Author: team

Embrace Diversity: Make your Events Inclusive

Quite often than not, you might have come across that uneasy feeling when you had a question to ask in a public gathering, but were too shy to speak it out? Didn’t you feel distant and left out in the crowd for the simple reason that you spoke a different language? You waited for days and months for an event which turned up as a bitter-sweet experience in the end!

Wikimedia_Diversity_Conference_2013_22In gatherings, especially in events, attendees from different backgrounds, languages, personalities bind together in the context of the theme of the event. As an event organizer, you want your event to be memorable and enjoyable. You want to create an event where your audience feel connected, carrying back with them an unforgettable experience. But, we live in a world of diversity. Diverse cultures, many languages, different personalities. How do you then create that experience where none of your audience feels left out?

The answer lies in bringing context-aware content to the platform in a language of your attendee’s choice.This is where regional players gain tremendous significance. sc2A great amount of content is now being consumed by regional players. As per a recent survey conducted by Economic Times, about 24 million internet users consume content in vernacular languages. More engrossing is the fact that about $20 Billion worth of content is consumed by Indians in local languages.The statistics says it all. India is gaining significance as a popular new destination for MICE and attracting a global audience. It is, therefore, important for event organizers to quickly adapt to this change.

Multilingual event apps are a great channel to deliver regional language content and facilitate this disruptive change. Imagine the impact you can create with something as simple as a personalized welcome message in your attendee’s native language. You can now stay in complete control by publishing key announcements in more than 30 languages, and make sure that everyone stays tuned to your event updates irrespective of the language they speak.

Here are some of the key aspects of multilingual apps that are worth taking a look at:

Flexibility of publishing content

How quickly can multi-lingual content be published in an app? Does the app have a content management interface that can publish content seamlessly in the languages of your choice?

Carrot’s content platform powered by AIDAIO allows you to do this with a simple tap. Once your content is up and ready, publishing it is a child’s play indeed.

sc1Don’t create different apps for each language

Your event app is a vital part of your event’s branding and brand experience. Why then do you need to have 5 different apps for each language your event supports? Why not have your attendees download a single event app, choose the language in which they want to consume content?

Carrot’s multilingual apps exactly do this by letting your attendees have complete control on how they want to view their content.

Create personalized content

You can create groups among your audience, and target specialized content for groups based on their chosen language. This can provide you with a flexibility to target exclusive content when needed.

Users can post in the language of their choice

Publishing content is not just the organizer’s prerogative anymore. Attendees can interact, share views, comment and do more through your event app. This way they can post comments and questions whenever they want to, without feeling hesitant about it.

Explore Carrot apps with Multiple language support – Get in touch with us now.

Empowered Women – The Force Awakens

Gender inequality is a real and pressing issue that our world faces today. Bridging the gender gap at workplaces and creating opportunities for women to not just join the workforce, but to retain and propel them into leadership roles is a necessity that companies corporates are waking up to. It is one of the best times for women to prosper in their career and make a name for themselves. The increased awareness and an impetus on companies to bridge the gender gap, accompanied by supporting forums, women role models and mentors is bound to give the much-needed shot in the arm for the careers of aspiring women.

McKinsey Global Institute’s Sept 2015 report claims that women contributing “full-potential” by bridging the gender gap will add $12 trillion to the annual GDP in 2025.

Events play a great role in advocating, spreading the reach and awareness of the campaigns to encourage women, share best practices and to influence policy makers. The Event Industry itself, however, struggles to see more women in leadership roles. Recruiting a skilled woman does not seem to be an issue here. However, the same attributes that make event management appealing are what make it hard for maintaining the right balance between personal and professional lives. Family friendly work hours, creative yet highly demanding (in terms of travel, with limited remote working options) work environments are likely to impair the career progress of women beyond a certain stage.

As part of MPI EMEC 2015, Warsaw, in Feb 2015, a short survey sums this up quite well.The results included the following insights:

MPI_EMEC_Report

women blogOur own analysis of how women are represented in events as attendees or as speakers paints an even more dismal picture. Our analysis of data from technical and business conferences, corporate events, exhibitions powered by Carrot, shows that women constitute less than 10% of attendees, and less than 8% of the speakers are women.

