Let’s say you took the brave decision to offer your delegates an app for your event: Great idea! Now let’s work on a great marketing strategy to make sure that your app will be widely used!
Mobile internet usage thrives in the events sector, too. That definitely speaks in favour of offering mobile platforms to enhance your event – be it native apps for downloading or web apps that you can access simply through your browser.
So how can you market your event app to ensure a good adoption rate? Let me give you 5 key tactics.
Step 1: Concept – Think about what your delegates really value in the first place
Responsive websites are great tools to provide the most important information about your event. Event apps, however, can also offer added value. Event planners should carefully consider what delegates might find useful.
Do you want to provide networking and matchmaking functionalities? An app can give you seamless integration with your calendar and other popular apps like social media applications.
The first step to ensure a good adoption is to analyse the needs of your target audience, and to select the app according to those patterns.
Step 2: Explanation – Market your event app by telling your audience what’s in it for them
User experience is a key factor in online marketing. Marketing your event app by explaining its core functionalities is a no-brainer. Still, many organizers fail to offer simple and entertaining explanations. The best way to do that is by creating a video and putting it on your website and your social channels.
There are great and affordable tools out there that allow you to create video content without having to invest large sums for agencies. Check out Videoscribe or Goanimate to create animation-style videos displaying how to use your event app. Or you can start by testing the free iPad app Adobe Voice to combine screenshots of your app with a voice-over, beautiful animations and background music. You’ll soon find out how fun and easy it is to provide your audience with useful and entertaining information.
Don’t forget to offer special explanations to your sponsors and exhibitors on how to use your event app to get in touch with potential buyers, generate leads and, thus, make the most of their participation!
Step 3: Event app marketing strategy – Let the whole world know your event app is there!
Once you took the decision to offer the app, it is time to create a communication plan. One of the most important elements will be your email communications – not just newsletters, but also transactional emails like confirmations.
Then there is your website and dedicated landing pages, then there is print advertising, then there are your social channels. Let’s say your audience can sign in via social login: Why don’t you send a tweet each time someone signs in @-mentioning their twitter handles?
Slideshare and LinkedIn are a great combination to reach many professionals. Create a deck of screenshots and brief explanations to share on Slideshare.
Step 4: On-site branding – Give them the opportunity to jump on the bandwagon while at the venue
There are events that have adoption rates north of 100% of delegates – but this is the exception rather than the rule. High adoption rates can be found with the big corporate events like Sapphire (by SAP) or strong event brands like SXSW, but they are rare.
Don’t forget to use your on-site communication channels to promote your event app, e.g. roll-ups, break-slides, QR codes, flyers. Many visitors will probably not get your message before the event, so make sure they’ll see it on site.
Step 5: Insights – Analyse the customer journey after the event
Albert Einstein once said “the only source of knowledge is experience”. This applies analogously to event apps. You can track all usage statistics on event apps; you can see what the popular functionalities were and what participants did not enjoy. Such insights give you a proper foundation for your planning for the next round and will help you design and promote your event app better.
In a nutshell: Designing an attractive and user-friendly event app is one part of the equation. Promoting it is just as important, and it starts with offering services through your app that your target audience really needs. We are happy to offer you assistance in this process!