10 Ideas for Monetizing Your Mobile Event App

Posted by Kevin Iwamoto on 02/24/2014

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Here's another great post on mobile apps and making them work for you — from Rebecca Yetzer, Content Marketer, at ACTIVE Network:

The costs you can’t eliminate for a mobile app for events can be mitigated somewhat through the use of sponsorships or advertising within the app. Unfortunately, it can be impossible to demand the price for digital ads you once received for print ads in the guide. The stronger your mobile event app adoption rate, the better for both demand and pricing (Read our blog on 12 Tips for Improving Adoption of Mobile Event Apps.)

Here are 10 ideas to spur how to monetize mobile event apps:

  1. Title sponsor. Sponsor gets a logo on every page.
  2. Rotating banner ads. These ads can rotate from the front page to various feature pages within the app.
  3. Splash screens. Interstitial pages that appear when the user clicks an icon, but before their requested page comes up (just like the ads on YouTube). Be judicious in your use of these, however, as they can interrupt the attendee’s experience with your event.
  4. Enhanced exhibitor listings. These can be highlighted 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 (like Google ads).
  5. Push notifications. Let exhibitors send messages to all or select groups of attendees. Again, however, be careful. Too many “Stop by the XYZ booth for your chance to win ABC,” will get old quickly. Set a limit of notifications per day and collaborate with exhibitors to make their notifications meaningful. 
  6. Brand specific features. Let exhibitors brand certain portions of the mobile app, such as the agenda or scheduling tool.
  7. Gamification. Exhibitors are often included as parts of games and some pay for this inclusion. But make a conscious decision about whether or not monetizing your game is right for you. You might prefer to plan your game around encouraging specific behaviors, and sponsors might not fit into that model.
  8. Exhibit surveys. Sell the right for an exhibitor to host a survey within your app. Maybe they’re looking for feedback on a new product – or crowdsourcing new features. Most mobile apps have a polling or survey feature that can be used.
  9. Bundling sponsorship opportunities. Some planners find it onerous to sell small mobile app sponsorship opportunities and would rather bundle the options within larger event sponsorships.
  10. Paid technical content. There are highly technical conferences that actually charge attendees for the mobile event app – but their conference proceedings were often sold as paper documents, as well, and their apps are filed with enduring content. Think about any content your organization does sell. Could it be offered as an in-app purchase at the event?

Check out the other blogs in our mobile series (links below) or download the complete ACTIVE Network Mobile Playbook for everything you need to know about mobile event apps!

Let us know your suggestions for going mobile below in the comments section:


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