5 basic ideas for building a great event app

By Selene Chin on 11/11/2016

A quick check through Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store confirms it – we have event apps galore, from generic to bespoke, from evergreen favourites to one-offs created for specific events.

Event apps can be great tools to extend your event experience. Used right, they can initiate conversations, extend engagement, and build affinity with your brands and products. They can generate leads, upsell, introduce your products, expound a new corporate philosophy, and be your invisible salesman. They can even help your event to live on – at least in effect and influence – long after the last attendee has gone home.

The humble app can be powerful indeed. But in the course of my work, I also hear about the downsides: the app is expensive to build; no-one downloads it; it doesn’t work; it’s a “white elephant”. App builders particularly loath to hear that last comment.

Before you invest resources into an event app, we thought we’d put together the top five considerations you want to keep in mind before you start building:

1. Set your objectives
Perhaps you think this is too obvious to be stated, but spending the time to set down exactly what you expect your event app to do will pay off down the line. In particular, consider what you want to get from your subscribers, and why. If you can answer these questions, you can chart the profile and types of data to be included when you start collecting.

2. Plan it right from the start
If an app is going to be a part of your event, it should be integral to it and not an afterthought. Why? Because if the app is done right, your attendees can use it to create a profile – and you get a superb new engagement tool.

3. Integrate, integrate, integrate
That waterfall of data from the app is useless unless you have the means to integrate it back into your central marketing or sales database. The idea is to build a full picture of every contact.

4. Keep up the conversation
Incorporate data points like brochure downloads, enquiries, scans, posts and so on. These data go beyond the easy-to-track parameters like traffic and visitations to give you a picture of the event’s soft metrics: the audience’s level of interest in the brand, their satisfaction, and the perceived quality of the experience.

Better yet, by including features like update notification, your app can facilitate interaction long after the event itself, extending the audience’s immersion in the brand and helping you to funnel potential leads into actual sales conversations. In the long run, it can even sow the seeds of a growing community of followers.

5. Nurture growth
Always use all available data when planning your campaigns. The more you work with this data, the stronger your base will become. Then, start planting opportunities for organic growth.

Selene Chin is the Managing Director of Pico Pixel, a digital studio with a mission to progress businesses and create people-centric experiences through data.


Article Code: 2595

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