Thousands of people attend tradeshows and conferences each month. Many will step in and step out – leaving with nothing more than the already-fading memory of a few handshakes and perhaps a goody bag. However, smartly designed custom event apps have the power to change that, allowing event managers to make their tradeshow – and their value proposition – to ‘stick’ with their audience.
As an event organizer, you probably already offer, or consider offering, a mobile app for your event. You want it to be user-friendly and functional. It should help your attendees track the day’s agenda, find their way around, check out the speakers, or register for sessions. However, few event managers think of their event app as a customized content marketing tool, capable of engaging the audience before, during, and after your event.
Custom Event Apps Impact Your Bottom Line
Recent staggering stats show that 94 percent of tradeshow attendees have net buying influence for their organization. To make your event enjoyable for this high-value audience and ensure they come back (and bring their friends) next year, you want to provide a high-quality event experience. Easy-to-use, custom event apps that are theme-specific, compelling, and loaded with fun features, will keep your high-value attendees entertained and focused on your brand. With a customized event app, you can:
- Provide interactive, paperless event guidance
- Encourage networking and social sharing
- Offer sleek, native user experience for multiple platforms
- Enhance the event experience for the users
- Promote your brand and boost attendee loyalty
But if your event lasts only a few days, how can you justify investing in a full-featured, custom event app? And what if you need it built quickly and deployed natively to multiple platforms – particularly seeing how native iPad apps are the hot item right now? In the custom app development world, a portfolio of such multi-platform, native event apps may prove a budget-buster. Yet, after your tradeshow or conference is over, your app investment effectively goes down the drain.
Think about it this way: once downloaded, your app is a valuable real estate on your attendees’ devices. How can you get the most out of it?
Custom Event Apps vs. Template Apps
A solution adopted by many event marketers nowadays is using template based, standardized functionality to cut costs and streamline the app experience across multiple events. In this scenario, a mobile solution provider would create a template “mother app” which would typically absorb the bulk of your app development budget up front. Then, the template would get replicated for multiple events within a limited range of design themes and set of functions. Naturally, the more you clone/modify the app, the higher your costs. In the long-term, such a model can cost you arm and leg.
A template-based solution like that may be convenient, and it certainly takes care of brand consistency once the template app is finalized to your requirements. However, such a strategy would effectively lock you into a limited template, severely hampering your creativity and opportunity for change. Having invested so much creative energy into the organization of your event, you are stuck with a standardized, inflexible app that is likely to get deleted and forgotten, as soon as your event is over.
Bottom line: template solutions might not provide the long-term cost savings you expect, and still don’t solve the “wasted real estate” challenge.
Custom Event Apps Can Really Perform
To make your events truly memorable and high-return, you need to match your app design and functionality to the creativity you’ve invested into your event. Make your app a memorable experience in itself! Better yet, turn your event app into an experience your users won’t be in a hurry to abandon.
Custom event apps designed and managed with the MobileSmith Platform allow you to:
- Publish rich media and interactive photo galleries
- Use your app’s dedicated CMS to push notifications and publish news
- Promote raffles and contests
- Stream entertaining content throughout the event – and long after it!
- Offer interactive functionality and social sharing
- Enable your attendees to connect and network
- Channel your unique value proposition for each event and target audience
Come up with all kinds of customer engagement ideas and strategies. Create apps for multiple events, and decentralize native app creation across your organization while keeping the branding consistent. Templates are possible, but not necessary!
What’s more, your event apps have a power to evolve and can, potentially, drive attendee engagement year-round with compelling content marketing. And what’s best – no matter how many custom events app you create, your cost savings are guaranteed with MobileSmith’s predictable, low flat cost structure.
How Your Event Apps Can Evolve
With MobileSmith’s streamlined App Versioning workflow, you can invent and reinvent your custom event apps without incurring extra costs or disrupting the end user experience. MobileSmith truly offers unlimited opportunity for customization and evolution of user experience. You can transform your native apps into a mobile mainstay throughout the year. From basic event functionality to theme-specific designs, rewards, and community building, your customized multi-app strategy is easy, rapidly deployed, and makes it simple for users to tap and go.
For more useful tips and in-depth overview, attend our free webinar: How to Create Custom Event Apps that Drive ROI