 

 

We believe that affirmative action to actively encourage women to attend and speak at events is the need of the hour. As women, we ourselves also need to understand the importance of networking, and aspire for leadership roles. An overall policy change in providing better, safe and dependable child care options and maternity policies will go a long way in opening up a world of opportunities for women.

Here is a Tribute to all the #WomenInEvents!

We have, in our journey with Carrot, come across many creative, competent, amazing women – entrepreneurs, event managers, leaders who are fantastic at what they do. Events are indeed a better place because of you women. We wish you all a very happy women’s day. Keep rocking, rockstar #WomenInEvents.

Go Global with our newly launched Multi-lingual apps

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We are happy to announce the launch of our Multi-lingual event app in languages such as Tamil, Hindi, Spanish, French, Bengali, Telugu, Gujarati, German, Dutch, Portuguese and many more… Now you can make the best use of your event app by engaging your regional and global attendees with content in the language of their choice. With over 95% of digital ad spent on English media and 200 million of the 402 million Indian users consuming internet in regional languages, there is an immense scope for regional language content in your apps.

What makes Carrot’s multilingual app unique is that you don’t need to manage or download a different app for every language. Event managers can publish content in every language they wish to activate. Attendees can download the event app, choose from the languages supported and Voila! They can view and interact in the language of their choice. As per a recent survey conducted by Economic Times, about 24 million internet users consume content in vernacular languages. More engrossing is the fact that about $20 Billion worth of content is consumed by Indians in local languages. There are more than 24 languages in Europe and there is a wide variety of languages spoken throughout Asia providing content that is relevant to the regional preference is key to reaching and engaging your audience.

By eliminating language barriers, it is evident that these multi-lingual features are of great value to delegates from across the globe. Events can now be more inclusive, and embrace the diversity of the attendees, without compromising on attendee experience or engagement. Carrot Apps leverage on this aspect and help events Go Global or Go Regional!

To know more on how to leverage multiple language support for your next event app to the best of your advantage, get in touch with us.

Take networking to the next level with event apps

Did you know that Networking is one of the most important reasons to attend events ? Networking remains one of the time-tested approaches to build business contacts in a non-competitive environment. Social Communities thrive on this aspect of networking.

By curating networking events for your attendees, you can facilitate a great opportunity to make business connects, and to increase their visibility and reach in their area of expertise.

But in doing so, you face many challenges. Difficulties in co-ordinating meeting time between different people within the limited duration of an event, or in some cases, leading the right kind of audience to your exhibitors are just some of the challenges.

Bringing attendees together under one roof and staging a flawless networking experience is one of the hardest tasks for any organizer.

This being the key issue, there is still one pertinent question for any organizer!

How to make sure your attendees take back a great experience?

Can technology take care of this aspect? Here is how event apps can complement event networking

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Discover Attendees – Search for attendees nearby with similar interests and exchange contact details.

 

Request a call back from exhibitors – Create a digital space for your exhibitors and let your attendees reach out and schedule a call back. This creates a new avenue for your exhibitors and an effortless, seamless way to capture leads.

Exchange contact details: Generally, a networking event involves sharing of personal or business contact details in the form of business cards. In events, this is quite a challenge, since there is no simple way to know how many people of interest you might meet. You may run out of business cards in the middle of an event. Even when attendees exchange business cards, it is hard to remember the context of conversations, a few weeks after the event.

Mobile apps can create QR codes with attendee contact details. Attendees can scan QR Codes to exchange contact details

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One on One Chat – Send a chat request to a fellow delegate, and initiate a conversation. Let your attendees find the best time to network.

Create focus groups – You can mix and match your attendees by creating networking groups for people with similar interests. You can set sharing access levels, and manage networking groups effortlessly.

Make new friends – One key aspect you should consider in networking is the ability to share information and make new connects. Mobile apps with an interactive timeline that lets attendees share their views, pictures, or even like, share and comment on other posts is a great way to build social communities at events.

 

 

These are few of the many benefits a mobile app brings to your event. Why don’t you try an app for your next event too? And see how your attendees acknowledge you for the effortless networking.

Extending Engagement Beyond Events: Creating Private Social Communities

Wasn’t it a great feeling to have staged yet another successful event and get the crowd talking about it throughout the day?

