When we 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.
“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.
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.