Why invest in a mobile event app? Well, that’s what we’re here to discuss. There are a number of compelling reasons, all of which fall into one (or both) of two categories: an enhanced experience for all involved, and an impressive return on investment for your organization, your sponsors and your exhibitors.
A survey of more than 500 event administrators who’ve adopted mobile technology underscores the above assertion. Those surveyed stated that their number-one success metric is attendee satisfaction, and that satisfaction is the number-one value event apps deliver. Nine out of ten of those surveyed avowed that their mobile event app has produced a positive return on investment.
Of course, not just any mobile event app will do. Your app must be sufficiently flexible to be customized to meet specific needs. And in order to fully maximize its potential, it’s essential that you’re well prepared.
Let’s discuss some ideas—ideas for before, during and after your event—that will make this potential a reality. In this first of a three-part series, we’ll focus on pre-event.
#1: Get to Know Your Guests in Advance, Then Extend a Warm Welcome
Post-event surveys of your attendees are invaluable, but so too are pre-event surveys. The better you get to know your guests prior to their arrival, the better you can enhance their experience throughout their stay.
What information should you gather?
First, the anecdotal. Learn what you can about your guests’ backgrounds, specialties, hobbies. This information can be used to create in-app profiles—with photos and contact particulars—that will help them get better acquainted with their fellow attendees. You can build these profiles for them or allow them to fashion their own.
You should also consider asking some big-picture questions. What are their thoughts on the state of the industry? What innovations would they most like to see in the immediate future? There’s no telling when, where or how that insight might trigger discussion.
You might also ask what they hope to gain from the event, or what’s not on the agenda that they wish was. It may be too late to incorporate a suggestion into the upcoming event, but it’s certainly not too late for the next one.
Consider asking some big-picture questions. What are their thoughts on the state of the industry? What innovations would they most like to see in the immediate future? There’s no telling when, where or how that insight might trigger discussion.
You can also present your guests with a personalized agenda, one with links to content relevant to their interests, as indicated by the information you’ve gathered. They’re going to appreciate that extra effort.
#2: Sit Down, Strategize
Hosting a productive event is a team effort. It’s critical that you sit down with your team—marketing, sales, all parties involved—well in advance of your event to strategize on how to fully leverage the power of your mobile event app.
You’ve gathered some valuable insight into who your guests are and what’s motivated them to attend—now share it, parse it. Brainstorm on what additional information to gather throughout the event. How can you most effectively advance relationships? And what can you learn that will help make your next event more successful still? Explore the possibilities.
#3: Roll Out the Red Carpet
Here’s a way to offer your speakers and exhibitors the VIP treatment: Provide them with password-protected access to full management of their resources—the ability to upload headshots, profiles, slides, whatever they require.
The feature can be set up so that the event planner also has access for touch-ups and additions as necessary. Offering this option can save a whole lot of hassle for planners, avoiding last-minute uploads after things have gotten hectic. A VIP portal also allows speakers to incorporate live-polling or survey questions into their presentations right up to—or even in the midst of—their session.
Also, think revenue potential: This VIP feature can be offered within a premium sponsorship package.
#4: Maximize Your Partners’ Potential Return
Your sponsors and exhibitors are great assets, and you’re a great asset to them. Optimize this experience.
Here’s one idea: Offer them easy access to post-event follow-ups with an in-app feature that allows them to quickly and unobtrusively scan an attendee’s badge, then immediately add notes and a rating.
Or how about this: Loop your sponsors and exhibitors into badge games that award attendees for booth visits or clicked ads.
Then, of course, you can offer your partners in-app ad banners. You can display them on the home screen or alongside a session description that relates to the services they provide, then measure the number of clicks-through to their website.
The benefits to your sponsors and exhibitors of taking advantage of these features are clear and easy to define: a higher return on their event investment. But you are benefitting as well. Having realized that healthy ROI, they’re likely to return next year, advancing a mutually beneficial partnership. Strategize with them on how to further that symbiosis.
Okay, so now you’re well prepared. It’s event time. In our second segment, we’ll explore your next steps. Stay tuned…