11 questions to ask before buying an event app

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Event organizers have been investing more and more in event technology solutions; 88% of event organizers have used an event app at least once before.

Deciding on utilizing the app technology for your event can be a significant decision that depends on many factors such as its cost, effectiveness and its advantages over traditional methods. Whether you are still contemplating the idea or exploring the different available options, you should ask yourself the following questions to know if you are making the right decision.

1. Do I really need an event app?

This is the probably the first question that will pop into your mind when considering the idea of buying an event app. Do you really need it? Will it actually enhance your event’s experience?

An event organizer’s first and foremost goal is to achieve event success, so naturally that should be the main function that the app performs. A great event app results in your event’s success through:

  • Engaging the attendees;
  • Delivering a high return on investment;
  • Providing a detailed performance analysis.

Because a great event app is especially designed to create the most engaging experience, you will be able to interact with your attendees, get their immediate feedback and promote your brand and your sponsors’ to all your event stakeholders…all while eliminating traditional printed materials; which gives you the advantages of both being eco-friendly and cutting down on unnecessary resources. 

Read more: Do you really need an event app?

2. Will the app help achieve the goals I set for my event?

Before buying an event app, you have to prepare the goals you want your event to achieve and know why you’re organizing it. Is revenue your main motive? Do you want to increase your audience’s awareness about a certain cause? Is it a networking event that connects people of different backgrounds and work-fields together?

Understanding the nature of your event and allocating a purpose for it helps in determining what type of event app you need and what will it help you achieve. 

The different event app packages provide different features, hence different values propositions. Make sure that you communicate your event’s objectives to your dedicated customer success manager so that you are matched with an event app that will serve your needs, whether you’re organizing a tradeshow, a conference, an industry summit or you simply need an app to aggregate multiple events you’re hosting.

3. What are the different types of event apps?

Because the market is diverse and each organizer’s requirements vary, there are multiple event app types according to the needs, nature and size of every event.

Usually they fall within the following range:

  • White-Labeled Apps

A white-labeled app is designed to reflect your brand’s guidelines, through the icons, colors, interface and content all throughout the app. The advanced interactive and networking features that top-notch event apps have, empower you to deliver the most engaging event experience to your attendees! You can discover your event’s performance, monitor the analytics and measure your ROI, in real-time, through your own event dashboard or by requesting business reports that give you exclusive insights and data about your event.

Most suitable for:

 Medium-large conferences, exhibitions and trade shows who care about branding, maximizing event engagement and receiving the full spectrum of what event tech can offer.
  • Branded Apps

If you still want an engaging event experience but you need to go live in no time, branded apps have the core features that you need, without the excess baggage.

Most suitable for:

Small-medium events looking for budget-friendly solutions to allow event attendees to network and interact efficiently.
  • Multi-Event App

Multi-event apps are also sometimes called container apps, mainly because they contain all the events that you’re organizing throughout the year. If you’re an organization or corporate company that hosts events frequently (whether they’re internal or public events), it would be efficient for you to list them all in one place, to keep everyone informed and engaged.

Most suitable for:

Entities organizing multiple events across the year for the same community.

Before making a purchase, request a demo of the event app that matches the needs of your event and contact the event tech provider’s sales team to showcase the the different tailored packages that are available.

At Eventtus, we provide a range of packages and plans that fit events of all types, sizes and budgets.

Talk to an Event Expert

4. What are the essential features that have to be in the event app?

The objective of conferences and trade shows usually differs, each provides a different value to the audience; so according to the type of event you’re organizing, you should be looking for the essential features that fulfill its purpose.

Conferences:

If you’ve set an agenda for a conference, with the aim of education, networking, exchange of information or discussions, these are the most important features that you should be looking for.

Networking features:

  • Private messaging:

Attendees can send one-on-one messages to each other.

  • Meeting scheduler:

Attendees can request to schedule meetings with other attendees or speakers in the event.

  • Matchmaking:

Attendees are matched with people similar to them, with the same interests.

Interactive features

  • Live Q&As:

Instead of the traditional way of hosting a Q&A session (raising hands and sending microphones across), people can ask and upvote questions through the app.

  • Live polls:

Post polls on the app, that everyone can view and answer, and get the results immediately.

  • Sessions & talks rating:

Attendees can rate the sessions or talks they have attended, so that you get immediate feedback on each’s performance.

Staying up-to-date:

  • Push notifications:

Keep everyone up-to-date and send announcements or reminders.

  • Social feed:

Your event gets its own private social network, where attendees can check in or post statuses or photos about their experience.

  • Updated and personalized agenda:

Attendees can stay informed of any sudden changes to the agenda, and can create their own by adding the sessions or talks they want to attend.

Exhibitions / Tradeshows:

If you’re gathering companies of a certain industry to exhibit and showcase their offerings, either to a certain community or to the public, your event app should have the essential features to provide them with exposure and lead qualification.

Visibility and exposure:

  • Splash screens & logo placement:

You can promote your sponsors and feature your exhibitors in the main menu or the sessions’ agenda, so that you could provide them with a higher visibility to the audience.

  • Targeted app notifications:

You can send attendees targeted push notifications that advertise your event’s partners for maximum reach.

Lead retrieval:

If you’re organizing a trade show where exhibitors are looking to meet with potential clients and generate leads, then using a lead retrieval app alongside the event app can really help deliver tangible ROI to your exhibitors. Once they do feel the value they receive from exhibiting in your event, they will be more likely to develop long-term partnerships.

Read more: Why lead retrieval is essential for your trade shows

5. Are event apps easy to use if I’m not tech-savvy?

An outstanding event app is designed for ease-of-use so that they could be used by anyone, effortlessly; so you shouldn’t really need to be tech-savvy. 

However, some apps are bulked with a long list of unnecessary features that will just overload the interface and make the user experience inconvenient. So to better visualize how an event app works, you could request a one-on-one demo of the app before purchasing it, where experts demonstrate the flow of the process and answer any questions you might have about the operations.

Confirm that the event app has a user-friendly interface, with clear menus, pages and buttons. It should have all the essential features that you need for the most engaging event experience; without overwhelming you with excessive add-ons. 

6. How can I make sure that the attendees will actually download the event app?

People love being up-to-date and are shifting to a more frequent and dependent use of new technological solutions; so all you’ve got to do is demonstrate the significance of using the app during the event in enhancing the experience. Most event apps have an adoption rate of 60-80%, which is an adequate percentage. The better you promote the usage of the app to the attendees, the higher the adoption rate will be.

An effective way to encourage people to use your event app is to go paperless! When all the event’s information and documents (including brochures, agendas and schedules) are transferred to the app instead of being printed, this will drive people to download the app to be able to view them at all times without the burden of carrying them everywhere or losing them.

In 2019, Startup Grind’s Global Conference used Eventtus’ event app and LeadBox to achieve an engagement rate of 97% with their attendees. They went completely paperless, depending solely on the event app to showcase the event’s agenda, sessions, workshops and speakers’ & attendees’ information.

Read more: How Startup Grind achieved 97% engagement rate using Eventtus

7. How much will it cost me?

Don’t think of it as a cost as much as an investment. You get your money’s worth when using an event app from its monetization opportunities (check question #8), the very insightful data you collect through it and helping you achieve event success.

Because your needs and budget will differ than other event organizers, there are multiple event app types and pricing packages so that you can find the plan that suits you! Whether you want to provide the most engaging experience to your attendees or you’re looking for an app to list all the events you’re organizing this year, compare the different plans available to conferences, exhibitions and festivals of all sizes so that you validate the effectiveness of the event app.

8. What are the monetization opportunities that I can get through the app?

Believe it or not, you could actually make money out of your event app! A white-labeled app provides you with the opportunity to advertise your partners and promote your sponsors. This additional exposure they get on the event app makes them visible to everyone using it, which is a bonus branding channel.

You can:

  • Send targeted push notifications to advertise sponsors and partners;
  • Feature exhibitors on the main menu and the exhibitors’ menu;
  • Promote app sponsors with branded splash screens, logo placement on agenda sessions and the main menu.
 It was the first time we used an event app in our conference and it has really made a big difference. Instead of exchanging business cards, attendees scanned each other’s QR code on their name-tags to get their contacts on their phone. 9,349 scans were made! It was a truly exciting experience. — Guillaume De Smedt, Startup Grind’s Global Community VP on Eventtus LeadBox

Some event tech providers now offer innovative solutions that pair up with the event app to deliver a comprehensive experience. If you’re organizing a trade show, getting a lead retrieval app could be a bonus! Monetizing the app by providing it to all your exhibitors helps them qualify every lead that visits their booth during your event with just a simple QR code scan. 

Read more: What is lead retrieval? And why should you care?

9. Will the app contribute to my company’s branding efforts?

Keeping up with technological advancements and using an event app gives a professional impression about your brand and could be a powerful communication tool with your audience.

A white-labeled event app is themed with your brand’s colors and logo, from the home-screen to the main menu and the feeds; you can personalize every aspect of your event app, to match the look and feel of your brand’s guidelines.

This is what RiseUp Summit 2018’s event app looks like, using Eventtus’ white-labeled app.

10. To what extent can a technical team support me?

According to what each event tech provider offers, the technical team could provide little or full support in the different stages of your event organization.

From the first step of purchasing an event app to after your event has ended, having a technical team will facilitate the whole process for you.

The technical team’s support could be in:

  • Developing the event app that precisely matches your needs and serves your audience’s best interests;
  • Fixing any bugs or crashes that might arise in the app before or during the event;
  • Answering any questions or concerns you might have about how the event app operates;
  • Showing you a demo of how the app works so that you know all its operative techniques;
  • Being present on-ground on the day of the event, to answer questions, manage crises or help in the setup.

Validate from the sales team to how much the technical support you will be provided with, and request further assistance if you feel that it will optimize your event experience.

11. How will I measure the success of the app?

You can find out precisely how your event app has performed and how much it has contributed in your event’s success by measuring its ROI.

Event organizers measure the ROI of the event apps using the following metrics:

  • App adoption rate;
  • Feedback surveys;
  • Engagement levels;
  • Revenue from monetization opportunities.

As an event organizer, your analytics dashboard will display all the significant data and statistics about your event’s performance. It includes quantifiable ROI metrics, such as: revenue obtained from the event (through tickets, registrants and attendees), sponsors insights, attendee engagement, networking insights.

Analyzing this information will help you pinpoint the success points and downfalls of your event, so that you could enhance and optimize the planning of any event you’re organizing in the future. Check with the technology provider if you could request custom-made reports with data about your event. Eventtus provides additional analysis reports and insights to its customers, that help event organizers understand their stakeholders’ interests and activities.

Do you have more questions?

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