White-label apps vs. a common event app platform like Whova

As an event organizer, you may be tempted to create a white-label event app for your organization’s next big event; after all, at first look, it seems to offer more branding opportunities.

On the other side of the spectrum, a common event app platform (for example, the award-winning mobile solution Whova) is like “Facebook” for events. In other words, it is a common mobile platform for events. Just like Facebook allows you and your organization to change your cover photo, profile picture and many others, a common event app also allows you to customize layout, color schemes, select features and upload event content.

So before you rush into investing money on a white-label event app, it is worthwhile to seriously consider the following three things:

  • How much additional branding can you get from a white-label event app to a group of attendees who already know and trust your brand so much that they are willing to spend money, time and effort, including travel, to attend your event? In other words, do you really need to preach to the choir (and also lose the benefits described below)?
  • What benefits might you lose by using a white-label event app instead of a common event app platform? Actually, convenience, quality and ease-of-use for attendees can leave a much more lasting impression on them than the name of your event app. A memorable event experience can help foster stronger loyalty to your brand.
  • Last but not least, in June 2017, Apple announced that it would ban white-label apps. And in late August 2017, Apple has already begun rejecting white-label event apps from the App Store by enforcing the new policy. This means that you would neither be able to distribute your white-label event app through Apple nor to update your existing one. Read more: “Apple is not Bluffing! A Few White Label Event Apps were already Rejected by the App Store”.

3 Benefits of a Common Mobile Event App

#1. Higher Download Rate (and some attendees may already have it!)

Using a common mobile platform, attendees can use it again and again for many events. Because of this, people are more likely to download it. In fact, your attendees may already have it on their smartphones from previous events. For example, as our stats have shown, an average 20-30% of Whova app users have already downloaded the app from previous events, so they don’t need to download it again for your event. Over the course of thousands of events that have used the Whova app, the vast majority have witnessed a download rate between 60-90%.

Most event apps, especially white-label apps, have less than 30% in download rate. It’s not surprising when you ask yourself this question as an analogy: Would you like to download multiple restaurants’ apps to get information, or keep just one common app like Yelp?

#2. Higher Product Quality and Robustness

It is not surprising that white-label apps can crash or malfunction more often than common mobile event apps. A white-label app vendor is often responsible for maintaining hundreds or even thousands of apps, making it nearly impossible to routinely keep up with testing, deploying fixes to all the apps, and maintaining their quality. Even more nerve-wracking for you is that no real event has ever tried your newborn app. Would you be willing to take the risk and deal with attendees’ complaints?

A common mobile platform is already battle tested by thousands of events, not to mention managed by a single company whose sole focus is to ensure that ONE app is in working order.
Check out app store reviews to get an idea of their reliability and user-friendliness.

#3. Lower Cost

Did you know that a white-label event app may cost five times mores than a common mobile platform? Maybe it is better to spend this extra money to provide nicer drinks to your attendees, or reward yourself and your colleagues with a nice celebration dinner for your hard work after the event is over. After all, you truly deserve it!

Comparison Table (White-label Event Apps vs. Common Event App Platforms)

  White-label event apps Common Event App Platforms (e.g Whova)
Download rate Lower (mostly 20-40%) Higher (e.g., 60-90% with whova)
Attendees who already have the app from previous events 0% 20-30% with Whova
Quality and Robustness Lower Higher and thoroughly tested
Cost More expensive Affordable
Preparation time Longer (mostly 4-6 weeks or more) Shorter (e.g., 30min – 1 day if event information is available)

Whova, an Award-winning Mobile Event Platform

As an example of the common event app platforms, let’s zoom into the details of the Whova app, the most loved event app in app stores with the highest download rates.

Whova is a great platform when considering the app quality, time, cost, and brand exposure. When comparing to white-label event apps, I spent a greater amount of time creating and designing a white-label app and still the functionality when finished was not as good as Whova.

Whova have clearly taken time to understand the needs of event companies and their delegates and have created a user friendly platform which can be used across the board. Not being an app expert, it was a challenge working with white-label app companies trying to visualize buttons and a general design. ROI is great as the cost is lower and we still have the opportunity to increase brand exposure through a main page customization and a splash screen. Sharleen Lyseight, Head of Operations - EU Events, Smithers Information

Branding: Although Whova is not a white-label event app, you can easily customize the Whova app with your logo, color scheme, and even language for icons and event content, in addition to the features you’d like to opt in or out of. You can also design a splash image to be displayed on the full screen when attendees first join your event.

High download rate: We consistently reach a 60%-90% download rate for each event. This is in part due to 20-30% of users per month who have already used the Whova app for past events and recognize its benefits.

Whova rating in App Stores and Event branding

< Whova rating in App Stores and Branding Opportunities on the App >

The most reliable and loved event app in app stores: Our primary focus is maintaining the app’s quality and reliability, and we are proud to be 99.98% crash free. Plus, Whova has the highest ratings among event apps both in Apple Store and Google Play.

Usability: Whova automatically identifies attendees by their RSVP email when they log into the app, so they don’t need to search for your event. The only branding difference is that they search for Whova to download in the event store (where they can see countless positive reviews).

Rich set of attendee engagement and management features: From basic features (e.g., announcements and personalized agendas) to top-notch engagement features (e.g., live polling, bulletin board, slideshow, gamification, QR check-in, and exhibitor lead generation), the Whova app has all you need for attendee engagement and event management.

Ready to See a Whova Demo?

Don’t hesitate to contact us and check out how Whova can help you.  We know there’s a lot involved in finding the best app for your next event. From budget to branding, from timeline to features, it’s your job to find an app that meets the expectations of all stakeholders, including your leadership team and event sponsors. But you don’t have to do it alone. We’re here to help you figure out how to get the highest ROI.


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