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The outcome was everything you wished for. It created a buzz in social media, talked about in radio and was the talk of the town. Kudos! A pat on your back for all the efforts you put in!

But what if we say you deserved more adulation than what you received ? That the recognition wasn’t meant for just a single day!

What if you could sustain that excitement and buzz all year long? What if you could continue that cherished engagement long after the event is over? ‘A wishful thinking!’ you would say, wouldn’t you?

‘No…it’s not!’.

Let’s start from where it all began!!

From the very event…from the very successful event YOU organized!

There was a great zeal among the audience to see, to hear, to network and familiarize. As self-evident as it may seem, networking remains one of the top reasons for people to attend events. Why not build on this desire to engage by giving them a platform that seamlessly bridges their online- offline interactions?

We believe that technology, when used the right way, can complement human interactions and behaviour. We live in a time where smart phones have become our identity. We carry it with us everywhere and stay connected on the go.

In spite of that, users won’t download an app or continue its use if they see no value in it. Therefore technology needs to be complemented with the right kind of content – one that is context aware, relevant and valuable. Social channels provide an open platform for people to express, but may not be the best place to have context relevant conversations within a heterogeneous group. Whatsapp comes close, but the type of content, group limitations, lack of analytics and moderation make it unsuitable as a medium for professional conversations.

If you want your attendees or event community to stay connected and continue the conversations, then consider the following imperatives.

Branding

When your event community wants to stay in touch, they do so under the umbrella of your brand. Therefore having an open forum such as a social channel does not meet the desired objective of having a safe, context relevant communication channel. White labelled mobile apps are a great option.

Content

Content is king. Or queen. It is important to have a variety of content to publish. Don’t just send short announcements. Try blogs. Newsletters. Polls. Surveys. Photos. Videos. Do not settle for less. Opt for content management systems that let you quickly adapt your content across social and mobile channels.

Interactivity

It would indeed be a dull affair if all the content were linear in tone and text. A lecture is the last thing your attendees would hope for in your event. Remember! People like to socialize. They want to hear and be heard. And in between these two acts they relieve their experience. So, choose a solution that lets your community create, share, like and promote content. Turn that passive consumer into a passionate brand ambassador.

Moderation

Yes, we can see that worried twitch in your forehead when you read about the “letting your community create content”. Trust us, in a forum with context relevant content and like-minded people, everyone feels accommodated and accepted. They feel at ease to contribute and share responsibly. That said, you need the flexibility to moderate/ tone down content if a situation arises. So gain access to your content board and stay in control.

Analytics

At any point of time, you need to be aware of the pulse of your community. Who is the most influential user ? Is there anyone who has minimal contribution? Are there people dropping out of the forum ? What are the trending topics of the day/week/month?. A good analytics dashboard helps you react to the trends, and improve on the already great engagement.

Don’t just create an event app – Create a community app. Start today. Explore our year long engagement & multi event solutions.

Event Tech Every Event Manager Must Know

Imagine you had a magic wand that could tell what your attendees want! A magic wand that could tell your attendees’ behaviour, tastes and preferences ? Wouldn’t you then wave it often to see what their popular spot are or the amount of time they spend in the exhibition halls or many such revelations.

What if we tell you that you already have that magic wand – the smartphone which your attendee has, would you be surprised ? Don’t believe us  – Let’s explore how smartphone can help usher that magic and change the way event managers organize and run events.

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Smartphones come equipped with many sensors. When you have a mobile app that can leverage these sensors, you begin to track a number of actions – movement, proximity, time, interests and much more. This information can be captured real time, and even without the availability of internet. Predicting your audience’s behavior, channelizing their interests and providing unparalleled experiences is what makes events smarter, turning them into a blockbuster. Now add to this Bluetooth Low Energy Sensors such as iBeacons  – you land up creating hyper local “points of interest” within a given location.

The Power of Proximity Targeting

Did you know the average attention span for humans (8 seconds) in 2015 is less than a goldfish ? It’s not that we aren’t capable of paying attention. The reality is in today’s fast paced world of information distribution and creation, it is becoming increasingly difficult for anyone to pay attention to one thing for an extended period of time. Unless, it is relevant to them at that moment and place.

