Today, mobile phones are our constant companions. When it comes to events, they are a direct and very personal way to interact with organizers and participants. Mobile apps for events have multiple features and advantages which are making them more and more attractive to event organizers.
These features take many forms: first, they allow for direct interaction between the event organizer and the participants through interactive features like live Q&As, ratings and surveys. On the data side, these apps also provide behavioural tracking through scans, check-ins and downloads, and live data through functions like RSVPs, registrations, turnout rates and heat maps. What’s not to like!
Before event organizers choose a mobile solution though, there are a few key questions that need to be asked. First and foremost is data security: ‘How will it be handled?’ Is the server host secure?’ And crucially for the participants, ‘Will this data be used outside of the event?’
Next, as an organizer you need to ask yourself if you need a bespoke app or a common platform. Unless you have a large volume of participants or hold regular large-scale events, you’ll probably want to use a common platform – this will not only save time, but it will help your event get more reach and visibility. Finally, but most importantly, organizers should ask themselves ‘What do I want to get out of this event?’ Thinking this through will give you an idea of the features you want, as well as any integration points you need to consider.
Lastly, there are two main pain points for organizers regarding event mobile apps. First, remember that this is a live event, so don’t overuse mobile – only place interaction points where your participants will find them useful or enjoyable and give your participants space to appreciate the event experience. Second – it’s tempting to try and create a bespoke event app, but the effort needed to optimise the app for your event may be better spent on making sure the participants have a great time.
An edited version of this insight appeared in Biz Events Asia magazine on 19 September 2017.