Apps, Events, Engagement, Oh My!

February 18, 2015
How can mobile apps improve engagement at your event? Usually when you hear about anything dealing with employees and their smartphones, people get nervous. More time spent on the phone means less work done, less attention paid, less interaction with people. Using a cell phone is taboo in most work environments. There are some cases, however, where smartphones can help with engagement, especially with targeted mobile apps. You’ll actually want your employees to be looking at those tiny screens! Using a custom mobile app can streamline a big corporate event. Engaging the audience with technology is becoming an integral part of the planning process and execution. You can take my word for it. I know this first hand because I just created a custom app for one of our clients to use during their event. The app made the whole trip run more smoothly, showcased how technologically advanced our client is, and saved a lot of paper! Group travel programs have a lot of moving parts. Some, I could not have even imagined until I saw them for myself when I attended my first event as a staff member. Planners have to pay attention to every detail, make sure things are customized to the client, and go above and beyond to ensure flawless delivery. You'd never know the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes (which is the point!) for these intricate programs. Let’s break it down. How exactly can an app make an event more efficient? Let’s start by exploring the possible functions. It's important to choose wisely from the many options when designing an event app. All features should have a clear purpose. If you add a function just for the sake of it, it will lessen the value of the app overall.   This technology basically takes all of the information that is usually offered by a packet of programs, profiles, and maps and combines them in an easy-to-navigate format. For this event, the app design featured a list of meetings and activities for each day. Each activity on the schedule included the date, time, and location – which had an interactive map that showed exactly where the room was located at the hotel – and what company was sponsoring the activity. We were able to create individual schedules for each attendee based on which activities they chose to attend throughout their stay. Everyone who downloaded the app and logged in had a customized schedule upon opening. There was no excuse for not knowing what activity they had chosen! Another impressive feature was the attendees list and the ability to interact with others within the app. Each person who logged in could update their profile using their LinkedIn page. Attendees could share a picture, comment, or ask a question to anyone else with the app. The app was extremely helpful for the staff as well. During the very hectic registration period, staff were able to direct attendees to the app to help them get where they needed to be more quickly. It is difficult sometimes to lug around a wide binder containing every detail of the event. One thing EVERYONE always has on them is their cell phone. Running around doing everything, from setting up tables to grabbing water bottles, I was able to answer all event related questions on the spot. This was an unexpected pleasant surprise use of the event app! A small app, a big success! Overall, it's an exciting technology to accept. Embrace it for what it can do for your event. There are so many useful tools out there that can boost engagement and keep the attention of those who are important to your business. Elements such as the event app, help to keep companies up-to-date with technology trends, keep attendees on track and offer more chances to engage attendees throughout the whole event. This builds a stronger bond and a better connection between them and the company.

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