Congratulations! You have just received approval to use a mobile event application at your upcoming company conference. But beyond a budget, you haven’t a clue where to begin. Event apps have evolved into so much more than a digital agenda, but with all the bells and whistles that event app providers are offering, how do you discern between necessity and frivolity?
Here are the five questions every organizer should be asking when considering an event app:
- Is it easy for you to use? Just because you are trying out a new technology, doesn’t mean it should be highly technical. One of the advantages of ditching the paper guide in favor of an app is the ability to make last-minute changes on the fly. Your keynote speaker’s plane is getting in late? No problem, shuffle the schedule around so that you can accommodate their new arrival time and hit the update button. The lines are too long for lunch and you need to open up a second door to the dining hall? Just send out a push notification letting people know where to go.Before signing the dotted line, make sure the app CMS (content management system) is easy to use. At DoubleDutch, all of our customers use the same CMS, which they are able to access and update independently and instantly. With all the last minute stresses of pulling off an event, there is no need to add a finicky technology into the mix.
- Is it easy for your attendees to use? Once you build your app, the next step is getting your attendees to use it. You want your app to be as intuitive and user-friendly as possible to incentivize high adoption. Most of us have already developed fairly entrenched social habits; the second our minds start to wander we check our phones. This is why you want an app that is supremely engaging and going to play into those pre-existing tendencies – or as we like to call it, smartphone addition – so that instead of checking their email, attendees will check your event app. This transforms distraction into an opportunity to engage with your brand and content, giving them a mobile framework through which they can experience your event.
- Is it social? One of the main added values of an event app is its ability to create a closed social network for your event. Every DoubleDutch app has a built in activity feed, where users can post photos, status updates and questions, creating an online community to complement your event. This social network is what will incentivize attendees to actually use and engage with your app, giving you a bird’s-eye view into event activity as-it-happens. In addition to delighting attendees, this feature generates valuable data and insights about your event.
- Is it collecting the right data? One of the most exciting features of the latest generation of event apps is the ability to capture every tap, post and activity to provide actionable insights for event organizers. This allows you to monitor engagement during and post event. Polls and surveys are great tools for gathering targeted feedback. Lead retrieval is a great way to keep track of important prospect information. An event app can be extremely powerful tool to measure your event success and provide a blueprint for future improvements. However, it’s crucial that the data you are capturing in your event app be in line with your metrics of success. Be sure to map out what these metrics before you start shopping for an app, so that you can ensure they are being measured throughout your event.
- Is it presenting the data in an easy-to-understand way? Once you have mapped out what those metrics of success are, and you have ascertained that your app is measuring them, the next step is checking whether that information is being presented in a digestible way. Be sure to ask any potential app provider about how post-event and real-time data is presented to ensure that once you have the data, you are able to interpret it! At DoubleDutch, we provide event organizers with a post-event engagement report, and they are able to download important data like survey results and lead reports.
Guest Blogger: DoubleDutch provides a full-feature mobile app for events, conferences, and tradeshows. By leveraging a unique social framework, DoubleDutch engages attendees, delivers value to sponsors and generates actionable data for event organizers. Interested? Visit www.doubledutch.me
Lawrence Coburn is the CEO and co-founder of DoubleDutch, a company that is embracing mobile and social to transform the event landscape. After starting DoubleDutch in January 2011, Coburn has grown to be a recognized thought leader in the mobile space and in the event industry. He has spoken at many conferences including Dreamforce, Event Marketing Summit, Ventureshift, CTIA, Gartner Symposium,Mobile Connect, Appnation, mNext Forum, CTIA Enterprise & Applications and the Mobile Enterprise Summit.