Think Only Your Largest Events Can Afford a Mobile Event App? Think Again

Brad Langley |

Woman looking at event data from a mobile appGreat news for planners! Mobile event apps are the gold standard for today’s events. And now they’re affordable for gatherings as small as 50–75 attendees.

Since Apple overhauled its App Store policy around container apps, prices on some of the industry’s leading apps have dropped to the point where they're cost-justifiable for smaller events.

What’s a container app? It is a single app that shares similar functionality and is the home for all brands and events. In the event industry, this means event app providers must consolidate their customers’ individual event apps into a single container app. The new policy makes it easier for attendees to find their event apps in the App Store. And that translates into higher adoption.

Here’s how the new setup works: Attendees download the provider’s container app. From there, attendees can access the app for the event they plan to attend. Once they’ve downloaded the provider’s app, they can access apps for all other events that provider hosts.

19 Ways Mobile Event Apps Help You Win

In addition to being more affordable, mobile event apps help planners level up their smaller gatherings and upgrade the perception of their brand by offering this in-demand tool across more events. Here are just a few of the ways they add value.

For planners

  • Apps do away with rising printing costs and rush charges on onsite materials (for those last-minute changes we’ve all come to know and love)
  • Eliminate unbillable labor for assembling event brochures
  • Help you nimbly adjust to agenda changes and push notifications to all attendees (If you’ve ever have an outdoor function during a Florida afternoon rainstorm, you know the value of this feature!)
  • Upgrade the event brand experience
  • Drive registration and build community before events
  • Create new revenue streams for meeting owners (banner ads, sponsored push notifications, premium listings)
  • Lessen the environmental impact of events
  • Automate processes to rocket team efficiency
  • Deliver real-time data and analytics
  • Provide deep insights into event performance and return on investment
  • Increase attendee satisfaction
  • Keep participants engaged after they return home

For participants

  • Offer additional promotional opportunities for sponsors
  • Put more power at attendees’ fingertips
  • Enable attendees to create their own schedules, manage contacts, connect through private messaging, schedule meetings, discover good prospects nearby, and more
  • Supercharge engagement through live polling, surveys, gamification, Q&A’s
  • Improve customer service
  • Enhance networking and capture more leads
  • Personalize events

New Revenue Stream for Third-Party Planners

If you're looking for new ways to grow your business, it's time to give mobile event apps a close look. They present a great opportunity to expand your services. And balance your business to protect against economic shifts and new market trends.

Research shows event apps are a smart bet. Adoption will continue to grow, according to a 2018 survey by Event Manager Blog. Nearly half (46%) of event professionals currently use event apps. Another 26% are thinking about using them.

Cost is the most important consideration in choosing a mobile event app provider, cited by most (67%) event profs in the survey. But new affordability will help put cost concerns to rest.

My take: Supplying event apps to smaller meetings creates new revenue streams. Savvy planners offer them as a value-added service to their existing customer base. Plus, they win new customers, providing supplemental products in high demand.

How to Drive Success

But just because a tool is engaging doesn’t mean it’s always a fit. If you’re thinking of offering mobile event apps for smaller events, these tips below will help your events shine.

  • First, make sure the motives for using an app fit the event objectives.
  • See if an app makes sense for attendees. Ask: How do they access event marketing emails – from mobile or desktop? Was social media interaction high at past events for the same group? These questions won’t provide all the answers. But they’ll give you a reading on how mobile-savvy attendees are.
  • Determine the budget. Having a handle on the numbers helps narrow the options.
  • Uncover extras, like Wi-Fi charges at the venue. Understanding total costs at the outset is vital.
  • Avoid hidden fees. Look for a technology partner that offers unlimited user licenses, unlimited training and unlimited support 24/7/365 by experienced event profs.
  • Choose a provider that offers support at every stage of the building process. They should help you define the strategy, set up the app and its features, and submit it to app stores.
  • Make sure the technology is easy for everyone to use. Look for fast ramp-up time, too, so freelance planners can jump in and help when you need them.
  • Get an app that integrates with other systems, including your sales, marketing and registration software. The days of inputting data manually are done.
  • Make sure the app syncs automatically with other technology to maximize power and efficiency. If you’re app doesn’t sync with your registration platform, you’re in the wrong conversation.
  • Choose a solution that retrieves data seamlessly for a personalized, top-notch event.

Add Value

We consistently find planners who diversify their offerings with value-added services gain market share faster. The simple truth is, they win more business when they provide more services. They make themselves “stickier” or more indispensable to customers as well.

Your value as a planner lies in the vast expertise and resources you bring to the table. Leverage technology to elevate your role as a trusted advisor. When you offer compelling services like apps for smaller events, you create new revenue streams. You deepen customers’ confidence throughout the event lifecycle. And you play an integral role in driving success.

To learn more about growing your business in today’s market, download our free guide: Beyond Site Selection.

You’ll learn:

  • How to protect your business against economic shifts
  • The most profitable way to grow your business
  • 4 strategies to avoid hidden costs
  • How to help your customers sell more sponsorships
  • 3 tips for competing effectively in areas you’re not winning today
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This Post was Written by Brad Langley

Clients and colleagues describe Brad as a visionary leader with endless energy and enthusiasm. He brings all that to Aventri, plus a 30-year track record of exceeding business goals at world-leading incentive and travel companies. Earlier in his...

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