How to increase attendees downloading your mobile event app

While some people will always be more hesitant about apps than others, there are ways to capture as many of your event attendees as possible.

August 24, 2022

- 4 minutes

A mobile event app can allow you to create a more positive and profitable event by giving attendees a better experience and forging better connections between attendees and exhibitors. That’s only true if attendees actually download and use your app, though. How do you get their buy-in?

While some people will always be more hesitant about apps than others, there are ways to capture as many of your event attendees as possible. Try these top strategies.

Design the event app for the attendee’s experience

Sure, you want to reap rewards from your event app, but that only happens if attendees use it so you need to create an app or event platform that actually benefits attendees. Focus on the attendee’s experience first and foremost and make your app user-friendly from the first click.

Promote your app before the event starts

Why wait until your event starts before getting attendees interested in your app? You can start singing its praises and generating interest well in advance.

In your promotions for the event itself, advertise that the event has an accompanying app that makes it a more interactive, engaging experience. If the app allows attendees to earn rewards and incentives, advertise that too.

When you start accepting registrations for the event, market your app to attendees after they’ve signed up. Send out periodic emails, for example, telling attendees all the fun and goodies they can enjoy in your app and other event software and encouraging them to download it in advance.

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Create time for downloading the event app

During in-person events, it’s easy for attendees to get busy and forget to download your app or simply never pause and take the time to download it. One of the best ways to get attendees to download your event technology app is to build that time into the event.

For example, during your kick-off speech, mention the app and how it can enhance the attendee experience. Then take a pause for a few minutes to give attendees a chance to download the app.

Make the event app part of the experience

After hyping up your event app, don’t just convince attendees to download it and then never mention it again. Make it an integral part of the attendee experience.

For example, you could include exclusive in-app content that supplements sessions and exhibitor booths. You could encourage presenters to work it into their presentations with surveys and activities that can only be done in the app. In some way, make sure the app adds genuine value to the experience.

Incentivize event app usage

If you want to entice attendees to use your app, make it worth their while in a concrete way. There are plenty of ways to do this. For example, you could have an in-app goodie bag with exclusive gifts and offers.

Another popular option is to incorporate gamification into your app. For instance, have a way for attendees to earn points in the app for completing certain “quests” at the event like visiting exhibition stands and attending sessions. Those with a certain number of points could earn prizes or entries into a prize drawing.

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Make sure event app content is up to date

If you’re encouraging attendees to use your event app or any other type of event management software, you need to put in the effort to make sure it’s genuinely helpful and accurate. You want your app to be a benefit for attendees, not an added burden.

For instance, make sure your app has the most up-to-date event schedule or itinerary including accurate locations for each presentation. Similarly, make sure that if it includes a map of your exhibitor booths, that map is accurate.

Utilize onsite promotion

Throughout your event, continue to promote your app to encourage any remaining attendees to download it and remind them to use it. You could have signage at the event reminding attendees about the app, for example.

If you really want convincing onsite promotions, find a way to show attendees what they’re missing at any given time. For instance, after they attend a session, send them a text saying, “You could have earned points toward prizes if you had used our app!” It can be a challenge to find corporate event software that supports this smoothly, but it could be worth the effort.

Have an event app team ready to help

As we all know, technology doesn’t always work the way we would hope. Not only are technical issues always a possibility but even if your app is working perfectly, you will have some attendees who aren’t tech-savvy or may have disabilities and would appreciate the assistance. Be sure to have a support team available to help at the event, and make it easy for attendees to find them.

Don’t forget app security

A common reason some people will be hesitant to download your app is the security risks. Any time they download something to their device, they take a risk, so it’s imperative for you to make certain your app doesn’t put them or their data in jeopardy.

Build your event app in a way that requires minimal data sharing and be prepared to answer questions about what data you’re collecting and why. Be careful also to have security personnel investigate your app to make sure you’re not opening the door to external security threats for your attendees.

Achieving high usage for your mobile event app

A mobile event app can be a pricy investment, but it can make a powerful difference in your attendee engagement, exhibitor profits, and ultimately, your event’s long-term success. The tips above can help you ensure that your app brings the greatest benefits to you and everyone else involved.

Looking for an easier way to develop a mobile event app rather than creating it from scratch? Our corporate event software can help. Learn more about Canapii’s event management technology and how we can make your app creation smooth and simple.

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Charya Jayasinghe

Canapii Partner Program Manager

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