Author: team

12 tips to promote your event apps

Mobile apps have become essential for every event. In an earlier post we highlighted how mobile apps can boost at-venue engagement by over 77%, besides other benefits like last-minute changes, lead generation, attendee communication, marketing and sponsorship opportunities. But for event organizers to realize them it is equally important to promote the app.

More than half of event organizers face a challenge when it comes to promoting their apps. An app promotion strategy is required to trigger organic downloads. Our experience has shown that when at least 50% of your attendees download the app it will show tangible ROI for your event.

App promotion methods are subjective to type of your event. Below are some methods that have worked for us. Feel free to try them out and let us know how it works for you.

  1. App availability before event – Ensure apps are available in stores at least 2 weeks before your event.
  2. Email marketing about the app – Highlight app availability in every email communication – possibly in the signature. Do not forget to send out that big EDM blast about the features in the app !
  3. Signage across digital touchpoints – Promote your apps on website, social handles, partner sites, social campaigns with posts that provide the download link.
  4. Mandatory Staff downloads – Mandate on-site and off-site staff to download and use the. They can be the biggest promoters of the app during sales vists, registration/check-ins, partner signups.
  5. Incentivize attendees – Offer a discount on tickets or a gift-card draw sponsored by your partner to those who download by a specific date.
  6. Pre-event value creation – Using solutions like ours you can provide value for your attendees much before they arrive for the event like Attractions near-by, Speaker blogs/videos, Book transport and accommodations and many more
  7. Initiate In-app conversations – Push key announcements, simple messages, trivia and encourage attendees to respond by liking or commenting on public posts
  8. Reduce printed materials – Eliminating print would be ideal, but it can be a gradual phase out by giving attendees an option to choose print or get all information in-app.
  9. Word-of-mouth – Focus on unique value of an app like photo-sharing, personal schedules, get directions etc., that they can’t get with print. You can run an in-app campaign for co-creation of content.
  10. Speakers, Partners & Exhibitors – Create and show value of the app to them. Their adoption of app will multiply the effect on attendees. Sponsored content is a great way to get your partners interested in the app while creating more revenue for you.
  11. At-venue app signage – Put app details, QR codes on delegate kits,  volunteer t-shirts, posters at key areas – entrance, registration desks.
  12. In-session promotions – Reminding attendees to rate sessions or post questions will encourage app usage and downloads during the event.

Do not just focus on creating an event app – focus on creating the experience around your event app. We would love to hear your app promotion stories and challenges. Do share them with us.

Drop us an email to [email protected]

Mobile First Engagement for Your Next Event

Today mobile phones are a 24×7 engagement channel. According to a study in 2013 by Frost & Sullivan, mobile apps increase attendee engagement by 33%. So why stop at using mobile as just an information and communication channel. It goes without sacarrot-engageying, before an event your goal is to drive attendance, but do not Attendee Engagement forget your attendees once they get there ! Leverage the mobility of your attendees to connect and engage your event’s physical and digital ecosystem.

The critical aspect of engagement is to understand your audience before choosing the type of content and tools. The right combination creates a an active, productive & thrilled audience. In addition makes your event an unforgettable one that will keep attendees coming back for years to come.

A mobile event app is a great tool to trigger engagement. It can make attendees feel involved to start sharing their thoughts, ideas and experiences of your event. Here are our favorite features from our event apps we have used to increase engagement by over 50% across concerts, conferences, workshops, corporate annual meet and exhibitions.

Activity Feed

Engage1An activity or news feed is the heart of your mobile app. It should curate and centralize everything that is going on at your event. It should be the launch pad for attendees to engage with other features in the event app. A buzzing activity feed creates an active channel for organizers to promote relevant information to the attendees. And attendees to post their content – comments, photos, opinions and much more. You can create a buzz about your event, long before your event has begun.

Contextual Announcements

Push notifications allow you to send messages that pop up on on an attendee’s mobile device. Sending a notification is only half the job – it is important to have a notification strategy to make these messages specific, relevant and timely. We leverage latest mobile technology to transform text notifications be actionable and include images. Push notifications can further be made impactful by using attendee location (GPS) and proximity (via Bluetooth beacons). For example, you can send out travel information for attendees a day prior to the event and auto-check-in & welcome attendees when they arrive at event venue.

