Event Apps should be an integral part of the event experience rather than optional. But, in spite of the mobile savvy and tech enthused audience, many event managers fail to achieve this.
Event managers often fail because, they either do not select the relevant Event app that meets audience needs or fall short while persuading the attendees to download the app. Even Though extreme options like going completely paperless do work to some extent in this regard, they will also make the app a replacement rather than an integral part of the event. Your audience should download the event App for positive reasons - because it actually enhances their experience, adds substantial value and helps them achieve their personal objectives. Anything other than this will make the audience resent the app and use it as little as possible.
Here are 7 strategies that will encourage the attendees to download your App and have a wonderful time at the event
1. Find out audience preference
Knowing what inhibits your audience is central to selecting the event app, opting for specialized features and designing the marketing message to ensure app adoption. Whether it is app size, features, navigation, or knowledge about the app itself - you can address all these concerns either in app design or app promotion. For instance, if the audience is confused about navigation - you can add a demo video that walks them through. It is equally important to assess what the audience wants and deliver it through the app. To give you an example, a B2B event organizer should focus on providing powerful networking opportunities that best meet the needs of attendees.
2. Encourage app adoption before the event
Ideally, the event audience should download and use the app well before they walk into the event venue. To ensure this, event managers need to address two key areas. First, you must ensure that the attendees have enough info and access to the app as early as possible. Highlighting the app on your event site and call to action buttons are one of the good ways of achieving this. Secondly, your app should add value before the event itself. If you choose an event app with networking features or scope for sponsor interactions, your audience will be able to use the app for much more than specifically event-related activities.
3. Design intelligent promotions
Clearly communicating the features, benefits, and value of your event app to the audience goes a long way in convincing them to make space for it on their phones. The promotional messages need to be designed with this express purpose highlighting the specific features that will appeal to your audience. For example,you could highlight the fact that the app makes the event paperless. For an exhibition, you would focus on communicating branding and sponsor showcase options. If you are sending info about the app in email or newsletter don’t bury it along with other event info - send dedicated communications highlighting the features and benefits.
4. Plan interactive engagements on the App
Today’s audience expects participatory and interactive experiences above all. Incorporating such features in your app will improve the audience experience and encourage them to use the app. You need not wait until the event to do this. To start with, you can run polls for audience preference for food/beverages, entertainment, scheduling, speakers, and make arrangements to meet those preferences. Then at the event, you can run live contests which will be a powerful incentive for organic app adoption. Chatbots are another novel option to make the event info and navigation personal and give the feel of human interaction.
5. Make it organic
Event managers should pay adequate attention to making the app adoption as organic as possible - after all, the word of mouth from a trusted friend/colleague is much more powerful. The speakers and influencers at your event can play a crucial role in this by sharing the app info, links, and QR codes on their social media channels or blogs. Sharing exclusive sponsor offers like discount codes on the app will also induce your attendees to join the app faster. Providing integration with social media for sharing updates right from the app will also ease the adoption process for the attendees. If you can integrate payments or travel services into the app, people will find it much more natural to use than multiple third-party apps.
6. Add networking options
Networking is increasingly becoming one of the major reasons why professionals across industries are flocking to events. Adding smart networking options before, during, and after the event that the audience can depend on, will encourage app adoption and usage on a massive scale. For instance, you can use event apps that intuitively give networking suggestions based on audience profiling data and provide integration with networking platforms like Linkedin. Options like chatting one on one without compromising on privacy and tools to set up meetings at the event venue will also be perceived as useful by the audience. At the event, inbuilt options like scanning business cards will make the app easier to use for networking.
7. Promote the app at the event
You should continue to encourage the audience to download the app even after they enter your venue. Providing check-in or registration through the app is a good way of doing this. Don’t forget to place leaflets highlighting the benefits of the app along with QR codes in prominent locations of the venue. The speakers and moderators at the event can also remind the audience at regular intervals to check out the presentations/reports on the event app. Holding live contests and polls will be an excellent way of creating the buzz about the app at the event venue. The sponsors and exhibitors can also display App info in their stalls to draw audience’s interest.
Unless you add real and significant value, your event App will be fighting a losing battle with all the Apps on your audience’s phone that they love and use everyday. Making the App a joy to navigate and ensuring that its features meet your attendee’s needs is fundamental to ensuring organic event app adoption. Add powerful promotional efforts into the mix and your audience will rush to download the app.
If you are searching for an event app that your audience will love to download and use, check out EventOnApp - The new age event app with exciting features like integrated chatbots, check-in management, social media integration, and smart networking that will delight your audience.