One of the common complaints we hear from event planners to event tech companies is that event planners “struggle to make the most of your event app”. The event app isn’t being used enough on the day. This is of course a major concern for both parties. A considerable amount of work and money will have been spent on a mobile event app. So it is in everyone’s best interest to ensure as high a take-up as possible. And if you have “sold” the use of the app to sponsors and exhibitors the need is even greater.
So exactly how do you ensure your mobile app is going to be used on the day? Well one of the barriers to overcome is how to inform the attendees. The secret is all about the communication timeline:
Highlight the mobile event app when your attendees register
They should know that they will be attending a cutting edge event that is using the latest and best technology. Make it clear form the outset that they will be expected to see some different things at your event. This is about creating the image that they will need to be involved in your event before they arrive on site.
Three months before the show
Ideally you should upload information about the app you are using to your website. Perhaps you can do a blog about why you’ve chosen this app in particular? Or maybe have an interview with the company as a blog post? Most app providers will have an instruction video explaining what attendees can do with the app and most will be happy to do all they can to support the planners. Use Social Media to highlight this content and start to wet the appetite of your attendees. You can also use this to show your sponsors and exhibitors how the app will be used.
Two months from the show
Is the ideal time for you to schedule a meeting with you app provider to ensure that you as the organiser know exactly how the attendees can use your mobile event app on the day. You don’t have to be an app expert but you do need to know the how, where, what and why of the app. Include a note on your call or meeting in the attendee update going out at this time.
A month before the show
Ideally you should send all your attendees an update at this time and that should focus on (or at least include) some information of the app. The two key points here are that “attendees will be expected to download the app before they arrive” and “the app will be replacing many of the physical things you may have used at other shows” These two points are worth stressing via your social media channels. You aren’t expecting anyone to download the app you are simply raising the awareness that you will be using an app.
Two weeks before the show
At this point your communications by email, blog and social media should break down exactly how you will be using the app. Importantly your communication should focus on WHAT ATTENDEES WILL GET OUT OF USING THE APP. This is an area that is missing from a lot of pre-event communication.
A week before the show a dedicated mobile event app email
A dedicated mobile event app email should be sent to all of your attendees. It should have:
– a link to download the mobile event app
– how to find the mobile event app on the app store on android and apple
– a link to the mobile event app video that is on your website
– a list of the things attendees will be able to do with the app
– highlighting the benefits for attendees using the app
72 to 48 hour before the event
It should be easy enough to only send this chase email to those who haven’t downloaded the mobile event app. Your app provider will be able to tell you know hasn’t registered. Resend the above email adding the percentage of those who have already downloaded (some social proofing goes along way in helping people to change their behaviour). “Already 50% of attendees have downloaded” or something similar should be added. Again use twitter and facebook to remind attendees about the app during this time. If you send out a participant pack it should have a full page on the mobile event app.
24 hours before
We always send out a link to the participant pack the day before the event and this would contain all the information attendees need for the event including of course all the info on downloading and using the app.
You will never get everyone to download the app before they attend the show and you have to be prepared for that on the day. However if you use the above as a guide you will go a long way to ensuring a higher uptake of the app. And if you have chosen the right mobile event app this will mean happier and more engaged attendees.
For more, much more on Event Technology check out our Event Tech Event: Tech Fest, 19th June, ExCeL, London.