4 Helpful Event Mobile App Tips

Thinking of investing in an app for your next event? Here’s what you need to know.

Smartphones and mobile technology play a key role in day-to-day life, so it’s not surprising that they are making an impact on the event world as well. Still, planners often question whether event apps are worth the hassle and investment.

In a recent survey, Event Manager Blog asked 2,000 meeting professionals about their event app usage. Despite the growing prevalence of these apps, more than half (59%) of meeting planners choose to rely on other methods. However, 53% of respondents said they are interested in using an app in the future.

If you’re one of those professionals considering an app for your next event, here are four things you need to know:

1. If you invest in an app, it needs to play a big role.

The Event Manager Blog survey found that only 33 percent of respondents reported reported  use of event apps by half or more of attendees. For an app to be used — and therefore a good investment — it needs to play an integral role the event. App creators are catering to demand by designing apps that do more than simply list floor plans and schedules, adding tools can make your app a more integral part of your event package.


2. App capabilities are growing, but not necessarily in the way you want.

Newer apps have a whole laundry list of features to choose from — though maybe not the features you need most.

Survey respondents told the Event Manager Blog that event apps currently provide only two of the desired features: notifying attendees of changes and gathering attendee feedback. Other capabilities on planners’ checklists — such as attendee matchmaking capabilities and integrated registration and check-in — aren’t there yet.


3. If you decide to invest in an app, choose native.

Native apps (ones specifically designed for iOS, Android, Windows or BlackBerry) are the way to go. Because they are designed for a user’s specific platform, native apps can better interact with a phone’s system. This will allow the app to access information provided by other tools, such as the GPS and the camera — both of which play a crucial role in the way people engage with one another and with your event.


4. Get equipped with ARS.

Many event app creators are beginning to include an Audience Response System (ARS) in their toolset, which allows you to share content and interact with your attendees via the app. Investing in an event app with ARS means you can send presentations, follow-up information and other documents directly to everyone registered for your event.