“If you build it, they will come.”
This iconic saying may be true for Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams, but it’s not always the case for event apps. Just because you build an app doesn’t mean people will download it, and it definitely doesn’t mean that people will want to engage with it. To build a successful app, you need a partner in the process — a provider who understands your goals and knows how to reach them. Here are five questions you should ask when considering how to choose a conference app provider.
Does the provider have event planning expertise?
Sometimes it takes one to know one. When choosing a mobile event app provider, it helps to learn a bit about the company and the leadership team. Take a look at their “About” page and their bios. Do they have experience in meeting planning? Do they have any first-hand experience in your industry?
A successful event app requires more than technology — it takes a team of knowledgeable, dedicated people who want to collaborate with you. On-the-ground experience planning and running successful events will bring a different level of knowledge to your app (we know from experience!).
Is dedicated account management a priority for you?
When thinking about an app, account management might not be top-of-mind. But once you’ve worked with (or without) it, you quickly realize the value. A good account team asks the right questions, listens to your goals and crafts a plan with the features you need.
For example, if a goal of your event is to increase attendee engagement, group gamification may be your most valuable feature. Or if your goal is to help sponsors capture leads, personalized scheduling might be your priority. A good account management team can help you identify opportunities and make the most out of your app.
Do you want an all-in-one app, or several different apps?
Some events have more than one app — one for audience response systems (a.k.a. voting apps), one for an agenda, one for gamification, etc. If you’ve ever been to an event with more than one app, you know how frustrating this can be. Our advice: the simpler the experience, the happier your attendees will be. A well-designed all-in-one app won’t require you to sacrifice any features, so avoid multiple downloads.
Do you want to work with a large company or a smaller company?
When choosing a provider, get a sense of the company’s size. Are they a large organization, a small startup, or somewhere in the middle? The answer can impact the support and the customization you’ll receive. Large companies tend to be more formulaic, and less willing to adapt and create a more unique app for your needs. Smaller, independent companies have the ability to be more flexible and nimble.
Compared to other event app providers, for example, MeetingPlay is a smaller company (although we’ve worked with premier clients for quite some time!). We can offer levels of customization that some others can’t; because we are a higher-end, white glove provider, we can shift and accommodate more effectively.
Is the provider new to the industry? What kinds of clients have they worked with?
While you want an innovative app, you don’t want untested technology with bugs and glitches. Check to see that the technology has been used by other companies you trust — when technology is thoroughly tested in the real world, you have peace of mind that your app will get the job done.
For example, MeetingPlay was founded in 2012. Since then, we’ve launched apps for Marriott International, Cardinal Health, HP, PepsiCo, REI and many more. We’ve learned a lot through the years, and this experience goes to work with every client and app.
With many different app providers claiming to help boost engagement, it can be difficult to choose. Ask the right questions up front, and you’ll thank yourself later. And if you’re wondering if MeetingPlay might be the right fit for you, there’s only one way to find out: drop us a line. We’d love to discuss your event!