We don’t go online anymore…we live online. People nowadays spend an average of 5 hours per day using their phone; that’s why it’s only natural to see a spike in using mobile event apps nowadays, as they maximize your audience’s engagement with your event.
Read also: 7 Signs You Need An Event App
The challenge with event apps is that not all attendees download it; there are still some obstacles that hinder achieving a high the adoption rate: the app’s large size, attendees not understanding the purpose of the app, or not even knowing that there’s an app in the first place.
What is an event app adoption rate?
It’s the speed or pace by which the event visitors start using the event app during a certain period of time (typically a week before the event, during the event, and a few days after it ends).
Event app adoption rate incorporates:
- Number of event app downloads;
- Messages sent and received through the app;
- Total app page views;
- Percentage of attendees who downloaded the app.
How can you increase your event app’s adoption rate?
We compiled the best practices we learned from 8,500 events we collaborated with, and in this article, we share 24 of the easiest, most effective and always forgotten hacks to maximize your next event app’s adoption rate.
Before the event:
Introduce the app during registration
While your audience is registering to attend your event, inform them about the event app’s benefit and encourage them to download it by incorporating it on your event’s registration page. Make sure the visitors are aware that there’ll be no paper handouts (brochures, agenda..etc), so that they primarily depend on the event app.
Use the power of social media
Distribute and encourage people to download the app through the different social media platforms that are used by your audience.
Promote the app from the very beginning
Don’t wait a couple of days before the event to start promoting the app. Once your app is live 1-2 weeks before the event, announce it to your audience to download it right away.
Publicize your app alongside your event
Make sure you promote the event app at any opportunity for publicity – in press releases, online ads, articles. It’s a great space to educate people about its advantages and to encourage them to download it before the event.
Educate people on how to use the app
Employ different methods of educating your event visitors on how to use the event app. Send dedicated emails, produce live webinars or create educational videos that demonstrate how to use the features.
Create a promotional video
Videos are an effective way to educate people on how to use the app and to get them to download it. Create a promotional video and distribute it across your channel to increase awareness about the app and its adoption.
Feature the app on the event’s main website
Make it official and create a banner, section or even a landing page for the app on your event’s website.
Send a dedicated email & SMS
Before the event, send an email or even an SMS to your attendees on how to prepare for your event, including a call-to-action to download the app, with it being an integral part of the event experience.
Make use of your app sponsors
Request from your event sponsors, partners & exhibitors to endorse the event app across their platforms. It will be a great promotional opportunity for them to get higher visibility and exposure by the people who download the app.
Invite speakers to use & promote the app
Your event speakers are your event advocates. When they download and use the app, the attendees will take them as an example, so make sure you’ve well communicated the significance of the event app to them.
Make the app a fundamental part of the event experience
Add all your event’s details, agenda, sessions, workshops and talks on the event app, so that it forms an integral part of the event, and people are more inclined to download it.
Encourage pre-event networking
Your event app is an easily accessible directory of your event’s attendees and speakers. Encourage your audience to download the app before the event to browse the attendees list, network and schedule meetings during your event. Using the matchmaking feature, they’ll be able to connect with attendees with similar interests to them.
During The Event:
Showcase the app on banners
Promote your app all around your event’s venue using banners and signage: on walls, at the registration desk, around the networking areas, inside halls and on the stages. No one can miss the message if it’s everywhere!
Use on-ground app support
Often people head to ushers for help, so it would be quite useful if you instruct them to promote the app’s adoption by the attendees they converse with. Frequently, all the information asked for by attendees is already on the app. All you need to do is to direct the ushers to use the app and advise people to download it as well to find out answers to the questions they have. Simple as that!
Exclusive content on the event app
One trick we learned which works like magic every time, is to have exclusive content shared just on the app; whether that is a document, an e-book, links or QR codes. The exclusivity will excite and interest people to know what they’re missing out on.
Fast registration track for app users
Who likes to wait in line for registration? Exactly, no one! To create an incentive for attendees to download the app, you can offer a special, exclusive perk to app users by allowing them to use a fast-track to register.
Prepare digital activations through the app
Create event activations that are digitally executed through the app to urge people to download it; such as food & transportation promo codes or scavenger hunts during your event.
Organize contests to encourage the download of the app
Prepare contests that require the use of the app, and distribute giveaways or prizes to act as an incentive to use it.
Make the app a primary communication & engagement tool
Substitute all traditional methods with the event app, so that it could be the primary method to communicate and engage with the attendees. Post polls, host Q&A sessions and send in-app surveys…all from within the app.
Make on-stage announcements
Remind the attendees to download the app by announcing it on the main event stage. The message will probably be broadcasted to a considerable number of attendees, so give quick tips on how to best use the app to get a better event experience.
Set up phone-charging stations
Organize a zone that has phone-charging stations for event visitors, and load this area with event app promoting messages and notices.
Set the WiFi password to “Download The App”
This is a smart way to remind attendees to download the event app, as connecting to the venue WiFi is an action almost all visitors do.
Encourage attendees to share photos & posts through the app
Your event has its own private social network where your attendees can share live updates, post photos or comment on others’ posts. Encourage them to use this feature which is similar to the social media platforms they already use.
After The Event:
Create a community through the app
Continue engaging the attendees after the event through the app. Send follow-up content after the event’s over as compiled content from the sessions they’ve attended, or your event highlights. This will play a role in optimizing the brand perception and value, in order to build trust for any future event you organize. Utilize the app features to receive feedback from the attendees about their event experience, including how they would rate the sessions, workshops, talks and speakers.
In a nutshell, one of the major goals of having an app for your event is to collect data that help you improve your event down the line and measure your ROI.
This data comes from the engagement between attendees and other elements on the app, like the agenda, speakers, sponsors, etc. That’s why it only makes sense to put the effort to get as many attendees to use the app as you can.
If you want to create an engaging experience for your attendees and take your event to the next level, contact us to engineer an app that fits your needs as an event organizer.