Like most new technologies, mobile event apps were initially constructed following the pattern of traditional printed conference event guides – every year a new printed guide, so each year a new app was created.
Many organizations hold hundreds or even thousands of events every year. In some cases a multi-event app can be a far superior and more cost-effective option.
The multi-event app allows organizations to provide a single app that holds all events, which saves considerable time on the planning end and requires a one-time download for attendees, whether they attend one event or 10.
Consider These Key Issues Before Building a Mobile Conference App:
1. What Kind of User Experience Do You Want?
- Most single mobile event apps are entirely tailored to that one event, so they are designed to be extremely unique, leading to a finely honed experience for that particular audience. The downside of this is the cost of creating something distinctive each time.
- A multi-event app only needs to be downloaded one time. However, the multi-event app typically needs to fit the needs of a variety of similar events, which may impact the amount of features and flexibility that can be offered on the app.
- Events on a multi-event app can be created and loaded by the organizer on an “as-needed” basis, without the app developer’s direct involvement.
2. Brand: How Do You Intend To Market To Your Audience?
- The single-event app highlights the event’s logo or brand colors in the app store with a custom app icon and a name specific to the featured event, instead of something that has to apply to all the events.
- Regardless of the kind of mobile conference app, the application showcases the organization’s logo and key message on the splash page completely free from distractions while the app loads.
- The splash page can also be used to display details about upcoming events, webinars, or promotions.
- The multi-event app allows for the app to feature a special message for each audience, which is much more effective and efficient when planning multiple events throughout the year.
- The multi-event app enables information for each location to be programmed in at the outset. That allows those attending a version of the event in a city near them later in the year to have unique marketing messages and conference information for that particular gathering inputted as soon as the information is available. This often helps market the conference, since many individuals want to look at the lineup of speakers and conference details months in advance to decide whether to go, and some like to start early choosing sessions they’ll attend.
- QlikView for example, found the multi-event conference app beneficial for its technology road show, “Business Discovery North America Tour,” which visited 25 cities in 2011. Attendees could download the multi-event app and then select a city. The app gave them access to social networking with other attendees in their cities, which helped QlikView encourage relationship-building locally, learning about the conference, and provided more incentives for attendees to refer back to the app.
3. Multi-Event Conference Apps Can Ultimately Save Time, Money and Headaches
- Once the multi-event iPhone app and iPad app are approved in the iTunes app store, future events can be added without additional approval. This saves time over the single-event apps that require a separate submission and approval process for each app.
- A single-event app may be more appropriate for organizations that do not yet use mobile apps and have a substantial number of events during the year. As the need for several apps grows however, it may become more economical to go with a multi-event app rather than recreating — and resubmitting for approval — single-event apps.
4. Both Kinds of Apps Live On Beyond the Conference
- Multi- and single-event apps both provide benefits for organizations beyond the conferences themselves.
- Multi-event apps can provide an ongoing resource for attendees by providing them a single place to find new event information. DRI — The Voice of the Defense Bar — for example, uses a multi-event app to showcase its annual meetings and seminars as well as to provide summaries of webcasts and links to register online for webinars.
- Some organizations ultimately choose to follow a hybrid model, creating a single-event app to highlight prestigious stops, such as the kickoff or final event of a tour, while relying on a multi-event mobile conference app for most situations.
- QuickMobile is now developing new technology that provides organizations with the ultimate in flexibility and scalability for multi-event apps. Large organizations will soon be able to create thousands of events a year within a single enterprise-wide mobile app with each one individually configurable, including unique branding, depending on the needs or type of the event or conference.
Author Patrick Payne, is co-founder and CEO of QuickMobile, a company that develops mobile conference and event apps. To download the full white paper on mobile apps free of charge, visit http://www.quickmobile.com/white-paper, or for more information on QuickMobile, call 604.875.0403 orvisit http://quickmobile.com/.