One of the the biggest tech tools on the tip of everyone’s tongues today is event apps. Yes, they have been around for a few years now. Yes, they aren’t the hottest new tool on the market. However, event app providers are coming up with new ideas and innovative ways to make apps even more relevant for event professionals today. From the discovery of big data to smart watches, app providers are taking notice of growing trends and working to integrate them into their solutions. They also are emerging themselves more than ever into the events industry itself, learning some of the daily struggles of planners and how to solve them. From working with your event software to staying on top of technologies biggest trends, event app providers are making a splash with planners.
Let’s dive deep into how to use event apps to:
1. Integrate with existing solutions
2. Work on spotty venue Wi-Fi
3. Stay on trend with attendee’s smart watches
Integrating your event app with EMS
Technology is an integral part of any event. You need technology to connect everything that is happening and to analyze your event process. Utilizing tech like registration software, email marketing, event apps, budgeting tools, and more will allow you to accurately and efficiently track the ROI for your event. The important thing is that you want one centralized hub to unify all these different tech tools. That is where an event management software or EMS comes in. It streamlines your event tools in one place including a website, email, marketing, registration, budgets, project, meeting management, travel, housing, etc. This is the core of your event and by integrating your event app with your EMS, you’re creating a loop wherein you can manage incoming and outgoing event data in real time. Ultimately, the bi-directional data will provide you with great event insights and help you to determine event success and ROI. This will make your life easier, provide your attendees and sponsors with a greater benefit and you’ll get unprecedented insights about your event while keeping everything under control.
Examples of mobile event app and EMS integration:
- single & multi-event apps integrated with EMS pushing event configuration to the app
- event content – event agenda, dates & locations
- attendee list / directory
- attendee login using registration info
- attendee app usage reporting
- view social meetings in personal agenda
- modify, remove, & add app features in real-time
How will attendees survive on an app with no Wi-Fi?
A native event app typically works offline, but it needs internet on a regular basis to update its content. Hotels and venues have received the message that if they are not able to provide good connectivity, they lose business. Organizers are now very educated about the situation: forecasting the bandwidth and the number of simultaneous connections, given that their audience is likely to bring 1.57 devices. Given the engagement or type of media you are likely to deal with, your bandwidth becomes key. There are still some locations where this doesn’t apply, and a couple of 4G relays won’t do the trick. Thankfully, there are solutions to allow your app to work offline:
A. Once downloaded, you can work offline. You just don’t receive any new external content and your actions are stored until connection is restored.
B. There are ways to implement an internal Wi-Fi network, thus all the attendees can network and receive live content from the organizer throughout the indoor network: here’s how it works
Event apps & smart watches
The Apple Watch, like many other wearable devices, is just the beginning. This is clearly the next big thing. Sensor industry is the fastest growing tech segment and includes temperature, movement, position and more. The connected world is exponentially growing by fragmenting the tracking of our day to day behaviors into each component in your life. Let’s look at the pros and cons to have the Apple (or Android) Watch with event-related functionality.
Limitations Note: by definition, the size of the screen is a clear limit. If an Apple Watch is prevalent in your participant pool, you need to focus on functionality that makes sense in the context of the watch.
- Scrolling the agenda
- Receiving alerts
- Meeting reminders
- Session voting
- Searching the exhibitor list
- Looking at social media feeds
- Engagement features
- Viewing maps & floor plans
- Typing or data entry
Smart watch adoption is still very low. Some industries or audiences are more likely than others to wear these devices including medical events, tech events with early adopters, or sporting events where runners are well equipped. Thinking through your mobile strategy to include smart watches can help position your event as a market leader in technology consumption, and educate your audience on new ways of sharing the event experience. YOU make the call.
These are just a few of the ways event app providers are meeting the needs of their event planner clients. Constantly looking for innovation and necessities and limitations when it comes to event planning, technology professionals are taking the guessing work out of how apps will add value to an event. To get even more event app tips and strategies, download our latest eBook the event app blue book.
Written by: Kristen Carvalho