Launching a mobile app tied to your next event? Congrats! As you can see from Event Manager Blog’s 2016 Event App Bible, there is a range of event apps to choose from, Whova included. It’s important to consider various features and details when making your decision, but what comes after that?
Well, once you’ve carefully chosen your event app, you’re well on your way to boosting engagement and extending the reach and scope of your programming…provided you’re smart and strategic in your approach, of course. Leave it to chance and you’ll, likely, miss the mark. But make the most out of this unparalleled platform and you’re setting your event and your overarching brand up for some major wins with this and future programming.
So how to ensure yours is a success? Start here, with these nine simple, actionable tips, tricks and pro insights that ensure you’re getting your app in front of the people who matter most — and, more importantly, driving downloads, clicks and conversions every step of the way.
#1. Promote the app on your event website and registration page
Simple enough, right? If you’ve got an app, get the word out! Be sure to include a call out along with a succinct round up of benefits — quicker check in, interactive maps, special offers and enhanced networking opportunities, for example — to entice downloads throughout your website and registration page. And, of course, be sure to include a powerful call-to-action (CTA) with a direct link to download the app, so registrants can take action immediately.
#2: Mention your app in your paper brochures or guides
Likewise, be sure you call out your app in all promotional materials leading up to the event — think brochures, guides, downloadable PDFs and, even, tickets. The more you can familiarize attendees with your mobile experience, the more likely they’ll engage and, ultimately, download. Remember the Rule of Seven? A person needs to be exposed to your message seven times before they take action — so the more exposure you can deliver in the pre-event period, the better.
#3: Got Whova? Use the Promotion Tools on the Dashboard!
After submitting your app, use the Whova Dashboard to tout your app to attendees. It’s fast, it’s simple and it gets results — what could be better?
Within the Dashboard you’ll be able to use any of Whova’s four unique outreach methods and their highly-effective templates: social media, email campaigns, slides and flyers, plus web page links. Just choose your channel and follow the simple prompts to start spreading the word.
DURING THE EVENT
#4: Ask attendees to download the event app in kick-off announcement
Incorporating a keynote speaker, large group intro or other kick-off festivities? With everyone in the same place at the same time — and really excited to dive in — this is an optimal time to spread the word and drive immediate, measurable results. Ask presenters to mention the app and encourage downloads by personally reiterating benefits and other exclusive perks. And, because the CTA will be announced versus emailed or on paper, be sure the directions are simple and memorable — if attendees need to go to a specific website to download, for example, be sure the URL is as short as possible. Driving to the iTunes store or Google Play? Give specific instructions for what to search so attendees can find it fast — the more time they spend searching, the less likely they are to stick it out through download.
#5: Encourage speakers to interact with their audience in the app
The best way to drive downloads? Create experiences that are only available through your event app. Maybe it’s voting during an interactive presentation, messaging questions to presenters in real-time or engaging with materials directly from their devices — no matter what the feature is, if it brings people into the experience (and is centered solely in your app) it’s a great promotional vehicle to ensure downloads and ongoing engagement.
#6: Keep everyone updated and engaged with Whova Live Alerts
Using Whova? Be sure to tap into the Live Alerts feature which pushes important announcements to users in real-time — think upcoming activities, schedule updates, last minute room changes and more. As outlined above, creating exclusive, high-value perks is a great way to boost downloads and ongoing engagement — and knowing that your next session is on the 3rd floor (not the 4th) or that a VIP breakfast has been added to the schedule is a huge plus.
#7: Tell your event team to use the app actively
There’s nothing that drives usage more than seeing others actively engaging with your app — that organic, peer-to-peer influence is, often, more powerful than any other outreach or promotional tactic you can employ. Make sure your entire event team from management to check in to presenters are using the app during the event and, even, sharing their screens and walking attendees through some of the unique features. He needs to know where his next session is? Show him the info directly on the app scheduler. She’s not sure who’s delivering closing remarks? Pull up the speaker’s bio within the app, and show it on-screen. The more you can make your app seem like an integral piece of the event experience, the better.
#8: Send personalized appreciation announcement to all attendees through the app
While it’s great to drive usage during the event, it’s equally important to keep the experience going post-event. Start by sending a personalized “thank you” message to attendees via the app in the hours or days that follow. It’s a simple way to pull them back into your app and, from there, to show off any special benefits like attendee directories, networking opportunities and future programming.
#9: Give attendees a heads-up about your upcoming event with the same app
Got another event coming up? Or a sponsor program that’s relevant to your audience? Continue lending value post-event by promoting valuable events, training sessions and other programs through your mobile platform — maybe, even, with an exclusive discount or promo code just for app users. Not only will you keep traffic up between events, but you’ll create a true destination perfect for sponsor/partner activations, future promotions and other targeted outreach throughout the year.
Now we want to hear from YOU. Have you tried any of these tactics for maximizing your mobile app? Have other tips, tricks and pro insights we’ve left out? Comment below and share your insight and expertise with other event planners!