Technology is a huge enabler for this relevance smartly. The smartness of technology is in how you convert your attendee’s attention of 8 seconds with a notification, prodding her to view it in more detail by spending 1 minute, and using that minute to prompt her to take an action that lasts for minutes.

A combination of iBeacons and Geo-Location enabled mobile apps give you the power to target personalized, location specific, content to your attendees. Proximity targeting pins your event location to the target audience, making sure they never lose their way in the floor plans and venue layouts. It can also be used to track attendee movements and create heat maps of different areas of your event space.
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The ability to target location specific content opens up many possibilities. You can use it for something as simple as sending a personalized “Welcome” message or to publish special offers based on interests & actions. Too Boring ? Why not set up something interactive and fun – a treasure hunt for attendees to discover various exhibitors across your venue. Exhibitors and sponsors can benefit from proximity marketing by promoting context relevant content only to attendees in specific sessions or to attendees near their stalls.

The use cases of proximity targeting are myriad and we are just scratching the tip of the iceberg. Drop us a note if you would like to be a part of it.

Take Control with Real time InsightsCarrot-Dashboard

Imagine if you can track attendance at exhibitor booths, popular spots at your venue, times at which most attendees visit exhibitor stalls, attendee movement through your venue. You can use this information to not just plan your event venue but also to unlock new revenue streams. Exhibitors and sponsors benefit by promoting product offers to attendees based on their interests, time and proximity.

Real-time insights from event apps can help event managers make informed decisions. Through live surveys and interactive content, event apps can capture attendee feedback on popular speakers and influencers, session ratings and trending topics. Event managers no longer need to be in the dark about event trends or wait until after a few weeks to glean insights about their event.

Summary

Event intelligence and proximity targeting will continue to grow in popularity at events. But an isolated application of Bluetooth beacons or analytics without context is insignificant.The right mix of proximity targeting and context aware intelligence brings the right impact at your events. It helps you in curating engagement that transforms attendees experience into a phenomenon that catapults your events into a blockbuster.

The story of how we won our first award

Remember the concert where your audience turned up in huge numbers and returned disheartened on learning that the star-artist didn’t show up? Weren’t you irked beyond when you had to run around communicating a last minute venue change at a recent tech conference you organized?

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To put it into perspective, events result in two polar outcomes- a huge success or a dismal show. As an organizer, being at the receiving end of logistic and organizing bandwagon can escalate into a nightmare. It poses a threat to the very experience an organizer cherishes to create. How does one solve these intangible problem?s Are there key parameters which minimize last-minute uncertainties ? How can organizers enhance attendee engagement ?

It was an observation of these challenges faced by event organizers that set off Mangalam & Pallav, co-founders of AIDAIO, on an exploration into the nitty-gritty of events industry. As Pallav and Mangalam gathered insights from event organizers, speakers, attendees and sponsors, they found a dire need for events to go digital. And an even greater value in nurturing social communities around events. Pallav fondly recollects, “Carrot is an idea born in a conference!”

Managing last minutes changes is an issue that bites every event organizer. Schedules of events are printed weeks before the event. However they are susceptible to alternations, even on the day of the event. It was this pain-point that Carrot addressed in its early days. On its advantage, Pallav remarks, “Carrot apps are powered by AIDAIO’s powerful and flexible backend system.  It allows event managers to customize every bit of detail on the apps anytime, anywhere instantly. With Carrot, event managers gain control to publish content changes real-time and send instant announcements. It doesn’t stop here. You can switch on/off features, change app look and feel, moderate user content, support local language and much more in seconds. It’s the kind of control and agility that can empower every event organizer.”

Further he adds, “In terms of accessibility and adaptability, the platform gives an edge to promote event apps well in advance. Events don’t need to be constrained with app approval timelines with the ability to design and publish an app in ONE hour.”

Our efforts didn’t go unnoticed. In recognition of the innovative technology, product design, flexible solution, of Carrot, AIDAIO was recently shortlisted among the Top 10 Promising Start-ups by CII, at the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Summit in November 2015. This came a few months after being nominated in the Best Event Technology category at MICE Asia Pacific 2015, held at Singapore.

