Organizing an event is a massive undertaking that’s all about details. From the venue and the speakers, you book to the way you promote your event and even the refreshments you offer, it all contributes to the overall success of your project. Fortunately, technology holds plenty of potential to help anyone improve their event, and one of the best ways to harness that potential is with an event app.
July 20, 2022
- 4 minutes
As with any other aspect of your event, though, that conference app can make your event run more smoothly and improve attendee satisfaction and exhibitor profits or it can be one more headache. The difference lies in the way your app is designed and the features it includes. Our event platform pros have put together this guide to the top features you need for your mobile event app.
Not sure where to start with customizing your event app? These 11 features are the ultimate “musts” for your app, so use this as a checklist to start building out the structure of your app.
Your mobile event app needs to have a user-friendly navigation experience. That involves a few things. First, the navigation menu needs to be intuitive so it’s easy for users to find the information or features they’re looking for. Second, the app needs to load quickly and operate smoothly.
Your navigation is the foundation of your app and its success. A positive user experience on your app leads to a more positive impression of your event overall, and that’s key to building a base of loyal “customers” for future events.
Networking is one of the top reasons professionals attend events. Making connections with others in their field benefits both their own careers and their employers. By working networking features into your event app, you can facilitate this and make your event more productive for all.
One of the best functions of an event networking platform is a process that lets people quickly send their contact details to others. For example, you can incorporate a QR code scanner into your app or use a similar strategy to make it easy to send contacts.
You can also use your app to stimulate networking conversations. For example, you can pop up prompts at different times throughout the event with tasks like, “Find someone who’s from a different state than you and collect their contact details within the next two hours for a chance to win a prize.”
Social media is a valuable tool for your event, and you can make it work for you even better if you incorporate it into your app. Design your app to integrate with social media apps to make it easy for attendees, presenters, exhibitors, and organizers to post about the event.
By doing this on your event app and other online event platforms, you encourage more social media visibility about your event, serving as a type of advertising for future events. You also enhance the engagement for your event by helping to spark conversations on social media. Remember, fantastic event networking can take place digitally too when attendees are connecting with others on social media while discussing the event.
For your event to be successful, you want to be able to cater to as many people as possible. That includes attracting international audiences. One of the best ways to bring in more international attendees is by making your event accessible for people who speak various languages
Translation features have commonly been part of virtual conference platforms and you should incorporate them into your mobile event app too. This can include automatic translation services that translate all the content in your app into various languages, including subtitles for supplementary videos.
As you promote your event in advance, make sure you advertise that you will have accommodations for people who speak other languages. This way, international audiences will be encouraged to register knowing that they’ll be able to enjoy the same content and a similar experience to people who speak your language natively
If you have participants download the app when they register, you can use the app to push out notifications and alerts that get participants excited about the event. You might announce surprise guests or fun social gatherings, for example.
You can also use the app to push out incentives to encourage registrants to refer others. For example, send notifications that they’ll receive a drawing entry for a prize for every registrant they refer.
Your event app is a core piece of audience engagement software you can use throughout the event to keep attendees involved. Apps are perfect for this because they allow for push notifications.
You can use push notifications throughout your event to let audiences know about last-minute perks and additions. For example, “Come to the Exhibitor XYZ booth any time today for a free t-shirt!” You can also use these notifications to remind and prompt participants to take advantage of special offers or features.
From a more pragmatic perspective, your app’s push notifications are an excellent way to handle emergency changes and alerts too. For instance, perhaps one of the elevators in your venue breaks and you need to notify attendees to use the elevators at the other side of the building. Or, you may need to change rooms for a certain presentation and you can alert attendees about this using your app.
You may have a point system that awards participants with points for completing certain tasks and they earn special offers, prizes, or other incentives for reaching various point levels. You can also incorporate actual games into your app, like a Bingo card that lets attendees mark off squares by completed tasks.
Using gamification in your event software is a fantastic way to get attendees more involved throughout the event. It adds an aspect of fun to the occasion while also incentivizing attendees to try out sessions, booths, and features they may not otherwise try. A mobile app opens the door to many more types of gamification than paper and pens.
In conferences and meetings, presentations are more engaging and educational when they are interactive. The more involved the audience is, the more the audience will take away from the session and the higher your attendee satisfaction will be. One of the best ways to get audiences involved is with live polls and surveys.
During a presentation, for example, the presenter can ask how many people have heard of a particular topic or how many people have completed a certain type of project. This gives them an understanding of the audience’s expertise level so they can cater their presentation to them. They can use similar strategies to show how common a certain belief or misunderstanding is or even to generate ideas from the audience.
Your event app is a perfect opportunity to make these polls and surveys easier. You can have features of the app that allow attendees to answer questions directly on their app, with those answers feeding to the presenter in real-time.
A strong event app should have features for both attendees and exhibitors or sponsors. As far as sponsors are concerned, there are two types of features that will benefit them: in-app sponsorship perks and exhibitor convenience features.
As part of the sponsorship perks, a certain level of sponsorship could earn them the ability to send out a push notification advertising their services. Or, it could earn them the opportunity to provide a special offer for attendees on a certain page of your app.
Convenience features for sponsors can also enhance your online event service. For example, you can include a way for them to track the contacts they collect from attendees and a way to track statistics and analytics like the number of booth visitors, meetings booked with attendees, clicks on their special offers, and so on.
No matter how well you plan and test various aspects of your event technology and the way it’s executed, glitches will come up. Attendee satisfaction is usually affected more by how you deal with issues rather than the issues themselves. That’s why it’s important to have technical support features in your event app.
A chatbot can handle many of the most common, simple requests and questions attendees have. You should still have technical support representatives on hand to manage more complex requests and issues through a live chat on your app.
To provide an even better experience, go beyond technical support and have general customer support available through a live chat on your app too. As with technical support, a chatbot will be able to field many of the requests automatically.
Chances are that this isn’t the only event you’ll ever throw, and each event should be a learning experience for future events. What went well? What could have gone better? How can you generate more interest, engagement, revenue, and publicity next time?
You can learn all this from event analytics which can be easily worked into your event platform. Your app can track performance metrics like the number of clicks on certain pages of the app, the number of booths and sessions attended, and so on. You may even be able to use location services to track which areas of your event space received the most visitors.
You can take it a step further and use your event app to conduct surveys after your event. Surveying your attendees, presenters, and exhibitors gives you critical insights into how to create a better experience next time.
Your event app can be the pinnacle of your onsite event technology solutions and a game-changer for your event experience, but that all depends on how it’s executed. You could go through an extensive development process and hire engineers to design a new app from the ground up or you could use a tool that’s already trusted in the event space: Canapii.
Canapii’s feature-packed event apps allow you to customize numerous options and integrations to fit your purposes, giving you all the features above and more. You can also seamlessly integrate your app with Canapii’s online event platform for desktop use. To learn more about this valuable tool that can revolutionize your next event, schedule a Canapii demo today.