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3 Reasons Your Event Needs a Mobile Event App

Blair Pettrey

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Attending an event or conference is an exciting experience, full of opportunities to learn new information, meet others in the industry, and discover the latest and greatest innovations from vendors and exhibitors.

However, working in the event tech industry, it’s easy to always assume experiences and solutions will be readily available at events. That is, of course, until we attended an event that didn’t have the very solution we had come to trust and rely on (and develop for our clients): a mobile event app.

After registering for the event, my CMO and I eagerly awaited the email that would share the name of the event app, and a direct link to the iOS and Google Play stores to download it.

We were excited to experience the event before the event. We knew there was a lot happening at the event and a lot more that we wanted to walk away with from the event. Downloading and having an event app would help make sure all the goals we had for the event took place.

Unfortunately, that email never came. Nor did searching the stores and the internet to find out what the event app was called so we could, in fact, download it.

Why? Because this event had no mobile event app.

And yes, we were in shock.

However, taking two steps back, I thought to myself, “Perhaps I am too involved in the event tech industry to realize that perhaps not all events utilize mobile event apps. It won’t be so bad… I let it stop there, and didn’t think much more about how not having an event app would, in fact, effect the event, and my experience as an attendee. 

You can’t replace a mobile event app with a website.

Arriving on site, we (the attendees) are told to go to a website to access the agenda online.

First, you’ve got a crowd of nearly 1,500+ people, trying to use Wi-Fi at the same time to view an event website - bandwith issues are going to occur.

With said bandwidth issues, I was forced to use my phones data causing my phone to die thus I’m stuck trying to find out what events I want to go to based on a small printed agenda, that has very limited details regarding sessions and speakers, and oh by the way I lost the slip that goes inside that was supposed to tell me which sessions were cancelled/switched/etc.

I haven’t even begun to get beyond the convenience of mobile event apps just for the fact I don’t have to have a printed agenda, and they provide real time updates –  and my understanding of how valuable and essential event apps are has begun.

1. Mobile Event Apps Are Real-Time and Content Rich

Mobile event apps are far more than a replica of printed agendas, far more, but the convenience of having an agenda, on a device you have with you 24/7 and won’t misplace, and can be updated with last minute sessions/changes/etc. in the palm of my hands – that ‘luxury’ alone is worth having a mobile event app for.

This ‘luxury’ was probably one that would have been last on my list of the ‘event app benefits’, because despite working in tech and being in a digital age, I often prefer paper and pen. I thought for sure I would not come to realize the importance and convenience of mobile event apps for even basic agendas.

2. Who’s Who?

At an event of any size, time is of an essence, thus trying to search everyone’s badge for their name, what company they are from, and then engage in a conversation to see if a professional connection makes sense – well there is simply just not enough time.

With a mobile event app that included a feature such as MeetingPlay's attendee networking, I could have gone through the attendee list and discovered if there was anyone that made sense specifically to connect with at the event, and sent a direct message or even scheduled an appointment with the personalized scheduling feature. I could also utilize personalized scheduling to set up an appointment with vendors and exhibitors that I found valuable, instead of attempting to wait the crowds around booths waiting to talk to a sales rep.

With MeetingPlay’s networking feature in our event apps, I could have answered a series of questions that would in return take an attendee list of 1500 people to a much smaller, niche group of attendees that made sense for me to network with.

3. Who & What Do I Need to Remember?

Speaking of vendors and exhibitors, with a mobile event app, I could have captured notes from meeting with vendors right within the app.

I could go back, after the event, and view my favorite vendors (and attendees and speakers), and refresh my memory on what I liked most about that meeting or that session. I didn’t lose my notes, my favorites can be easily selected for quick navigation back to, and I can remember exactly why I liked that vendor/speaker/meeting.

This prevents loss of information and makes re-discovering the right information, easy.

And for vendors and sponsors, lead retrieval information is stored for me, again able to take notes directly in the app, and no need for bulky and dated looking lead retrieval scanning equipment.

Conclusion:  Mobile Event Apps Are Convenient

In case my experience of attending an event without a mobile event app hasn’t already convinced you that yes, your event needs a mobile event app, realize this: mobile event apps are convenient.

• It’s convenient to receive push notifications when a session has changed or a last-minute alert needs to be shared with all attendees at an event.

• It's convenient to have a ‘fast pass’ experience, where I am not waiting in line for 30 minutes to receive my event badge.

• It’s convenient to not be overwhelmed by information but rather have information customized based on my experience within the app.

• It’s convenient to discover the attendees, vendors, and others who make sense to meet with – and can message them within the app and schedule meetings with them.

• It’s convenient to see my personal schedule, with the sessions I have chosen or registered to attend, in real time, rather than yesterday’s multitude of breakout sessions appearing first, then all of the day’s sessions – never just the ones I am part of.

• It’s convenient that mobile event apps allow me to access the information I want and need, despite not having access to (or having spotty) Wi-Fi.

Experiencing an event that was great, is always going to be great, regardless if it had an event app or not. However, delighting attendees and providing everyone an enhanced experience that is remembered, is what keeps attendees returning, vendors excited, and an experience that lasts far beyond the event onsite, and MeetingPlay’s mobile event apps help event professionals ensure that those memorable experiences are happening.

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