“It’s a milestone we are honored by to have achieved so early in our journey. We owe it to our partners & customers who adopted our solution early. They made us a part of their journeys, and became a part of ours.” said Pallav.

We are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and can’t wait to continue challenging ourselves to produce valuable solutions for the event industry. Thanks to everyone who encouraged us and continue believing in us.

Redefining Attendee Engagement at Medical Conferences

“What an App. I am overwhelmed. I haven’t witnessed such experience in any state, national or international medical conference. Take a bow”

–  Attendee at KOSCON 2015

KOSCON 2015 – SUCCESS STORY

Karnataka Ophthalmic Society is one of the largest State Societies in India affiliated to the All India Ophthalmological Society. The 34th Annual Conference KOSCON was held at Hubli, Dharwad between 20th and 22nd of November 2015.

Objectives

  • Make KOSCON 2015 interactive and reducing paper to Go Green.
  • Create a digital hub for all event information and engagement.

Go Green – One of a kind, paperless Medical Conferences

Medical conferences print a lot of collateral – paper abstracts, agenda, brochures etc. KOSCON made it their vision this year to elevate the event experience by going paperless, and adopt a digital platform. The KOSCON 2015 mobile app, powered by Carrot, displayed interactive real time content, enabling attendees to engage in two-way interactions.

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interactive-timelineDigital Engagement – Building Private Social Communities

The KOSCON Mobile app was not just a replacement of paper brochures. The app provided many interactive channels for attendees to post their comments, photos, respond to polls, quizzes and much more. Even conference delegates who were not present at the venue could stay tuned to the buzz of the event.

KOSCON attendees embraced the interactive event activity timeline, with the organizing team constantly communicating latest updates, reminders, and photos from across the conference venue. Attendees even used the app to post their questions to speakers and provided their feedback and rating for the sessions.

Injecting Fun in a Professional Conference

Medical conferences typically include discussions, paper presentations, and lectures on serious topics. As such, it becomes very crucial to hold the attendees’ attention span constantly and throughout the event; and the gamification provided by the app enhanced the attendee’s experience and engagement.fun

“The app was very effective in staying connected with the attendees. It seamlessly fed live updates and notifications to the attendees. We could even manage attendee travel needs with live bus schedules and updates”

Dr. Shrinivas, the chair of organising committee for 34th edition of KOSCON

Result

  • 80% Attendees used the app for all event needs
  • 70% Overall Attendee Engagement increased

Download a PDF version of this success story.

About Us

Do you want to know more about how we can help you in delivering a digital and seamless event experience? Visit us at www.aidaio.com. Another way you can reach out to us is to write to us at [email protected]

Valentine’s Day! Why Event Managers should look forward to this day?

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Everything in this world boils down to one thing – Love. Love of a person, Love of travel, Love of food. This Valentine’s Day we unfold another genre of love that remains unrealized. The unspoken love between an Event Manager and their attendees.

Because we believe that unless there is a personal, “can feel your pulse” connection no amount of elaborate setup, yummy food, dazzling performances or gripping speeches will leave event attendees dreamy eyed. Success of an event should be judged by how attendees reminisce about it long after it’s over – How many memories were created? How many relationships were forged? How many old bonds were strengthened?

So here is our take on how you can gift your attendees the perfect Valentines year.

Woo them personally: Create a buzz around what you have to offer with your personal touch. Give them a personalized unique experience. How? Gone are the days of pamphlets and static websites that just gave out information. Find your attendees ahead of D-day and stay close. And what is closest to your attendees? No prize for guessing the answer – their mobiles. It’s the personal gateway for individual engagement in today’s world.

Entertain: Now that you have their attention don’t lay back.Events are vibrant, creative and lively with conversations and memorable connections. We believe and have experienced that it takes a lot of creative effort to inspire people’s behavior, So why not evoke your creative genius to entertain and engage your attendees until the D-day with groupie photo-contests? Or fun competitive quizzes to the lead up to your event? Have more ideas? We are listening.

Communicate and Commit: Don’t let lack of two-way communication weaken this budding relationship. When you give your attendees a glimpse of the promise you have made, they will have queries, doubts and inputs. In this kind of digital courtship, trust and comfort is set on the grounds of how much they know you and how much you listen to them. Give them real time updates. Solve their real time problems. Time, Place, Internet no barrier. Know more.

