups, and a whole lot more. It acts much like a mobile website but is far more interactive due to the app platform, which is easily accessible to anyone with an iOS, Android, or other web-ready platform.
There are multiple categories found within these types of apps including (but not limited to):
· Crafting & specialty
· Business & finance
· Classes, workshops, and panels
· Conventions and tradeshows
· Festivals and fairs
· Music and concerts
Companies that provide mobile event apps generally include a full-service approach to developing these applications by working with the business and those vendors, speakers, or other individuals frontlining the event.
How are they used?
These apps are generally tailored to the specific event, but there are a few best practices in the design & development that you will see replicated, including:
· Timelines – This allows organizers and attendees to see what is happening throughout the day and in real time (depending on the platform being used).
· Push notifications – This allows everyone to stay up-to-date about any last minute changes or additions to the event.
· Agendas – Gives you a complete overview of who is speaking, when they’re doing it, and the ability to set a schedule.
· Polling – Allows attendees to provide feedback for the event; for businesses, it provides the opportunity to understand their demographics.
· Sponsorship – Gives sponsors the ability to appear within the app to keep them happy.
· Translation – Multi-language support to accommodate the foreign attendees.
· Chat – Private in-app chat features to keep the attendees connected.
· Interactive maps – Helps the attendees (and staff) get around along with interactive features, which can create a gamificiation element to the conference.
· Profiles – Give people access to learn about who is speaking and holding workshops.
· File distribution – Give and receive files from booths and individuals rather than relying on keeping stacks of paper and cards.
All of these features (and others available depending on platform) increase the engagement of the attendees and give the staffing an easier time managing the event.
71% of small business owners consider events an important platform to reach marketing objectives; and 81% of SMB planners already leverage digital tools, mobile and social media for event planning – as detailed by Business2Community.com’s look at mobile apps.
The direction we are going in shows that attendees desire the access to information through digital means. It gives them flexibility to fully enjoy their attendance rather than trying to shuffle between events and manage their interactions. Those holding the events also experience greater customer satisfaction from vendors and staff. All-in-all the introduction of mobile event apps has positively changed the way we do conferences and events. Consider this the next time you’re an attendee or putting on a show.