Photos & Videos

save1Pictures and videos are worth thousands of words – and people love clicking them. While attendees can share their photos within the event app, you can enhance their experience by using digital photo walls like Hashout. You can project LIVE moderated crowdsourced photos and videos, from your event app and your social feeds, on jumbotrons.

Mobile Contests

Gamify your eQED8GG50PUvent engagement by rewarding attendees for simple but valuable actions like providing feedback, ratings, re-tweets, profile updates or RSVP. In addition, you can create spontaneous contests like  selfie contests, brand props contests or polls, quizzes and much more. Such engagement ensures attendees connect with your brand message long after the event is over. It can be even more rewarding if you can rope in your sponsors and exhibitors to giveaway goodies for the live contests and polls.

Rich Profiles

blog rich profileIn almost all your events, attendees are looking to connect with – brand (speaker, sponsor), vendors (exhibitors) or each other. Use your mobile app to facilitate such connections with rich profiles. Rich profiles should include social handles, business contact details, marketing collateral, videos and much more. In return you show high ROI to your attendees, exhibitors and sponsors by capturing connects within the app. Empower your attendees to tell their own brand story –  Of Course keeping privacy in mind !

Smartphones owned by your attendees continue to get smarter and more personalized. So do not miss out on smart & innovative features in your event mobile app. We would love to hear your take on it and what else can we do to re-invent event engagement. Meanwhile, stay tuned for updates to know how to make your next event smarter, captivating and engaging.

What are you waiting for ? Recreate Magic At your Events with Carrot

More power to your event with smart event technology

 

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Events are vibrant places to be in. The lively energy, dazzling displays, engaging conversations, lasting relationships and effortless networking are fostered by a beautifully woven magic, the result of hours of work and meticulous attention to detail by event managers.

In today’s digital world creating such memorable experiences cannot be limited to the ambience, aura, and performances, but needs to be extended with technology that recreates the very magic that the event epitomises.

Carrot event mobile app was launched to recreate these magical experiences.
According to Mangalam Nandakumar, founder and COO of AIDAIO, the company that created Carrot, “Last year, Carrot mobile apps were used by events that range from conferences, corporate events, exhibitions, concerts to weddings. We believe that the greatness of event technology is not in being a mere replacement of paper. Gorgeous design and smart technology has to blend in to recreate an event’s magical experience. Every event has its own personality and unique brand value. Technology needs to mimic and match the essence of any event.”

Events are highly volatile wherein schedules, speakers, sponsors are subject to change often. Event mobile apps rarely provide event managers the kinds of control or agility that can help them respond and react to these changes. Keeping the agility in mind, AIDAIO recently launched a secure cloud based platform to help event managers take complete control of their event apps with ability to design, theme, publish content and gain real time insights. Carrot’s unique focus on interaction and experience design is helping events create a new level of engagement and personalised experience for attendees – leading to more brand value, actionable intelligence, productivity and revenue.

Mangalam adds – “We want to provide a secure place for event communities to grow and thrive all year round. Today’s social networks provide tools for discovery not for deep engagement. Carrot offers a cost effective solution for event organizers to create brand ambassadors by targeting attendees with real time contextual content without being intrusive”

Besides traditional event app features Carrot provides unique features like
● Activity feed to aggregate buzz around community posts, announcements, and news besides a powerful chat option to talk to event organizers and community real-time.
● Interactive features like polls with images, timed quizzes, photo contests, online & offline gamification with beacons.
● A flexible multi-blog and pdf-document feature to highlight informative relevant content.
● Push and track text and image push notifications with quick actions.
● Best-in-class gorgeous templates to design apps that match theme and branding of the event.
● Easy-to-use control panel for event managers to organize event content, moderate user content besides better real-time insights to track event ROI.
● And for the first-time ability for event organizers to schedule and publish content in a jiffy from the app itself !

