March 29, 2017

5 Things to Consider When Building an Event App with Limited Resources

5 Things to Consider When Building an Event App with Limited Resources

Today, we welcome a guest post from Claire Sung at Eventpedia. If you want a mobile app for your next event, you can learn more at www.eventpedia.com.

Smart devices have become necessities of the modern life because technology has changed how we receive information and communicate with family, friends, and other networks. According to comScore’s 2016 U.S Mobile App Report, people spend around 2.5 hours per day on smartphones. The mobile obsession is reflected in the event industry as attendees are expecting a channel where they can access event information on the go. As a result, the demand for a mobile app has risen rapidly over the last five years. Incorporating mobile strategy for today’s tradeshows and conferences continues to be crucial to enhance attendee experience. However, having limited resources is often a primary concern for associations. If your budget is tight, you are working with a small team, or have limited time to implement an app, you will be happy to know there are solutions available. Here are five things you should consider when building an event app:

1. Go with a Multi-Tenant App

While there are certainly many benefits of having a branded app, if your association is strapped for resources you should consider sharing the app with other events. All this means is your attendees will download your event within a vendor's app (imagine owning a condo instead of a single-family house). Although you can’t change the app name or the structure of the app, you can still make cosmetic changes in your event (like the decor inside your home). This option will save you a substantial amount of time and money and make it easy for your small team to implement.

2. Know Your Audience and Choose Features You Need

Before investing in a mobile event app for your association, it's critical to think about the size of your event and demographics of your attendees. If your association is new to mobile event apps, others in your situation generally choose to introduce the core features (ex: personalized schedule, note-taking, etc.) that would enhance user experiences instead of jamming in all the advanced features. Understand your audience and select features to match their needs; avoid the temptation of just looking for buzzwords in the industry to check off your list.

3. Import Data

An easy data import tool provides you the benefit of modifying event data quickly. Most app vendors offer an Excel data template to enter data into its CMS (Content Management System). Better yet, choose a provider capable of integrating with your technology infrastructure such as Association Management Software (AMS), registration system, abstract, etc. allowing you the ability to import data with just a few clicks. With the time saved from integration, your event staff will have more resources for event planning, which may easily outweigh the cost of integration.

4. Utilize the Speaker/Sponsor/Exhibitor Portal

Another way to spare your staff time is to send the profile management portal to your speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors and let them upload their logo, company description, social media handles, and documents. Not only will stakeholders be happier at the opportunity to gain increased exposure, your staff will also no longer have to chase after people who miss the deadlines.

5. Monetize the Event App

Take advantage of advertisement space and sell them to your sponsors to gain more revenue. Differentiate your sponsor packages with the premier sponsor splash page, the highly sought-after sponsor rotating banners, featured listings, push notifications, and more. Successfully market these opportunities to your sponsors and join the many associations who cover the cost of their event app with revenue generated from in-app monetization.

Having limited resources may be unavoidable, but don’t let it discourage you from your goal of having an informative and engaging event app. Consider incorporating these five strategies to streamline your app implementation and cut down the cost for your next events. Happy Apping and Stay Modern!

Claire Sung

Claire is the Director of Mobile Operations at Eventpedia.

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