Post authored by Mike Godsey, Senior Vice President, Market Development, Experient
I remember when—and not all that long ago—these event apps didn’t even exist.
In fact, I recall being introduced to the “show book” by one of my customers. It was a medical association and they asked me to help move some of these show directories to the badge pick-up area. Sure thing! Then I proceeded to move a dozen boxes that were filled with 2-inch thick show books. I considered variable #1 – how heavy they were. This was no problem; I was young and in good shape. But I never considered variable #2 – the distance to travel. It was a workout to say the least.
After that lesson, I knew why tote bags were so important to these doctors. How else were they going to carry that thing around?
But today, after downloading the official event app, all of that show directory information is right at your fingertips instead.
As an event producer, however, it’s easy to be dazzled by all the bells and whistles within an event app. You need to focus on the functionality that attendees (and exhibitors) use the most in order to make the most of its use.
Here are the 4 most used pages in an event app and what you should consider when constructing them:
1) Home Page
It should come as no surprise that the home page or general info page is, by far, the most popular. It is the “jumping off” point for attendees. So consider that real estate carefully. Information like event hours, show floor hours, special locations (show office, first aid, etc.) are common. There are also links to all of the other pages within the app. You know you’ll have your attendees’ attention when they land on your general information page, so consider what the most important items are and make them prominent.
2) Map of the Show Floor
Past the general information page, the show floor map receives the heaviest attendee usage. Attendees can quickly drill into the floor map to find exhibitors of interest. Maps are dynamic, allowing attendees to find the information they need in an efficient manner. They can even plot their path to get from one booth to the next. Make sure to communicate with exhibitors to let them know how vital it is for them to load information, product slicks, videos, logos and anything else that makes them stand out. Viewing the exhibitor list and sorting by product categories are considered part of this experience, which makes this information critical to your attendees.
3) Event Schedule
According to our statistics, the attendee’s personal event schedule is the next most popular feature in the mobile event app. This allows the attendee to manage their schedule while at the show—sessions, floor hours, receptions, and all individual appointments can easily be loaded into the schedule from various places within the app. The most important thing to remember is that the attendee should only have to plan their schedule in one place. When selecting an app provider, make sure to review the features and ease of use for this particular piece—they’re not all the same!
4) Session Content
Reviewing educational information and session content is the next highest priority for attendees. It’s an easy and efficient way to review what sessions interest them the most. They can see general information about speakers, content, schedule, etc., but there is also an element of this that is surprising. With the simple press of a button, your app can drive additional education revenue. Attendees are getting much more comfortable paying for access to sessions through the event app. And their credit card on file can be used so that they don’t have to enter all their payment information again. This behavior is on the rise for certain.
Considering the right strategy will make certain your show app’s most important features are effective and easy to use, while at the same time enhance the event experience for your attendees. Maybe in a few years, we can do away with those heavy show directories for good!
How did you design your event app with your attendees in mind?
Thinking about adding an event app to your conference? Contact me to see how Experient can help.