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Understanding Mobile Apps for Events: From Strategy to Selection

Michelle Bruno discusses event mobile apps: features, functions, pricing and strategy for selection

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Understanding Mobile Apps for Events: From Strategy to Selection

  1. 1. Understanding Mobile Apps forEvents: From Strategy to Selection --Presented by Michelle Bruno, MPC
  2. 2. Key Learning Points• How mobile solutions can address a number of attendee needs simultaneously• How to develop a mobile event strategy• The common features and functionality of todays mobile solutions• The pros and cons of native applications and web-based solutions
  3. 3. Key Learning Points• What you should expect to pay for a mobile solution• Mobile business models• The new breed of low-cost, high function, self- service applications• Best Practices• Common mistakes that event organizers make when selecting a mobile solution
  4. 4. Why Mobile?
  5. 5. Why Mobile? Organizer Advantages• Real-time dissemination of info to users• Efficient collection of information from users• Revenue streams• Brand extension for the event• Enhanced visibility and brand extension for exhibitors and sponsors• Enhanced matchmaking opportunities between exhibitors and attendees
  6. 6. Why Mobile? Organizer Advantages• Environmental benefits• Community development and maintenance• Reductions in operational costs• New advertising and messaging platforms• Access to new customers (social networks, viral communications)• Enhanced reputation and influence for the organization
  7. 7. Why Mobile? Organizer Advantages• Competitiveness with other events• Access to changing demographic of mobile device users• Extension of existing event assets and platforms• Event analytics• Integration of mobile, online, and face-to-face experience
  8. 8. Why Mobile? User Advantages• Real-time interaction between users• Real-time user access to event information• Real-time user access to social networks• Organized presentation of event information for users• Efficient collection of information by users
  9. 9. Why Mobile? User Advantages• Improved decision-making for users• Enhanced navigation of event for users (floor plans, schedules, agendas)• Enhanced attendee experience• Simplicity, usability, clean user interface
  10. 10. Why Mobile?• Statistics on Smartphones• User relationship with mobile devices• iPad usage—Can you say iPad 3 with 4G?• Utility• Game mechanics
  11. 11. Mobile Strategy• What is driving the use of a mobile app? Make a list and prioritize the organization’s specific pains and organizational goals.• Is mobile a good fit? Determine whether mobile solutions are the optimum way to address specific pains. Other options may be more suitable in some cases.• What is the usability profile of the users? Decide whether a native app or mobile Web site best meets the platform capabilities and preferences of users.
  12. 12. Mobile Strategy• How will the app be marketed to users? Determine which existing and new communication tools will be used to launch the app, train users and drive user adoption.• How can the app be leveraged after the event? Consider ways to use the app to extend the brand, engage customers year round and onboard community or association members.• How does mobile fit within the organization’s event strategy? Decide whether the mobile strategy meets the organization’s goals for exhibitor/attendee service and retention.
  13. 13. Mobile Strategy• What are the metrics for gauging the app’s success? Determine in advance how the app will be measured in terms of meeting event and organizational objectives.• Who will own the mobile app strategy? Decide who in the organization will be charged with choosing, deploying, monitoring, addressing inquiries, etc. for the mobile app.• Which tasks and procedures should be moved to mobile? Examine existing marketing procedures, operations tasks and budget line items to determine which can be migrated to a mobile platform from an efficiency or cost-savings perspective.
  14. 14. Mobile Strategy• What is the budget for a mobile app? Determine what the organization can afford to spend on a mobile solution and whether some or all the costs have to be recouped by revenue streams from the app.• What is the time frame for selection and deployment of a mobile app? Decide whether the event schedule permits the introduction and deployment of a mobile app.• What are the facilities’ limitations?Review the potential venues and their connectivity issues: hotels, office, conference center, exhibition hall, outdoors
  15. 15. Features and Functionality News, updates and  Appointment scheduling information distribution  Floor plan viewing Advertising channel for  Event navigation exhibitors and sponsors  Exhibitor directory Access to public social  Event schedule media platforms (Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Facebook)  Session schedule Lead retrieval  Personal agendas Real-time polling  Speaker evaluations Surveys  Social games Security  Ranking event features
  16. 16. Features and Functionality Event-centric social  Merchandise sales community platform  Access control Bookmarking exhibitor and  CEU monitoring speaker information  Event ticketing Virtual meeting access  Text messaging Information exchange  Digital download of between attendees and exhibitor marketing exhibitors materials Registration  Attendee management Live streaming of event  Financial reporting content Multi-lingual  QR Code readers
  17. 17. Native vs. Web• Native apps do not require a consistent Internet connection• Native apps have to be downloaded• Native apps require extra time to be approved by the respective platform stores• Native apps are platform dependent• Native app functionality/user experience is superior to Web*
  18. 18. Native vs. Web• Web solution require a consistent Internet connection• Web solutions do not have to be downloaded• Web solutions do not have to be approved by an app store• Web solutions are platform agnostic• Web solution functionality/user experience is dependent on Web’s capabilities
  19. 19. Cost/Features• Free (Web or iPhone) limited features• $1,000 Web Only (Self-service)• $1,200 Native Android or iPhone (Self-service)• $6,000 Multi-platform Native (Full-service)• $9,000 - $18,000 Native iPhone, iPad specific, Android, BB + Web, HTML5 (Full-Service)
  20. 20. Low-cost, High function, Self-Service• Content Management Systems• Native or Web• Multi-platform• Sweat Equity vs. Cash• Post-event functionality (news channel)• Fast Deployment
  21. 21. Best Practices• Determine the metrics you will apply to gauge app’s success• Use a written RFP• Focus more on business goals and less on functionality• Take the user experience on multiple platforms (Web, kiosks, mobile devices) into consideration.
  22. 22. Best Practices• Consider integration with existing event management platforms• Focus on simplicity and usability• Consider the (connectivity) limitations of the venue• Synchronize app development cycle with the event cycle
  23. 23. Best Practices• Limit the number of functions to 10• Select app/vendor with a view to long-term outcomes• Spend a little, learn a lot, tweak• Create a list of “must have,” “deal breaker” and “extra” features and functionality
  24. 24. Mistakes Organizers Make• No time to promote to attendees• Getting an app because everyone else has one• Not taking advantage of the analytics• Not keeping the same app for multiple events• Not using the app year round
  25. 25. Contact MeMichelle Bruno, MPCPresident Bruno Group Signature EventsBrunogroup.comEastVirtual.comForkintheroadblog.comTwitter: