You have definitely heard of the event app technology, whether you’ve just entered the events industry or you’ve been organizing events for years, and you’re debating whether you really need it for your event or if you could just do without it.
This article aims to take you through the dimensions of that inquiry, to figure out if using an event app in the next event you’re organizing would be in your best interests.
How is the mobile app technology growing?
Mobile phones have no longer become an accessory, but an integral part in everyone’s hands, rapidly spreading with an astounding, estimated number of 2.71 billion smartphone users in 2019! Whether it’s an iOS or Android device, the app stores available on the various devices allow users to explore and download mobile applications that serve their needs. Weather, sports, news, games, socialization..there’s an app for everything nowadays.
So it’s no wonder that the events industry would have its share of relevant mobile apps as well. 88% of event organizers used an event app at least once, to reduce the gap between the organizer and the attendees, provide a better event experience and deliver high ROI for the different event stakeholders.
The different functions of an event app ultimately serve the most prominent goal an event organizer sets to achieve: event success.
What does event success mean?
As obvious as it sounds, “event success” is a very generic term with a non-standardized definition; but when it is used, it generally revolves around:
- Creating an engaging experience for the attendees where everyone is happy and waiting to attend again next year
- Generating the most revenue and achieving a high ROI
- Having the ability to analyze the event’s performance, to optimize your efforts for your future events
“Event Success” via engaging attendees
Why is an engaging experience important?
Engaging your event’s attendees is the first step in their retention. 85% of attendees are more likely to come back the following years in the future events you organize and 89% are more likely to recommend the event to their peers if they had a positive experience.
When organizing an event that is constituted of rich, educational sessions, talks and workshops, it is vital to make sure that they actually meet your attendees’ needs and that they find them interesting. If your event aims to bring different stakeholders together, to network and connect, then you have to provide the means by which to facilitate their communication.
How can you engage attendees? Well, it starts before the event itself, and continues even after the event ends. Event organizers exploit mediums such as social media, email marketing and on-ground activations.
How does an event app achieve that?
The best event apps are specifically designed to provide the most engaging experience to the attendees. Having a long list of complex features doesn’t necessarily guarantee engagement; what matters is that the app has what serves your needs as an event organizer, including:
Live Q&As, live polls & surveys, sessions & talks rating
To keep your attendees engaged with your event’s activities, these interactive features in an event app give you instant feedback and facilitate communication between your end and the attendees. Instead of asking for feedback after the event, when people might have forgotten the specifics, you can immediately ask about their opinions on what they’ve attended and got the results on your real-time dashboard.
Private messaging, meeting scheduler, matchmaking
People love networking! 76% of people attend events mainly to network and meet new and relevant connections. Having that in mind, event apps have networking features that allow attendees to communicate privately together and schedule meetings with each other.
With the technological advancements nowadays, some event apps, like Eventtus’, utilize smart techniques to match relevant attendees with each other through the matchmaking feature. Instead of scrolling through the entire list of attendees, people can now be matched with those who are most similar to them, according to fields of interest.
Push notifications, venue 3D map, social feed, updated & personalized agenda
One of the critical factors in keeping attendees highly engaged with the event is keeping them informed. Every attendee should be able to easily access the event’s agenda, monitor any updates to it, bookmark & get notified about sessions and talks that interest them. If the attendee doesn’t know what is going on in, then they wouldn’t really enjoy the event. That’s what a great event app delivers!
Myth: Nobody would really want to download the app. It takes time and requires access to the internet.
Fact: In 2019, Startup Grind Global Conference used Eventtus event app to engage their 4500+ attendees, 4280 of whom downloaded the event app, which was 1.5X more than the previous year. The event achieved a 97% engagement rate!
“Event Success” via achieving a high ROI
Why is a high ROI important?
Let’s be frank, one of the main goals of organizing an event is to make money, it’s business after all. Between the costs of the venue, the speakers’ fees, the setup and the organizers’ salaries, the expenses of organizing an event could skyrocket. That is why you really need to get your money’s worth and actually sell tickets; and if it’s possible, reduce or eliminate unnecessary costs.
Printed materials constitute a considerable percentage of an event’s budget; so a very efficient way to reduce expenses is to avoid using printed materials in the first place. They’re costly and not at all an environment-friendly solution, especially when flyers and brochures end up being thrown on the floor or the trash bins.
In addition to reducing costs, how about increasing revenue too? The obvious way is to increase ticket sales, but having exhibitors and partners paying to be featured in your event could be a precious income stream. 53% of event organizers measure ROI by staying within budget, 51% believe that profit is necessary and 34% find sponsorship revenue important in measuring ROI.
How does an event app achieve that?
- Save time and money: Instead of spending time designing and printing flyers, brochures and agendas that usually end up getting lost or thrown away, an event app will provide attendees with all the essential information they need, on their mobile phone, with an easily accessible event app.
- Promote your sponsors, partners and exhibitors: Feature your sponsors on the main menu, and send the attendees push notifications about their activities in your events. You can also place their logo around the event app. The exposure provided to them through the event app increases their visibility to the attendees; thus delivering high ROI.
Such marketing initiatives could really strengthen your partnerships with prominent companies, and encourage them to invest more in your future events.
By providing continuous value to your delegates and driving high adoption rates on the Event App, you create a unique opportunity to showcase your sponsors and realize a measurable ROI. — Mina Shawky, Eventtus COO.
Myth: It is better to just buy a $100 event app than a more costly one.
Fact: Event apps are an investment for event success. You get your money’s worth through the high return on investment delivered through the benefits of the app. The best part? There are no standard apps. There are multiple event app types (branded, white-labeled) and flexible price plans, according to your event budget, size, and needs. For example, Eventtus develops and designs a range of different event app types according to the event details. Sometimes they’re even custom-designed, to best meet the customer’s needs.
“Event Success” through performance analysis
Why is analyzing performance important?
If your event’s over and you don’t really have any tangible information related to how well it performed, then you’ve missed the opportunity to enhance and optimize your efforts for any following event you organize. How can you validate the resources you spent on the event if you don’t measure your event’s success?
91.4% of event organizers measure event success by their attendees’ satisfaction; so having clear data about how your attendees viewed your event is essential in measuring and analyzing the general and overall performance of your event.
How does an event app achieve that?
One of the best elements of an event app is the extensive data and analytics that it provides to event organizers in your event’s own dashboard, updated in real-time. It contains information about app downloads, the most popular sessions and speakers, attendees engagement, sponsors insights and a lot more!
This data provides valuable insight into every aspect of your event, so that you could know what really hit well and what you could do without in your next event. In 2018, RiseUp Summit used Eventtus event app to engage its audience. Through the organizer’s dashboard, RiseUp’s team was able to monitor the data and statistics during each day of the 3-day event, in terms of number of engaged attendees, app downloads, messages sent throughout the day, which talks the attendees loved the most and the interactions with the different exhibitors and booths present during the event.
Choosing the right event app is a dealbreaker. Any event app would provide the basic analytics; but a great event app would provide detailed, daily reports and analytics using the right event metrics to give you an accurate representation of your event’s performance.
Myth: It is difficult to measure an app’s ROI.
Fact: Event apps provide quantifiable ROI metrics that you could measure its performance with, such as: revenue obtained from the event (through tickets, registrants and attendees), sponsors insights, attendee engagement, networking insights.