“Discovery is constant and desire to engage is instant. Intuitive mobile technology and smart engagement without compromising event experience are the need of today’s event world.” said Mangalam.

Carrot, powered by AIDAIO’s powerful, cloud based platform can now empower Event Managers to Recreate the Magic at their Events.

CII lists AIDAIO as Top 10 Promising Start-ups

This article first appeared in CII Innovation & Entrepreneurship

CII Industrial Innovation Awards 2015 CII Industrial Innovation Awards were instituted by CII in 2014 to recognize and celebrate innovative Indian enterprises across industry segments. These premier awards seek to recognize and honor the Indian Industry’s brightest stars and to identify the top Innovative Organizations in the country. They give an opportunity to companies to shine and be known nationally and internationally for their Innovative products and services. The second edition of CII Industrial Innovation Awards this year has been a grand success because of the high quality of applications, the doubling in the number of entries, the robustness and thoroughness of the evaluation process and the presence of an illustrious constellation of experts in technology, business and innovation space as the Jury.

From this year onwards, a special category of Start-ups, in addition to the regular category, has been introduced in the CII Industrial Innovation Awards. Under start-ups category there are two types of awards – for Best Manufacturing Start-up and Best Service Start-up. The overall winner in the start-up category is being given the Grand Award which is the Most Innovative Start-up of the Year. In the regular category, a total of 150 entries were received this year out of which the jury selected top 25 most innovative companies. From these 25, 4 companies are being given special awards under various categories. In the start-up category, the number of entries received was 50. Out of these, the jury selected top 10 most innovative start-ups. Out of these 10, 2 start-ups are being given special category awards.

In the regular category, the evaluation criteria gave 40% weightage to innovation, 40% to impact and 20% to innovation framework. In the start- up category, the weightages were 40% for innovation, 30% for market opportunity and 30% for impact. The jury members included Prof. Devang Khakhar, Director, IIT Bombay; Prof. P. P. Chakrabarti, Director, IIT Kharagpur; Prof. Rishikesha T Krishnan, Director, IIM Indore; Prof. Y S Rajan, Dr Vikram Sarabhai Distinguished Professor, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO); Mr Prabhat Ranjan, Executive Director, Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC); Prof. H P Khincha, Adviser, Dept. of Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science (IISC), Bangalore and Prof. S.P. Kothari, Deputy Dean, Gordon Y Billard Professor of Management, Director, MIT India Program.
Award ceremony

A total of 43 awards will be given today. These include 25 awards in regular category; 10 in start-up category, 6 in special category and 2 awards in the grand awards category.
Top 10 Start-up Awards
1. Capital Numbers Infotech Pvt. Ltd.
2. AIDAIO Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
3. Right Track Admizzionz Campuz Pvt. Ltd.
4. Finmart Advisory Pvt. Ltd.
5. GT Silicon Pvt. Ltd.
6. Ananya Seeds Pvt. Ltd.
7. Yoma Multinational Solutions
8. Casa Brands India Pvt. Ltd.
9. Cyborg Cyber Forensics & Information Security Pvt. Ltd.
10. Feel Good Design.
Regular category
1. Arteria Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
2. Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd.
3. Carborundum Universal Ltd.
4. CoreEL Technologies (I) Pvt. Ltd.
5. Cotmac Electronics Pvt. Ltd.
6. Efkon India Pvt. Ltd.
7. Elcome Integrated Systems Pvt. Ltd.
8. JK Lakshmi Cement Ltd.
9. Jyoti Cero Rubber.
10. Kirloskar Oil Engines Ltd.
11. L&T Electrical & Automation.
12. Manatec Electronics Pvt. Ltd.
13. Max Life Insurance Company Ltd.
14. Neogi Technologies and Research Pvt. Ltd.
15. Robert Bosch Engineering & Business Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
16. Southern Agro Engine Pvt. Ltd.
17. Sterlite Technologies Ltd.
18. Hotel Suryagarh, Jaisalmer.
19. Tata Chemicals Ltd.
20. Tata Steel.
21. Uflex Ltd.
22. Vedanta Ltd.
23. Wipro Ltd.
24. Zen Technologies Ltd.
25. Zydus Cadila

