Mobile app on events, how long we can postpone it?
Maybe it's Millennials' fault, or our busy lives, or the immediacy of the era in which we live. Maybe it's this unstoppable world's fault, or the now that is always now, the yesterday that no longer matters. We are emerging in a digital world from which we can no longer escape. We could postpone mobile app in events, but how long?
Mobile applications represent endless potential for interaction and enrichment of the event. Who would not want to have a tool that updated in real time any unexpected situation? Or have all the contacts at a touch's length on the phone to add to LinkedIn? Or filter the best questions from the audience when there are only five minutes left to complete a session? All this is available through mobile applications.
So, how can we take advantage from them? By concentrating the maximum event information in the application we gain in efficiency, updating and sharing of content, while minimising the printing of thousands information pages, improving the event's ecological footprint. We synthesise the audience's questions, while still allowing them to be voted in real time to give priority to those chosen. We accelerate the interaction between people, suggesting and linking those with more themes or objectives in common. We allow the creation of a personal agenda, within the official event schedule, where each can take their notes for sharing or future filing.
With mobile apps for events we improve the engagement, commitment and "brand love" levels. We evaluate real-time satisfaction of the audience in relation to the presentations via online voting. We facilitate presentations or informative material downloading both in the session and the speaker's profiles. We maximise sales and exposure of sponsors through advertising banners in the application and gamification. Cross-selling to other services / products and theme landing pages will benefit by investing in tje app's mobile internal marketing.
We turn the environment more informal by loading images that summarise the experienced moments and that symbolise the event's soul: either through a photo wall (private or not) loaded by users; or even via some digital "accessories" that provide life and sense of humor: emoticons, symbols or images attached to the event, hashtags.
We externally promote the event in the most personal and diverse way possible when we include social media feed and social wall in events in order to attract more interest, favouring the next edition registration. We contact participants via push-notification (using a native application) to the relevant alerts. We gather various information that evolve in real time, such as meteorology, contacts, latest news, maps. We explore optionally, and with the user's express consent, geo-location features that identify in real time the places visited during the event. We highlight the social networks so that they maximise the visibility and engagement. We measure content access, most active users, advertising space profitability, among other indicators. We automate services such as Concierge virtual - ordering a coffee or some water during the event has never been easier.
But above all, we prolong the event experience in time: before, during and after it.
The advantages and features of a mobile app applied to an event already sound urgent, right? It is undeniable how much we can maximise, personalise and facilitate various event related issues. But we can not plan a mobile app not taking three variables into account: target audience, type of mobile app and accessories for an optimal experience.
First, evaluate the target audience "technological" profile. Depending on whether our audience is foreign or Portuguese, Internet access differs. Some participants can not travel with their work mobile phones or use mobile data abroad. The alternative will be available ipads or mobile phones to lend or rent so that all can participate. It is also essential to define the type of mobile app: native, web or hybrid? The native will have the advantage of allowing push notifications and some extra geo-location and gamification features, uploading photos, and some content can be accessed without Internet. At the other end, a web application does not occupy any space, but requires constant Internet access. Some features are excluded, but some IT directors (in international companies in the Banking and Insurance business) acknowledge that native applications are not installed for security reasons. Finally, anticipate the accessories for an optimal experience: battery chargers, alternative ways of providing access to mobile data or wi-fi if there is a fault, mobile devices to borrow or rent.
More than the event having a mobile appor not, it is appropriate that it is designed and tailored to the audience's taste. Why not throwing an online questionnaire to participants to know their needs and test the mobile app with a limited group of users before the launch? The digital challenge in the events world leads us to be more original, more proactive, more attractive. We can not delay it. Let's do it and good mobiles apps for all events!
Joana Pais, Digital Marketing specialist at events by tlc / Case Imagine group