How to Create the Perfect App for your Event

Most companies hold events of one kind or another from small team meetings to large conferences. Although smaller meetings are generally easier to manage, large conferences can turn chaotic and suffer severe delays because of poor organization or access to information.

It therefore comes as no surprise that most large conferences have begun adopting event apps to increase event mobility, help manage the chaos and ensure the best possible attendee experience.

Event mobility, however, could actually be incorporated into most events, no matter their size, to increase productivity, improve communications and ensure that all attendees get the most out of their experience.

In this article we look at the ways in which event apps could be incorporated into different kinds of events, and what each of these apps would do.

Benefits of event apps

Event apps offer great benefits compared to traditional methods of distribution of information. Apps can be easily updated with new information, ensuring that any mistakes or schedule changes are correct for all attendees. Apps are also located in the most convenient place for most people, mobile phones, ensuring that attendees will carry them around with them.

But the greatest benefit of event apps is their ability to engage attendees not only during events, but also before and after them. This lies in their capacity to offer not only the usual event information, but also additional benefits that are app-specific and help enhance user experience.

Other benefits of event apps include:

  • Offering attendees instant access to essential information such as the schedule, speaker biographies, location, etc
  • Giving attendees access to additional content and presentations
  • Allowing you to communicate with event attendees directly on their mobile device
  • Offering an opportunity to sponsors, partners and exhibitors to target event attendees, increasing the value of their sponsorship package

apps for events

Types of event apps

Use cases for apps will vary depending on the type of event. For instance, large conferences may need a system for internal communications whereas smaller meetings may not.

There are other factors that will determine the complexity and needs of an event app, such as the size of the event and whether it’s internal or external. However, broadly speaking, event apps fall into one of the following categories:

1. Meeting Apps

Meeting apps refer to either internal or external meetings of varying attendee numbers: from small team chats to company-wide meetings of a few hundred people.

Meetings are normally held around a specific agenda, with issues being discussed, motions passed and decisions made.

What your app should include

  • Location and time: Ensure that all attendees know when and where the meeting is being held, whether it’s a conference room within the company or an external venue that requires a map.
  • Agenda: Let attendees know what the key discussion points are.
  • Presentations: Give attendees access to any presentations shown during the meeting.
  • Document library: Give attendees access to any files that may be relevant to the issues discussed, from PDFs to videos, podcasts or photo galleries.
  • Note-taking: Allow attendees to take notes on each presentation directly in the app, with the option to export as a PDF or to email themselves a copy.
  • Minutes: Allow minutes to be taken directly on the app, and make them accessible to all attendees after the meeting.

2. Internal Event Apps

Internal event apps refer to any internal events within an organization, excluding meetings. These could be, for instance, client workshops or any other kind of training event.

Like meetings, internal events can vary greatly in size depending on the number of teams and departments involved. The role of apps for these events will be to ensure that all attendees have all the information they need on their mobile devices.

What your app should include

  • Location and time: Ensure that all attendees know when and where to go for your event, whether it’s a conference room within the company or an external venue that requires a map.
  • Schedule: Allow attendees to find out what they should expect at the event with a complete schedule of everything that’s happening.
  • Presentations: Give attendees access to any presentations shown during the meeting.
  • Document library: Give attendees access to any files that may be relevant to the event, from PDFs, videos and podcasts to how-to guides and training resources.
  • Note-taking: Allow attendees to take notes on each presentation directly in the app, with the option to export as a PDF or to email themselves a copy.
NEC Corporation of America

NEC Corporation of America

3. Conference apps

Due to the size of conferences, conference apps need to be extremely comprehensive and useful to all kinds of attendees. Moreover, they must help make sense of the chaos to ensure that events run smoothly and on time, and that attendees have an optimal experience.

However, the greatest strength of conference apps lies in their ability, much more so than with other types of event apps, to engage attendees before and after as well as during the event.

This can make for an even better experience for attendees, while offering event organizers a wide range of opportunities to attract clients, differentiate themselves from competitors, and compile precious data on event attendees.

Conference apps need to be feature- and information-rich, from essential event information and document libraries to internal communications and feedback collection features.

What your app should include

Before the event
  • Location and time: Ensure that all attendees know when and where to go for your conference, complete with a map and information on the nearest public transport stations and stops.
  • Ticket sales: Allow attendees to purchase tickets on the app.
  • Registration: Allow attendees to register directly on the app upon arrival and make registration a smoother and faster process.
During the event
  • Schedule: Allow attendees to find out everything that’s happening at your conference from talks and workshops to break times.
  • Speaker biographies: Enable attendees to browse speaker information on the go and make it easier for them to plan their time.
  • Presentations: Give attendees access to all presentations shown during the conference, so that they can access the right ones according to their schedule.
  • Document library: Give attendees access to any files that may be relevant to the conference, from PDFs to videos and podcasts.
  • Note-taking: Allow attendees to take notes on each presentation directly in the app, with the option to export as a PDF or to email themselves a copy.
  • In-app messaging: Promote networking and engagement by giving attendees the ability to message each other, whether in the form of a Twitter-specific hashtag or by incorporating specific software.
  • Competitions: Create an in-app competition, from exhibition scavenger hunts to encourage attendees to explore different exhibition areas, to photo competitions for the best images taken during the event. Competitions are great ways to encourage attendees to engage with your app and with specific areas of your conference.
  • Social media: Conferences are also great ways to promote your company to the outside world. A great way to do this is by enabling users to share insights on social media via the app.
After the event
  • Document library: Continue giving attendees access to relevant files after the conference is over, whether related to the general theme or the conference, or provided by speakers as further reading. This is also a great way to ensure that attendees will keep engaging with the app after the conference is over.
  • Feedback: Allow attendees to provide feedback via the app. This can be in the form of a poll or a survey. This may give you useful information for organising events in the future, as well as other useful user data that can be used for PR or content marketing purposes.
  • Analytics: Finally, adding usage tracking to your app such as Google Analytics can help you monitor usage, measure your success and continue refining your app based on this data.

In conclusion

Increasing event mobility is a great way to keep event attendees engaged, to make your event more interactive and to collect precious data that will help you improve future events.

Most events can benefit from an app, no matter the number of attendees or the type of event that it is. Although many events, particularly large ones such as conferences, already have apps, these are generally pretty basic, with only a few features such as location information and schedule.

By making events apps as comprehensive as possible, event organizers can ensure that attendees will have all the information they need and that they will engage as much as possible, making for a smoother experience for everyone and allowing the event to stand out from the rest.

Are there any features that you’ve seen in event apps that we’ve forgotten to mention?