Welcome them to your Community:  Your community is where all your attendees are, where your team is and where your invited guest delegates are. You need to make them talk as one single community. We know that this will not only make everyone excited about the D-day, they will also have more take away in the form of friendships, networks and memories.

D-day/V-day/E-day: The day arrives when you beautifully wrap your event and gift it to your attendees. All your hard work will be worth every penny when your attendees are drawn into the magic that you put together. And you will know what they are experiencing, moment-by-moment. You will know what excited them the most, what made them happy and what made them think.

Valentine’s Day is for anyone you deeply care about. Be it your partner, your friends, or in the dazzling world of Events “your attendees”  – the 💗 of every event!

Why Event Managers don’t adopt Event Apps

When wevent-manager-adoption-imagee launched Carrot – native white-labeled mobile apps for events, we observed that there was a clear absence of in-venue digital engagement. According to a 2013 report by Frost & Sullivan, 80% of event processes continue to be manual.

Mobile Apps seemed to be a good solution to address this. Although most event managers found event apps to be a great differentiator and a value add to the services they provide, they continue to be hesitant about adopting a digital complement for in-venue engagement with their audience.

This blog is an analysis of why event managers hesitate to adopt apps, and some guidelines on how to choose apps that overcome these barriers to adoption.

Some of the reasons we heard from Events Managers:

I already have the event’s website

Most events put up websites with event related information. Event organizers feel that it is redundant to publish the same information in a mobile app too.

Yes, we agree. However, mobile apps go beyond information publishing. It is a tool for engagement, interaction & personalized communication to the attendee. Mobile apps help increase audience engagement by 77%. Below are some snapshots of insights gained from events that were powered by AIDA.

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Would attendees download an app just for my event?

If an app remains a replica of an event brochure or website, it will have a short-lifetime and there will be resistance to download.

Hence, it is critical to find solutions that go beyond a replacement of printed materials. Solutions from AIDA focus on audience engagement and value creation before, during and post the event. The focus of an event app must be to increase interactivity in the audience, and not just informational. The 5 key facets of an app should be Information, Engagement, Networking, Analytics, and Monetization. Attendees will be more inclined to adopt an app that addresses these facets when compared to an app that serves as a mere replacement of a printed materials.

I do not know how to promote an app?

We had put together some tips on how to promote event apps in an earlier blog.  We have observed that when  enough buzz is created around an event, app engagement peaks from a week before the event and continues for up to a week after the event is over. However there is a great potential to capture attendees attention by continuing to engage with them for much longer. AIDA also offers year-long engagement/multi-event apps that allow you to stay tuned to your audience all year long.

Negative Feedback

Event organizers also feel wary about attendees posting comments on the app for fear of a negative buzz. However, we have observed that most delegates are quite prudent when posting comments. Also organizer involvement in the app interactions, helps stay tuned to the buzz that’s happening and react to it sooner, rather than letting things go out of control. In addition, when coupled with a ‘moderator’ facility, organizers can choose to keep a healthy engagement alive on the app.

Isn’t app development & maintenance expensive and who bears the cost?

Many event organizers feel that costs of event apps are high and are unsure if it justifies the return of investment. For starters, the mobile app can reduce printing costs at an event by 7%. But more importantly, the apps create a new channel for revenue and better returns on investment for the organizers and event partners.

Sponsor visibility, sponsored messages, direct connect/facility to exchange business cards with sponsors and exhibitors can create much better ROI for your partners. Attendee engagement, stats on usage of the app, how often attendees connected to a partner through the app, among others provide great insights for organizers and partners and add value from a lead generation/marketing perspective. Always choose apps that provide you these added benefits.

There is no Internet in-venue, the app would be useless

This is definitely an issue with event apps that are just web views.

So it is important to choose mobile apps that can work completely in the offline mode. Event Apps powered by Carrot  need Internet only when first installed. Attendees can continue to use and interact with the app even when offline.

So, if you are an event organizer and are now convinced about why an app is a great idea for events, give us a buzz. But if you are still hesitant about adopting event apps, still give us a buzz. We are curious to learn why and want to see how we can address your concerns.

Drop us an email at [email protected] or leave a comment on our blog.