This is a sponsored post written by Anthony Miller, Chief Marketing Officer, Lanyon.
If you’ve attended an event recently, it’s a safe bet you saw a lot of folks walking around with their heads down, eyes trained on their smartphones, thumbs busily scrolling up and down their screens.
What’s so awesome about their phones? Most likely, they were engaged with an app. Very likely, a mobile event app.
According to Flurry Analytics
, U.S. consumers in 2014 spent 2 hours and 42 minutes daily on their mobile devices — up by 4 minutes from a year earlier. What’s more, they spent 86% of that time using mobile apps, versus 80% in 2013.
Take advantage of the public’s app-loving habits by incorporating a mobile app to your next event. Your attendees can start accessing event content (for registration, social media and persistent online communities) earlier.
Meanwhile, after the event, they can continue using the app (for news, industry updates, peer-to-peer engagement, etc.). And exhibitors and sponsors can receive prolonged brand exposure, while you collect more data and analytics.
An effective mobile event app will help you to:
Help Market Your Event
- Better market and promote your event
- Boost engagement with attendees
- Drive more revenue
Here’s how you can expand awareness of your event with a mobile event app:
Expand Your Reach to More Attendees
- Give yourself ample time – at least six months before your event – to select and configure a mobile application. You’ll have more time to promote your event to speakers, attendees and exhibitors/sponsors.
- Promote the mobile app early and often (e.g. on your event website) to encourage downloads and access.
- Include links in email communications to a mobile registration site.
- Encourage attendees to view session and speaker information online. Jason Paganessi, Vice President of Business Innovation for the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) declares that “…today, an attendee seeking information for an event will first turn to mobile devices. This is a huge shift in the event space, and no event organizer can afford to overlook this trend.”
- Provide updates on new speakers, sponsors and exhibitors.
- Encourage attendees to set up appointments in advance.
- Upload 2-3 minute videos that are only available via the mobile event app.
Consider these strategies for improved engagement with attendees via your mobile app:
Drive More Event Revenue
- Provide attendees with electronic event information, e.g. sessions, speakers, maps, and personalized schedules, etc.
- Push real-time updates and announcements, e.g. changes in schedule, event news and bus schedules.
- Encourage attendees to like, share, upload photos and tag content on social media. (Make sure your mobile event app easily allows attendees to automatically contribute to social media conversations from within the app).
- Incorporate a game – with a real-time dashboard – to your app that’s designed to encourage attendee behaviors, e.g. visit supplier booths, rate sessions or posting to social media.
- Use mobile to schedule 1:1 meetings or network with others.
- Send surveys after keynotes and sessions to increase response rates.
Costs for a mobile app can range from free (for do-it-yourself apps) to $50,000 (for custom-built native apps). A great way to offset those costs is to offer sponsorships or advertising within your app. Here are 5 ways to monetize your app with exhibitors and sponsors:
Mobile Event Apps: Your New BFF
- Logo placement on every page of the app. Other options include rotating banner ads and splash screen ads (interstitial pages that appear when the user clicks an icon, but before their requested page comes up).
- Enhanced listings within the exhibit directory (listings with additional links and materials for download, or listings that are moved to the top of a page on an alphabetical list).
- Push notifications sent by exhibitors to all (or select groups of) attendees.
- Gamification designed to include exhibitors as parts of games.
- Exhibit surveys – selling the right for an exhibitor to host a survey within your app.
A mobile app is more than just a replacement for programs, printouts and handouts. It’s a powerful tool for extending the reach of your event, increasing your attendees’ engagement with the event and each other, and for creating additional revenue.
Karen Zunkowski, Director of Corporate Event Marketing at Symantec says “we wanted a mobile solution to replace our printed program guide and allow attendees to view maps and the meeting agenda. Last year, we began using the game features, and this year we added the one-to-one meeting scheduler. We also use our mobile application to give our sponsors exposure and collect session evaluations and the event survey.”
For simple, effective ways to get the most out of your mobile event app, Lanyon has created a complete guide — including tips for selecting a mobile solution provider, how to integrate social media on your mobile app, and how to measure the effectiveness of your event app.
Get up to speed on all things mobile — sign up for the Lanyon Mobile best practices webinar