From understanding what features are core (vs what would be an unexpected, extra expense) to knowing turnaround time to ROI capabilities - these 11 questions are a must ask for any event professional when considering a mobile event app.
1. What are the core features of the app?
The best event apps are developed with the goals of your meeting in mind. Not only are they able to conveniently organize the content you want to share with your attendees, but they also offer some features that reflect your overall strategy. Is networking important to you? Then an app with a matchmaking algorithm might be a priority. Looking to impress your attendees with your tech prowess? Augmented reality might be the right feature for you. Talk to your potential app providers about your goals and let them walk you through features to consider.
2. What type of support will I have building the app?
You don’t have to be a tech wizard to have an app at your next event! Many event app providers take care of all app development, you simply need to supply the content. Ask questions around how the content needs to be supplied – if there are templates, are they easy to use? How about if you have a change or update to content supplied? Ask them to provide details of how that process is managed in the development stage.
3. What type of support will I have during the event?
Will you have a dedicated person to help manage your event, or is there an 800 number to call? Ask if support is available 24/7 during the event and if you’re given an 800 number, ask questions around how familiar the person on the other end will be with your event. Many providers also offer onsite support (for an additional fee), ask if this is an option.
4. How long does the event app remain in the app stores after the event?
Often, attendees want to be reminded of people they met, sessions they attended and notes they took in the app. Ask potential providers how this information will be available to attendees after the event.
5. How long does it take to develop a mobile event app?
It can take anywhere from a few days to 2-3 months to build an event app. It all depends on the complexity of the app. Once you start discussing features, your app provider should be able to provide a timeline. We recently published a post that goes into detail on this, check it out here.
6. What revenue or sponsor enhancement opportunities are there?
Planners often overlook the opportunity to monetize their event app. From splash pages to banners to featured app placements, there are many ways to turn your app into a profit engine.
7. What security or privacy options are there?
Event apps can be built with security features as open or closed as required. Event apps can require attendees to have a specific email address and/or password to log into the app, despite the app being publicly downloadable from the iOS and Android app stores. Data from event apps can be encrypted on the app servers, over WiFi and while being used on attendees devices.
Additional security features of mobile event apps can include third party verification, remote content wiping, backend database security, and more.
It's also standard to have opt-out options for your attendees, should they not want to share to have their information collected or stored. If you haven't heard about the new EU regulation that's impacting privacy options, read more here.
8. Are updates available instantaneously?
If you have a change to your agenda, or any other part of your content, you'll want to be able to make that change and have it reflected immediately.
9. Is the event app native or web based?
Native apps are designed specifically for mobile and are faster and not reliant on WiFi, different from web based options which are more of a web site that feels like an app. There's also hybrid options available. There are cost and performance implications based on which route you choose. Make sure you talk this through with providers to understand the pros and cons.
10. Does the event app integrate with your current software?
It may be important to you to ensure your app talks to your registration software, for example, so that it's easy to import all registration data. Ideally, your app provider will offer two way registration with ongoing updates.
11. Does the event app work for multi and single events?
If you plan several events, this will be an important consideration for you, it will offer convenience to your attendees to be able to go back into the same app.