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Why Event Managers don’t adopt Event Apps

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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.

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12 tips to promote your event apps

By | Blog

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]

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Mobile First Engagement for Your Next Event

By | Blog

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

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