Make Your Event App More Appealing
5 features to get delegates downloading
Contrary to popular belief that younger people want all of their information delivered digitally, a recent study has found that young delegates still would rather have a printed program.
According to a study conducted in August by The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) and the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) only 26% of those surveyed use a mobile app version of the exhibition program. While nearly 40% said they preferred a printed version of the program and 35% of these people also said they disliked downloading an app for one-time use.
But do these figures really represent the usage of technology in the events environment? The answer is probably no. It seems many event organizers have a half-hearted approach to event apps. With an event app, it should be do it and do it well, or simply don’t do it at all. With event technology now considered as important as finding the right venue, there should be no in-betweens when it comes to an event app.
Just like any other element of your event, an app is an example of how you are perceived by your event attendees. Create a poor app and a bad taste will be left in the mouths of your attendees. Your app should be memorable and be an accurate representation of how good your event is. With this in mind we have taken a look at 5 features your app should include to get your delegates downloading.
Immersive, interactive content
The results from the study by the CEIR and the SISO shown that only 26% of those surveyed use a mobile app version of the exhibition program, this is very interesting and is indicative of the type of event apps organizers are putting out.
Currently, many event organizers are simply using their event app as an electronic version of the event program. This however shouldn’t be the case; while your event app should include your event program it shouldn’t be reliant on it. Instead consider utilizing immersive, interactive content that the user cannot find anywhere else. Examples of this could be exclusive interview content with any speakers that may be speaking at your event, bios of the speakers, video content etc.
It may also be an idea to add an interactive element to your exhibition program. Should there be any last minute changes to the running order on the day, ensure the app is updated automatically to reflect this. Another convenient feature for attendees could be a day planner. Add an interactive element to the program which enables the attendee to plan their day at your event before they even get there. This planner would let them organize where they will be and when, notifying them of any program clashes, informing them when they should move to the talk and ensuring they get the most out of the day.
Consider also adding an interactive map to your event app. Utilizing emerging beacon technology you could perhaps position Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon devices around your event which would push location information to your attendees mobile device. Upon opening the map element of the mobile device, the user would then know exactly where they are currently stood at your event and know how to get another area. Other options for an interactive map could be a map which includes information and visual content explaining the different areas of your event. This could include text, video content and anything else that provides an introduction to each area of your event.
Applying game-like mechanics in a non-gaming environment, could ideally form a part of your event app. Allowing you to add interactivity to the app, gamification would allow you to offer challenges to your attendees in exchange for rewards.
One such idea for a game-like element of your app could be a QR code treasure hunt. Encouraging attendees to utilize your mobile app, a QR code treasure hunt enables you to ensure the attendee is learning about the event and allows the attendee to participate in a competition that gives them the opportunity to win a prize.
A QR code treasure hunt works like this, you input a series of questions into your event app, you then generate QR codes which are placed around your event. The idea is for attendees to answer the questions by scanning the correct QR code with their device. The winner is the user with the most correct answers in the shortest amount of time from starting the hunt to finishing it.
A Check-in Facility
Say goodbye to long registration queues and provide your attendees with the ability to check-in electronically using their mobile device. Again utilizing BLE beacon technology, your app could be used to streamline registration. As an attendee walks past a specific beacon their device would then be triggered, registering that they are in attendance. While if you don’t want to use beacons and wish to record a little information you could instead utilize QR codes within your event app. By getting your attendees to record their information within the app before they attend the event, the app would then produce a QR code which would be scanned upon their arrival. This would ensure you are able to capture any relevant data you require.
The Ability to Record Video, Take Photos and Make Notes
Another figure that came out of the CEIR and the SISO research was that 42% of those surveyed said they liked to take pictures of booths and products to look at later or share with others. Why not make this easier for your attendees by including this functionality within your app? Allowing a facility to record videos, take photos and make notes would enable attendees to keep these all together and immediately know where they are. You could make it even easier for them and include a section for each of the stands and areas of your event. Within this would be the option to add any images, videos and notes about the stand or area, enabling the user to instantly know what their content relates to.
Dean Ronnie is an accomplished writer who is passionate about emerging technologies and their use within the business world. He is particularly interested in how technology is changing event management.
eNews September 2014