Ben Hill, director of business development at Zerista, explains what people want from an event app, and how you can help them love it.
Attend any event today and most likely you will find a dedicated mobile app. In fact, 86% of event planners expected to have an app at their event in 2016.
But as mobile event apps become the norm, what capabilities do attendees really want? And more importantly, how do planners add new features to make them love it?
It starts with a central hub for event participants
Instead of printing agendas and maps, the app is now the digital guide. It is easy for planners to update and notify attendees.
Attendees can plan their entire experience, including:
• Setting a personalised programme of sessions/exhibits to attend
• Booking meetings with speakers, sponsors and exhibitors
• Saving a digital scrapbook of event collateral and hand-outs
• Participating in polls and surveys to share real-time feedback
It expands to destination details
One big shift we’re seeing is to give participants not only a complete experience inside the conference venue, but outside the venue too.
What does this mean? Imagine you’re from New York and attending an event in London. You might start planning your hotel on the conference website. Next, you head to other sites to research and book your airfare.
But what if you’re planning to extend your business trip to include a bit of leisure? Now you’re also making dining reservations at restaurants or buying tickets to a show on even more websites. All of a sudden, you’re clicking on dozens of sites and making multiple plans.
To really get attendees appreciating the event apps, planners need to consider adding a destination guide. With these guides, attendees can find hotels, make air arrangements and manage details like dining and attractions related to their entire ‘bleisure’ experience in a single, centralised place.