In today’s mobile-saturated world, people are accustomed to having access to everything from email to social media at their fingertips, any time of day. Americans spent about a third of their waking hours on mobile devices, according to a 2021 report, and that time has probably increased since then.
It’s no surprise that modern event attendees expect a mobile event app that delivers all the information they need about that event to their smartphones, and to be able to use their phones throughout an event. To deliver the best attendee experience possible, event professionals need to prioritize finding the best mobile event app to suit their audience.
Mobile event technology has come a long way in recent years, and it can be overwhelming to determine how to select the best mobile event app that will provide attendees with an interactive digital experience and seamlessly integrate with your event. Here’s a guide to choosing the right one.
What is a mobile event app?
A mobile event app, also known as an event management mobile app or corporate event mobile app, is a management software for mobile devices. Event organizers can use these apps to enhance the attendee experience and communicate with attendees in a unified place. With in-person events back in full force, mobile event technology has reclaimed its spot among the top tools for event professionals.
How can mobile apps improve events?
A mobile event app is now an essential piece of any event. It serves to not only streamline the attendee journey and foster community building among virtual and on-site audiences, but also to generate revenue opportunities with sponsors, enable lead retrieval on any device and — last but not least — collect data you can harness to measure your event’s success and inform decisions for the future.
How to choose the best mobile event app
You already know an event app is a non-negotiable for your event, but with so many options out there for mobile event app providers, how do you choose the best one for your audience and event? Here are some questions to ask when considering your options:
Do you want a white label or branded universal app?
A branded universal app means your attendees download a provider’s app, then select your event within the app. While it’s not a bad option, it adds another step to the process. A white label app, on the other hand, is an app designed exclusively for your event. It can be downloaded directly and fully customized to your audience’s needs.
What’s your primary use case?
Apps can do many things, but it’s important to select one that is designed primarily for the specific function you want to focus on: For instance, communicating event information, or networking. Both are possible and offer many advantages, but different apps are designed with various best features, so select the one that best suits your objectives.
What add-on features do you want to have?
If you’re looking to use an event app for audience feedback and engagement, such as polling, surveys or gamification, be sure to investigate whether the mobile event technology you’re considering has that capability, and what the user experience is like.
How’s the user experience, for the attendee and the event organizer?
Speaking of — it’s important to evaluate a mobile app provider from the perspective of your user. Is the app you’re considering easy to understand and learn quickly? Will its functions be intuitive and encourage your attendees to use it as a first resource? On the flip side, how easy is the setup process for you and your team? Does it require in-depth training and knowledge to input information, or is the process quick to pick up and understand? Considering most event organizers don’t have extra time, the latter is equally important.
What data are you looking to collect?
From an event management perspective, data collection is one of the most capabilities of an event app. Ask mobile event providers about how their apps are designed to collect data, what options you have for sorting and reporting, and how these tools will be integrated into the experience.
How secure is the app?
When you’re collecting personal data — including payment information — through an app, security is of utmost importance. Ask your mobile event provider about what measures are in place to keep your app secure and protected so that attendees feel comfortable and safe using it.
How you can use mobile event apps to level up the attendee experience
There are many ways a mobile event app can help make attendees’ overall event experience better. Once you’ve selected a mobile event app to suit your needs, here’s what to think about:
First, a mobile event app should streamline the attendee journey for both in-person and virtual attendees. An app should provide a customizable, personal and engaging tool to connect and learn, including features such as:
- The ability for attendees to create their own event agenda variations with tracks, dates and categories for a bespoke experience
- Contactless on-site check-in providing attendees with a digital badge, encompassing registration details and QR codes for expedited check-in and scanning for sessions
- Navigation assistance through static or interactive maps of exhibitor floors and meeting rooms to help attendees easily move about the venue and get where they need to be on time
Second, a mobile event app should foster community among your attendees, bridging the gap between on-site and virtual in hybrid events. An app should be able to:
- Enhance attendee engagement through event mobile app features that allow for multiple touchpoints, such as in-app messaging, peer-to-peer videos and group chats
- Power networking through matching attendees with others they’d enjoy connecting with based on artificial intelligence, through opportunities such as meetups, mutual content and sessions
- Schedule meetings and appointments between attendees or between attendees and exhibitors, before or during the event
- Build community through the ability to post comments and photos to an in-app conversation or social wall
- Increase gamification by encouraging specific attendee behaviors in the app (i.e., connecting with sponsors or attending a networking event) to help you meet your event goals
- Send push notifications to an individual, a group or the entire attendee roster to communicate important information about the event (such as, the start of a general session) or changes to the agenda
As with any event management tool you implement, a mobile event app must deliver on the business goals and objectives set for your event. You can use data from your event app to help you understand the attendee journey in greater detail with user-level insights, and attendees can use data within their app to see with whom they connected.
How Stova can help
Stova’s mobile app technology can help you to streamline your event with a customized, intuitive mobile event app experience your audience will love. Download our Ultimate Guide to Mobile Event Apps and get in touch today to schedule a demo and learn more.