Why apps don’t work

James Wickson UK Director of
Web Spiders, a specialist provider of bespoke apps and event technologies
through its event2mobile product range, shares his top tips for choosing an
event app and how to make them work for your event.

Mobile apps have become a must-have for most events these
days, but the number of people downloading them is still relatively low. This is because apps aren’t engaging with their audiences and secondly because
event organisers aren’t marketing them to their visitors.

There are a number of questions to ask before committing to
an app:

1. Do
you have a budget for an app? You should ask yourself this before you think
about creating one. There are far too many event organisers trying to get an
app on a contra deal because it is perceived as a ‘must-have’ which has
resulted in below par apps that have no perceived value to the event organiser and event itself

2. Why do you want an app for your event? What
would you like it to achieve? If you can’t answer these questions, you probably
don’t need an app for your event

3. Is
your app developer able to create an app that is available to all mobile
platforms including IOS, Android, Windows 8 and BlackBerry? An app that only
works on some mobile platforms is useless to all visitors that don’t have those
platforms

4. Does the event venue have sufficient Wi-Fi
speeds or is there a good 3G/4G signal in the area? Without this visitors will
be unable to download your app and use it, again meaning it has no value

5. What would you like your app to be able to do?
Step back and really look at the event you’re hosting. Is it an exhibition for
generating sales leads, is it an event for thought leadership and engagement or
is it a closed event for high level CEOs to network and share best practice?
The answers to these questions will determine what the app needs to do to
engage its users

6. How do you plan to market your app? An app which
hasn’t been marketed is like a village in the middle of the desert which isn’t
on a map. In all visitor and exhibitor communications you need to refer to your
app telling people how to download it. Why not train your registration staff to
ask visitors on arrival at the venue if they have downloaded it and to offer
advice on how to download it. However
try and get the audience to download the app prior to the event, once through
the doors of the event visitors/delegates will have an agenda, downloading an app
will not be part of that agenda

7. Finally, if you have decided to create an event
app and given real time and consideration to required outputs, you must give
your audience a compelling reason to download the app. Ask yourself the question: “why do you
download apps” and look at the apps you have on your device.

Apps are incredibly advanced these days offering
an unprecedented level of engagement and
information through mobile devices from creating competitions to gamification
and meeting management tools. You can create the right app for your event that will
engage with its user offering them an experience they won’t forget.

Any comments? Email jdavis@mashmedia.net

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Conference News hosts great guests on its pages. Our Blog section is the collection of the best opinions in the UK and international events industry.

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ConferenceNews Guest Author

Conference News hosts great guests on its pages. Our Blog section is the collection of the best opinions in the UK and international events industry.

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