Special category awards There were 6 awards in this segment, of which there were 4 awards in regular category (the other 3 categories in 2015 did not have any winners and there were 2 winners in the start-up category)

1. Best Start-up in Manufacturing category (Ananya Seeds Pvt. Ltd.)
2. Best Start-up in Service category (Right Track Admizzionz Campuz Pvt. Ltd.)
3. Award for Manufacturing sector – Large enterprises (Zydus Cadila)
4. Award for Manufacturing sector – Large enterprises (Uflex Ltd.)
5. Award for Manufacturing sector –Micro & Small enterprises (CoreEL Technologies (I) Pvt. Ltd.)
6. Award for Service sector Large enterprise (Robert Bosch Engineering & Business Solutions Pvt.

2. Grand Awards (includes both regular and start-up category)

a. Most Innovative Startup of the Year (Right Track Admizzionz Campuz Pvt. Ltd.)
b. Most Innovative company of the Year (Zydus Cadila)

Want to build the next WhatsApp? An idea & two people is all you need

This article first appeared in The Economic Times

August 13, 2015 – BENGALURU: There is an app for everything today: to study, to order groceries and to even call a valet. Two people could build an app, given the vast resources available today. There are even courses that help non-coders build apps. But can they sustain it? Unlikely, say experts. Akshay Kingar, who runs Foofys, an app development firm in Bengaluru, says the first step in developing apps is to spot big problems.

“WhatsApp identified that people needed to talk to one another, without paying. Flipboard improvised on the “flip” action. They might not be the best looking apps, but they stick, because they solve a very big problem,” said Kingar, whose firm works with Prana Healthcare Enablers, Happily Unmar-ried, among others. His firm was picked as the best startup in the Mobile Applications Conference in 2012.

Compared to creating websites for PCs, developing mobile apps is a different ball game. “Website keeps you in a bubble. Even if a website crashes, it is blamed on the browser or the net connection. Not so for an app,” said CEO Pallav Barah of aida. io, which is developing a platform to turbo charge the app development process.

Android and iOS platforms lay down the frameworks where one can build an app. But even before that, a bit of groundwork always helps. For instance, when Foofys was asked to develop an app for hyper local gaming communities, Kingar immediately set up several WhatsApp groups, just to understand what sportspersons talk about before the game. He observed their behaviour for about 20 days, and then started sketching out the specifics of the app. The user experience team conducts research, observe behaviour, while the user interface folks build the first prototype. They create a ‘wire frame’ or a bare-bone structure on a paper or on a software, laying out the elements, mapping out what buttons lead to which actions. Once this “prototype” or skeleton is clear, the team of developers and designers enter the Android or iOS environment. If the app is more than just a calculator or a flashlight, and needs to fetch data from servers like a Facebook or Flipkart, technologies like Java, PHP, Ruby on Rails, Python come into the picture.

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Foofys said it takes at least five people to work on an app full time — the user interface/user experience person, an Android developer, a tester, a coder (who works on Ruby on Rails, Java and related technologies) and a project manager (in case of services firms). There is no step-by-step approach or a hand-over phenomenon.

Everyone works in parallel, and rapidly tests the app, before they release it to the Play Store. It takes about two months to develop an app. Foofys, which is an established firm, charges `3-4 lakh to develop a basic app for clients, while the maintenance could go up to `7 lakh a month. Starters can make do in much less amounts. Once released, it is important to talk about it on social media, blog about it and create awareness.

“It should be a two-way street — app developers should create awareness and desire among users to get the app,” said Manish Maheshwari, founder of txtWeb, which he exited to Intuit. Most startups and developers forget that an app is a means to an end and are often under the impression that a founder needs to know how to make apps.

“Mobile application development, per se by itself, is not a barrier to starting up. What is key, is the business model that the app is built around,” said Piyush Shah, chief product officer at mobile ad network InMobi. But do you ever stop working on an app? “You never stop tweaking it,” said Pallav Barah.